August 8th, 2008
08:07 PM ET
6 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards: 'Our family has been through a lot'

Elizabeth Edwards: 'John made a terrible mistake in 2006.'
Elizabeth Edwards: 'John made a terrible mistake in 2006.'

Elizabeth Edwards posted a statement on the Daily Kos Web site Friday about her husband's confession that he had had an extramarital affair.

FULL STATEMENT FOLLOWS:

Our family has been through a lot. Some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some – most recently – caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. None of these has been easy. But we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.

John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me. And we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage as well. Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private.

The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.

John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one’s mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue. I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John’s conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time.


Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards • John Edwards
soundoff (95 Responses)
  1. Raihan Islam

    Thank you, Elizabeth Edwards. I truly respect your regard on this matter and can very much relate to the concern for privacy. It is not our business or concern to respond to it, but for the sake of others' awareness, on the bright side, your explanation will inspire others to be more honest to each other. That love can exist even with the truth told. Thank you.

    August 8, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  2. Smiley from Conyers, GA

    She is a better woman than I am. I don't think I'd be able to stand behind him. I know people make mistakes however, there are some mistakes that aren't really mistakes. You don't just mistakenly fall into someone else's bed.

    Also, one has to wonder if the only reason she is standing by him 100% is because she's dying and doesn't want him to be alone once she's gone.

    Good Luck to them both.

    August 8, 2008 09:30 pm at 9:30 pm |
  3. Whotay

    To err is human.

    August 8, 2008 09:36 pm at 9:36 pm |
  4. projectial barfing

    Elizabeth, if you have any scroats at all, you will divorce the bum and set your children up for life. Give him one greenhouse gas SUV and take the rest !

    August 8, 2008 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  5. GH

    I hope John Edwards feels his cheap and taudry affair with this ugly duckling was worth his career and possibly a vice-presidential run. If this is his judgment, I would hate to think we would have elected him as a President or Vice-President or anything else. His judgment stinks. I'm so sorry for the Edwards family (not him) since they have been through so much already. Was it worth it John??? I would think you could have picked something better than this if you were to sell out your soul.

    August 8, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  6. JB illinois

    Peace Elisabeth our hearts are with you.

    August 8, 2008 09:40 pm at 9:40 pm |
  7. John Starnes Tampa Florida

    McCain BETTER keep his mouth shut on this since he married into millions by having an affair with Cindy while still with his first wife, announced the divorce on TV before telling her, married Cindy a month later...yet he still manages to lecture about "family values" !

    August 8, 2008 09:41 pm at 9:41 pm |
  8. redtitus

    What a slob!

    August 8, 2008 09:43 pm at 9:43 pm |
  9. You go girl!

    Good for you, Elizabeth. Be strong and be forgiving. I believe it whole-heartedly from you, and am contrasting your reaction and way of life to the Clinton's when Bill's escapades once again because public. He's far worse, yet goes on as a public leader...go figure.

    August 8, 2008 09:44 pm at 9:44 pm |
  10. Leave them alone!

    They've both made statements now. They're decent people and deserve their peace. Are we that thirsty for scandal?

    August 8, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  11. Cindy

    Wow, what a woman. Senator Edwards, man, you're an idiot for cheating on her..

    Ok, I'm done with it. Move on.

    August 8, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  12. WG

    My admiration for Mrs Edwards truly grows. To exhibit such grace and forgiveness is truly a rarity today. Her strength and courage is the real story. I only hope that Senator Edwards truly comprehends what he has in her. Somehow, I think he does.

    I wish the rest of the world would butt out of their business. Allow them time to seek God and his forgiveness. Then the true healing can begin.

    Remember, all of us sin and fall short. That is not an excuse; it is a fact.

    August 8, 2008 09:51 pm at 9:51 pm |
  13. Fay Tx

    May God continue to put peace in your heart......Love you Guys !!!

