August 9th, 2008
09:03 AM ET
6 years ago

National Enquirer: Edwards story came from credible tip

National Enquirer editor-in-chief David Perel says the tabloid broke news of John Edwards' affair in 2007.
National Enquirer editor-in-chief David Perel says the tabloid broke news of John Edwards' affair in 2007.

(CNN) - Former North Carolina Sen. John Edwards admitted Friday to having an extramarital affair in 2006 with a woman who worked on his campaign.

Edwards has denied being the father of the woman's child, as had been alleged in tabloid reports, and it is willing to take a paternity test.

Wolf Blitzer, filling in for Larry King, spoke with David Perel, editor-in-chief of the National Enquirer, who originally broke the story in October 2007. Blitzer also spoke with Alan Butterfield, a senior reporter for the National Enquirer who confronted John Edwards at a hotel in Beverly Hills on Thursday.

Some highlights:

Wolf Blitzer: What got you guys going in this direction to begin with?

David Perel: We received what we thought was a credible tip, Wolf, and we started investigating it. A lot of times when we go down this road and the story turns out not to be true, we abandon it. But the more we dug in, the more information The Enquirer uncovered that was standing up, we were able to prove that, indeed, John Edwards had a sexual affair with Rielle Hunter. We first did the story in October without naming her and then we came back with a much tougher story in December 2007, where we not only named her, but we photographed her pregnant.

Watch: Perel discusses Edwards' 'character issue'

Blitzer: And at that time, you didn't report that - what you reported subsequently, that you thought that he was the father.

Perel: That's true. We know that Rielle believes that he is the father. And Mr. Edwards today, in his own statement, said he did not take a paternity test. He's now saying that he will take one. We've asked him for months if he would take one and he's ignored that request.

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Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (55 Responses)
  1. paul appelbaum

    we take our pets to be "fixed" so that they will tend to wander less, and in general to behave better- maybe we should suggest the same for some of our politicians when they start wandering.

    August 9, 2008 01:40 pm at 1:40 pm |
  2. me

    People's private lives should remain private. Sex is not a NEWS story and shame on the press for reporting it endlessly. Although I think it shows poor moral judgement on Edward's part, it is an issue strictly between him and his wife. It is not up to us to dissect each and every action – we don't know what happens behind closed doors of any person or politician.
    So my feeling is GET OVER IT...it does not affect YOUR life in any way – if affects the life of the Edwards family, so leave them to deal with it.

    August 9, 2008 01:45 pm at 1:45 pm |
  3. Blueray98

    If the original story broke in 2007 and came from a "credible tip", then why did it take so long for the mainstream media to report on it?

    August 9, 2008 01:52 pm at 1:52 pm |
  4. John Lear, Burlington, IA

    This is such utter nonsense, What did John McCain do to his ex-wife, the same thing, only he divorced his crippled wife for the bimbo rich blond, and no body says anything about " the gall" he has for running for President. He's worse than John Edwards ever thought about being, why aren't the news people saying anything avout that creep?

    August 9, 2008 01:53 pm at 1:53 pm |
  5. Mr&Mrs. Y From Maryland

    Outpouring of Support Greets Elizabeth Edwards Following Admission of Affair.

    Our hearts and prayers are with you Elizabeth!

    August 9, 2008 02:01 pm at 2:01 pm |
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