August 8th, 2008
05:10 PM ET
10 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'


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. Liz in Lansing, IL

    How incredibly disappointing.

    If he truly ended it in 2006, why was he recently caught meeting with the woman on the sly? Something isn't right here.

    August 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  2. Brian Ulwick

    I refuse to believe that while a war breaks out between Georgia and Russia, THIS is the front page news for CNN. This is saying that issues of life, death and the fates of nations are less important than an increasingly irrelevant American politician's completely irrelevant sexual liaisons. This "news" story fails the "Who cares?" test.

    August 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  3. Karl Miller

    National Inquirier was right about Edwards.

    They may be right about Obama and his tendencies too then.
    i.e. Larry Sinclair

    August 8, 2008 06:16 pm at 6:16 pm |
  4. Lady

    ==================Who Cares??????????????===========

    ==============i had to pay $120.00 to fill up my tank today=======

    ==============and my husband just lost his job============

    ==========america plz, Wake UP=======

    August 8, 2008 06:17 pm at 6:17 pm |
  5. karen-phoenix

    How many presidents have had affairs? Most! Even Ben Franklin had many. THis man has beat himself up enough. Leave them alone. He also has done more for people in poverty than the present president could even think about!!! THank you John for being honest. Love and prayers to you and Elizabeth.

    August 8, 2008 06:18 pm at 6:18 pm |
  6. Anne E.

    This is not the public's business, and if he gets flack, then McCain should be subjected to even more scrutiny, given his candidacy.
    That said, I have to wonder how forgiving Edwards would've been if Elizabeth had had the affair.

    August 8, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  7. Susan

    The statement was a lousy non apology. Anybody notice it was all I,I,I, and Me,me,me?

    August 8, 2008 06:19 pm at 6:19 pm |
  8. David Goldman for OBAMA





    August 8, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  9. Tony Dee

    Wow Curly you did the same thing that RDS did. RDS says everybody, you simply focus on Democrats and say pretty much the same thing ... sad.

    You owe me an apology as I am a Democrat and have neve cheated on anybody.

    August 8, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  10. Shannon

    I feel sad for his family, and wish it could be a private affair, no pun intended, but it's just sad that this will be all the media talks about for the next month.
    On the upside, we don't have to hear about fast Eddy Obama for awhile. Just think how many times he can change positions on issues while the media isn't paying attention.

    August 8, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  11. MB

    These blogs are hilarious. The libs have been chewing on McCain for a year about getting divorced and re-married (something 63% of Americans will do in their lifetime) but when John Edwards does it well That's off limits and between him and Elizabeth. What is it Libs you can't have it both way's either it is or it isn't??? No Lib with a brain (wow that's a stretch) will come up with an answer for this one.

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

    We all have choices. Based on my on life I have tried to learn from the bad ones I have made. That is why truth will prevail every time. I choose to support and vote for change. Yes we can change and we can be winners. This country deserves no less. I support Obama.

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

    Oh Democrats... can't you at least up your standards a bit...

    Heck... JFK had Monroe.... but Clinton and Edwards... you guys are rich and powerful... get rid of the beer goggles.

    August 8, 2008 06:20 pm at 6:20 pm |
  14. Lisa F SWPA

    What a pig !! I pray that his wife gives him the boot. When she needed him he was off cavorting around.

    I think there will be more to come out on his little " liason"

    August 8, 2008 06:21 pm at 6:21 pm |
  15. HillBillyBill

    This is not worthy of any comment by those of us not involved with anything to do with the Edwards family. There have already been far too many comments by media & other celebrities and this story will continue for far too long in the news.

    August 8, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  16. Steve in Wyoming

    I'm very disappointed in Edwards, especially with his wife suffering from cancer. At least he's not like Gingrich who dumped his cancer suffering wife for an intern. Or the Republican adulterers who chose homosexual affairs. But what's wrong is wrong.

    August 8, 2008 06:23 pm at 6:23 pm |
  17. KenB, MI

    Lord be with you...humanity is fallible.

    August 8, 2008 06:25 pm at 6:25 pm |
  18. Disturbed in Austin

    What is really sad is all the citizens on this post that are saying, "Oh well, it doesn't matter . . I still like him. I'm realizing then that most politicians really do represent the ideals of their constituents! How can people overlook such offensive behavior? These politicians are so into themselves, they honestly believe they won't get caught or that they can worm their way out of it. Do you really want someone like that managing our budget among other things?????

    August 8, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  19. William Rivera

    You all are Misguided! This story is just to cover up what is going on in Russia/Georgia (WAR That could become NUCLEAR). How sophomoric can you all be to give a crud about someone having an affair? And Edwards your an idiot for releasing your whining boo hoo story at a time like this, to distract us from REAL NEWS!!! We want REAL news not Tabloid news!

    August 8, 2008 06:26 pm at 6:26 pm |
  20. Izabela, Ridgefield,CT

    We american people failed in judgement not to vote for Hillary!
    The best choice that was ever there! She would get us out of this mess and create normal environment .

    The person who have it all together. With morals, great mind and heart!

    I am staying home in November hoping that one day I will see a TRUE leader in this country again!

    August 8, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  21. Peggy - TX

    I really like Edwards. This does reflect negatively on his character, but only for a short lapse in judgment of dipping ones hand into the cookie jar – so to speak. This is far from the worst thing a man can do. Not like he declared war on another country based on incompetent information and then lied to the American people about it – that is the worst a man can do. Edwards was honest with the one person for whom this matters, his wife and that she forgave him. He stayed with her through some bad times and through her current illness, when many a lesser man (such as McCain) would have left their wife after she became ill. Also, even through I did support Edwards for the Dem nominee, after Biden dropped out, Edwards does not owe me an apology. It is not like he did not do this while in Office as President as did Bill Clinton did. Bill Clinton still owe me and the Democratic Party an apology because his affair made a joke of the white house and it hurt the Democratic Party. This will not hurt the Dems, but will, and should, hurt his chances of becoming VP. Edwards is a good guy who has done a lot to help those less fortunate, I believe he still has a strong political career ahead of him and we need him.

    August 8, 2008 06:27 pm at 6:27 pm |
  22. Truth B Told

    Sure your ashamed of your conduct and choices, as are all democrats. All is not lost you still have your hair do,

    August 8, 2008 06:29 pm at 6:29 pm |
  23. mary

    John Edwards personal life is not our business. His affair is nothing new .There are many affairs of public offical that you never hear about ,but the ones you do hear about ,the media just have another hayday with it.

    August 8, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  24. Dr.Mimi De La Cruz for OBAMA









    August 8, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
  25. Jim Schimmer

    I don;t understand whats the matter? So what if he cheated. Do you know how many people in the US cheat on their significant other each year??

    Yea yea, he is a politician but a lot of them do the same too. We are only human. Why not see what he can do for your country. Why get into his personal life.. I am confused....

    I am not advocating cheating but the way people are juding him is wrong.

    So your saying Bush is better cause he didn't cheat????

    August 8, 2008 06:30 pm at 6:30 pm |
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