    August 8, 2008 09:53 pm at 9:53 pm |
  14. From a man who's been there

    As a man who has suffered the pain and humiliation of his wife's infidelity, my heart goes out to Mrs. Edwards, particularly given her serious medical condition. However as much as I respect her efforts to honor her marriage vows (despite the fact that her husband did not) as someone who has been there, I take issue with one of her comments. Saying and believing that her husband simply made a 'mistake' is not fully recognizing the full scope the betrayal or the pain caused infidelity. The truth is, Sen. Edwards made a choice. He made a choice to engage in a sexual relationship with this woman, a choice to dishonor his marriage vows and a choice to cause his wife what I know from personal experience to be perhaps the greatest pain one person can inflict upon another, especially the one you profess to love. That said, Sen. Edwards' big 'mistake' was putting himself in that position in the first place. Choice took over from there.

    August 8, 2008 10:01 pm at 10:01 pm |
  15. Steve-O

    Wow, he lied to all of us, then you Elizabeth tell us that his lies should mean nothing to us...... Sounds less than sincere, more like a politician's wife.

    August 8, 2008 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. mimi

    My sympathy is with Elizabeth Edwards. She's standing by her man. The audacity and arrogance he displayed astound me. To conduct and extra marital affair when you know you'll run for presisent show how much he hold his supporters and the public in contempt. I fell sorry for his family and us for being fooled by his sweet talk.

    August 8, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  17. YVONNE 4 SENATOR BO

    THIS IS A TOTAL SHOCK! HOWEVER I DO NOT KNOW THE MAN PERSONALLY BUT HE CAME ACROSS AS A LOVING, CARING HUSBAND. I HOPE THE MEDIA REALIZES WE ARE ALL HUMAN AND AS SUCH WE MAKE MISTAKES BIG & SMALL. THE FACT HIS WIFE IS VERY ILL I PRAY SOME PRIVACY WILL BE GIVEN TO THEM ALTHOUGH I DOUBT IT. IT WILL SERVE NO PURPOSE FOR US TO KNOW EVERY INTIMATE DETAIL OF THIS AFFAIR. YOU IN THE MEDIA THAT REPORT THESE STORYS I AM SURE HAVE SKELTONS IN YOUR CLOSET SOME WORSE THAN AN AFFAIR. MAY GOD KEEP HIS ARMS AROUND YOU MS. EDWARDS DURING THIS DIFFICULT TIME FOR YOU AND YOUR FAMILY.

    August 8, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Marc PDX

    I'd say that the press should leave the Edwards alone. (I'm a Republican and I don't think their family should be publicly destroyed by the press over a private matter.)

    August 8, 2008 11:35 pm at 11:35 pm |
  19. PUMA 4 HILL

    And he should have done the right thing and endorsed Hillary right after Super Tuesday.

    But, it seems his judgement is as bad as O' boy's.

    August 8, 2008 11:40 pm at 11:40 pm |
  20. Jean M Fevry

    I am very proud of you and the courage of writing this statement LiZ,
    God will always be with you and your family.

    Best Regards,

    Jean

    August 8, 2008 11:42 pm at 11:42 pm |
  21. Peter E

    It doesn't affect his politics, it's a private matter, it's NONE of our business. CNN, lay off him already, will ya? There is a war in Georgia where people are actually dying!

    August 8, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  22. nancy

    Love you, Elizabeth!

    August 8, 2008 11:45 pm at 11:45 pm |
  23. Kristen

    Well-said. Sometimes, the media just needs to know when to butt out of people's personal affairs - and that's coming from a member of the news media! I hope you and your family are able to continue the healing process unhindered by the insensitivity of others.

    August 8, 2008 11:50 pm at 11:50 pm |
  24. Peter E

    Oh, and of course, it's Clinton's fault. I don't know how is that even remotely possible, but I'm sure Obama supporters will figure out a way to spin it that way...

    August 8, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
  25. maggie

    Having been a victim of the same offense my heart goes out to Elizabeth and her family. How cruel to inflict this on a woman who is battling to live knowing she doesn't have much time and then the idiot she married does this because he's just like every other man but then again the other woman an indiot as well but gets her 15 minutes of fame. How stupid. And I'd put john above the actions of weaker men but guess what. How many other men are out there tonight saying this could have been them found out. So sad but then this really is none of our business except he lied to US and that matters. Same will Bill, he lied and he lied.

    August 9, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
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