August 8th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
6 years ago

Edwards: 'I have been stripped bare'

Edwards: ‘I am ashamed of my conduct and choices.”
Edwards: ‘I am ashamed of my conduct and choices.”

John Edwards released a statement Friday following a report that he had admitted an extra-marital affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter.

Watch: Edwards: 'I sin every single day'

STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS

August 8, 2008

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99% honest is no longer enough.

I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.

It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up – feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.

I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say.


Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (135 Responses)
  1. angie

    He made a mistake, move on to a serious issue...like the economy or the war.

    August 8, 2008 06:02 pm at 6:02 pm |
  2. Veteran for Obama

    I'm very disappointed. It doesn't mean Edwards is a bad person though, just a bad husband.

    August 8, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  3. anonymous

    What is it with politicians and their desire to have extramarital affairs with women less attractive than their spouses

    August 8, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  4. Steve

    Who cares ? I wish I had 5 cents for everyone I know has cheated, currently cheats or is trying to cheat......Women don't want to put out so a man has to do what a man has to do!!!

    Frankly, I have been hit on by so many women who know I'm married. It's easy for a married guy to get laid. Women want you even more when you are married.

    August 8, 2008 06:03 pm at 6:03 pm |
  5. California Gold

    The John Edwards I'm familiar with is a fine lawyer and politician. This is an intensely personal and private adult matter that is of no interest to me. I still hope to see John Edwards heading up President Obama's public health care system as a key Cabinet member.

    May we now get back to the urgent issues and future direction of the United States.

    August 8, 2008 06:04 pm at 6:04 pm |
  6. Nick Emmons

    It is ridiculous that we live in a society that demands to know personal information such as this. As far as I'm concerned, none of us needed to know this. This is a personal matter between Mr. and Mrs. Edwards, only! In any case, despite the reasons for his public announcement, the Edwards' family will get along just fine, his political career is not over, and he will still be respected by many across the country.

    August 8, 2008 06:05 pm at 6:05 pm |
  7. The Independent One

    Edwards is just a man. What a surprise. Since when are politicians supposed to be judged for their sexual choices. I am so sick of anyone's sexuality being anyone's business but the person doing it.

    August 8, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  8. NEVEROBAMA

    DIDN'T HE ENDORSE OBAMA?

    THIS DIRT BAG CRITISIZED HILLARY AND BILL SO MUCH EVEN THROUGH THE PRIMARY.

    ONE MORE POLITIAN THAT LESS US DOWN. NEXT WILL BE BARACK OBAMA

    VOTE

    MCCAIN 08

    August 8, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  9. Ron Nebraska

    Yes, and the Bush administration pressured the CIA to forge documents linking Iraq and al-qaeda to justify a war that has killed over 4100 American soldiers. WHICH IS WORSE AND NEEDS REPORTING MORE?!!!!

    August 8, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  10. Kathy

    I can't believe Edwards had the gall to run for the presidency this time around - he had to KNOW this affair would come to light eventually.

    What is WRONG with our MALE politicians anyway? That's another reason Hillary was my preference...women spend a lot LESS time focusing on their genitals!

    August 8, 2008 06:06 pm at 6:06 pm |
  11. T-n-EP

    My suggestin to VP vetting teams is to straight out ask their prospects.... Any extramarital affairs we need to know about?

    The jerk alwasy struck me as one hypocrite.

    August 8, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  12. kidding

    Cheaters, Cheaters everywhere. We should allow them to have more than one.

    August 8, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  13. Jules

    I still admire his public service and his positions , but it always pains me to think of how national exposure of such a very painful, private family problem will affect the kids. His are even younger than Chelsea Clinton was. How disappointing .

    August 8, 2008 06:07 pm at 6:07 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    so he had an affair... so what

    August 8, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  15. NJ Republican

    First the Pastor....

    After that, his ties with "Chicago Politics"...

    Then the "World Citizen" who is our only "Hope" for America...

    And now a former canidate who has endorsed him that is an adulter....

    Let the house of cards begin its fall!!!!

    McCain 08!!

    August 8, 2008 06:08 pm at 6:08 pm |
  16. Pat Riot

    Hopefully he will retire from public service. This guy is just one more opportunist liberal looking to advance himself by playing santa claus. He promises everything to everyone just like Barack. We'll you can't give something to someone withour first taking it from someone else and that is a nice analogy for socialism. Good ridance.

    August 8, 2008 06:09 pm at 6:09 pm |
  17. john williams san diego, ca.

    following in teddies footsteps...typical liberal

    August 8, 2008 06:10 pm at 6:10 pm |
  18. Marc PDX

    From Georgia...

    "All day today, they've been bombing Georgia from numerous warplanes and specifically targeting [the] civilian population, and we have scores of wounded and dead among [the] civilian population all around the country," Georgia's president, Mikhail Saakashvili, said Friday. "This is the worst nightmare one can encounter."

    Where are the liberals? If this was a story about some rogue low level US military personnel stripping prisoners and taking pictures it would be all over the liberal main stream media. But with Russia deliberately targeting civilians and killing hundreds today alone there is barely a wimper in the MSM.

    I'm sorry but I just don't get it anymore...

    August 8, 2008 06:11 pm at 6:11 pm |
  19. Patrick

    I'll give it one day before he blames his affair on George Bush and the Republicans. George Bush sure looks like an honorable man to me, we can debate his politices; but he is an honorable man.

    August 8, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  20. Vegas

    Obama/Edwards 08

    That was a close one.... LOL

    Betting the kids his too though... 99%... yea right!

    August 8, 2008 06:12 pm at 6:12 pm |
  21. McCain-in-4, Clarksburg, MD

    John Edwards,

    Please don't reject the Vice Presidential nomination! Every American needs your energies and intellect directed to fixing our crumbling infrastructure. We've come to know you during the Democratic races, and you will add a very strong reason to vote Barack Obama.

    Bringing your infidelity forward makes us trust you more, not less. We've had eight years of a flawless Vice President who's crowing achievement is to run this country "flawlessly".

    August 8, 2008 06:13 pm at 6:13 pm |
  22. Luke

    Some of the comments here are really off base..dan from cali...and in poor taste...This is no surprise as John Edwards always came across as a man who had things to hide. I feel for Elizabeth..He pushed her and her illness in front of the American people...We thought he cared, but it now seems as she was a tool for his election. You must feel for this women. And yes...most people cheat, but most do not ask us to give them money and ask for our trust in running the country. I can forgive him, but can not forget that he used his family in this way..As for how the story and the media cover this...its a little much...but makes you wonder if the media had not been fawning all over Obama, we may have known this long ago...makes you wonder what else out there is yet to be discovered...Inquier got it right, and CNN and the others missed it...sad.

    August 8, 2008 06:14 pm at 6:14 pm |
  23. Texas Trail Dog!

    CNN JUST WHEN I DIDN'T YOU COULD BE ANY LOWER WITH YOUR SICK NEWS BROADCASTING HERE YOU COME MAKING A BIG DEAL OUT OF EDWARDS AFFAIR. I SET WATCHING CNN ON TV AND WOLF BLITZER MADE SURE BILL CLINTON'S NAME WAS ALSO BROUGHT INTO THE FRAY. WHEN IS THIS NEWS WHEN RUSSIA IS ATTACKING GEORGIA A FACT THAT COULD PLUMMET US INTO WORLD WAR THREE. IF YOU GOING TO MAKE A BIG DEAL OUT OF MENTIONING BILL CLINTON MAKE SURE YOU MENTION THEM ALL.
    ANDREW JOHNSON, FDR, LBJ, JFK, MARTIN L. KING, REV. JACKSON, DEWIGHT D. ICENHOWER., RONALD REAGAN, NANCY REAGAN, JACKAULYN KENNEDY THE LIST GOES ON AND ON BUT THE ONLY ONE WHO IS A BIG DEAL IS OLD BILL. IF YOU'RE NAMING ONE NAME THEM ALL. IT'S REALLY THESE MODERN TIMES TO MAKE AN ISSUE ABOUT ANYONE COMMITTING ADULTERY. THE WORLD IS RAMPANT WITH IT.

    August 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  24. Janice

    King David not only committed adultry, but he also had Bathsheba's husband killed to cover up the baby that was conceived after the sin. He repented, was forgiven, and he ruled effectively and courageously for years after that.

    John Edwards has told us way more than we ever needed to know; I don't judge him. I pray for him and his wife and family.

    August 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
  25. indewoman

    I KNOW Obama didn't have an affair because if he did Michelle would have given him the "Rock-Bottom"...and Obama knows better than that..LOL

    August 8, 2008 06:15 pm at 6:15 pm |
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