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. Maggie Muggins From Selwyn

    Why doesn't CNN publicize McCain's affairs or ask him about them directly? Seems like biased reporting to me.

    August 9, 2008 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  2. Monica for Obama in Indiana

    Wonder what the personal life of these reporters are? Why don't reporters report on the sordid love affair of john mccain and cindy?
    This is a no brainer as Edwards was not going to be on the vp ticket as a lot of people may have thought. So the purpose of all of this is what?

    August 9, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  3. Lili, FL

    What will his speach be about in the DNC convention?

    How I screwed my mistress, my wife and country... the latter one is for supporting Obama!

    NoBama 08

    August 9, 2008 11:24 am at 11:24 am |
  4. Brendan H., San Antonio, TX

    Even a blind squirrel finds an acorn every once in a while, eh?!

    August 9, 2008 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  5. Felto from Little Rock

    No wonder Edwards did not want to be considered for V.P. he would have derailed the Obama train....good looking out on his part...at least he's not selfish in that respect.

    August 9, 2008 11:26 am at 11:26 am |
  6. Charlotte

    Obama best watch out for his EGO it might get him into big trouble. John Edwards knows about EGO. Obama acts as if he is, THE ONE. I cannot believe the DNC (Dumb Nuts Committee) and their choice for the nominee. I received a donation request from them, and I sent it back with a notation, No money/No vote. Main reason, Kennedy, Kerry, Dean, and Pelosi..I hope they can't pay for the football stadium Obama wants to pat himself on the back. His Presidential Seal was the biggest turn off for this voter. I am beginning to believe he is the Anti-Christ, nothing else explains his popularity. I mean really, what on his resume, qualifies him for the job of POTUS?

    August 9, 2008 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  7. informed florida voter

    Now if we could only get Obama to fess up to his "down low" escapades.

    August 9, 2008 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  8. dave of seattle

    Goodbye and good riddance Mr. Edwards!

    August 9, 2008 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  9. Elly

    too bad these media *vulchers* would not leave him alone and his family
    Its so pathetic what media sensationalism has morphed into bc of peoples sick curiosity
    anyone who buys this crap is no better than the vultures who edit it!!
    The man made a human mistake ...he did NOT kill anyone !steal anything! and regardless of what any of us say or think his own conscience will eat him up without our judgement!

    August 9, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  10. HD

    What parasites. Not saying I condone what Edwards did, but he is human; of course he would deny it, risking losing his family. Grow up people.

    August 9, 2008 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  11. Hildegarde Schildgen

    Leave the man alone. He admitted it so what. The blame should also be on the woman. It does take two to tango.

    How many people in everyday life have extra marital affairs. It's not right but that is a private matter.

    August 9, 2008 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  12. Farrell, Houston, Tx

    Where is the story about John McCain's infidelity to the wife he was unfaithful to when she was ill and left her for Cindy. If the news is going to talk about Edwards then expose McCain on his lack of morality.

    August 9, 2008 11:39 am at 11:39 am |
  13. Informed Voter

    CNN are you running a TABLOID .. there's so much more important things going on but the MSM is still stuck on this Story .. what about the Olympics, Russia/Georgia War ??

    August 9, 2008 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  14. ROSJ

    Everybody including the Enquirer should just mind their own business and leave the family alone.
    Why is it that people like to destroy other people for money?

    August 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  15. tt

    this is why we should have a female president. No extramarital affairs. Women are caretakers mostly.

    August 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  16. Rob

    I feel sorry for the Edwards family. I also can not help but remember that John McCain also had adulterous affiars, cheating on his wife while she was in long term recovery from a debillitating accident.
    Are these the best Americans we have to offer for the Office of President of our United States?

    August 9, 2008 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  17. Upon Further Review

    This tells me the MSM cant do its job any longer or doesnt want to.I dont have any faith in any of them,since its obvious their owners have abandoned the truth.I guess the days of Walter Cronkite and other credible men are long gone.What a shame.

    August 9, 2008 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  18. Independent

    Who really cares??? I guess the media does so they can play this over and over and over!!!!! This is a private matter and it should of stayed a private matter....He didn't commit a felony, he made a mistake and I'm sure the media won't let him forget it either....ENOUGH ALREADY!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    My thoughts and prayers to the Edwards family....especially the little children.....

    August 9, 2008 11:54 am at 11:54 am |
  19. Dulcinea

    I am truly surprised that John Edwards was having an affair because
    certainly this would have messed up his hair.

    August 9, 2008 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  20. Bob from San Francisco

    Oh god. More soap opera distractions for American Idol mentality idiots to gossip about while the world crumbles around us. Who cares!? This is a personal matter between Edwards and his wife.

    At least it was with a woman (hello Haggarty, Craig, Foley, etc.)

    August 9, 2008 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  21. E. POWELL I MD, E POWELL MD II & ER. POWELL MD

    YE WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE. PEOPLE.

    August 9, 2008 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  22. Scott Ryder

    Okay, John Edwards had an affair. Lots of political figures have had affairs. Anderson Cooper had a story highlighting some of the more infamous political affairs on Friday evening's program. What makes this one so bad is that Edwards did this while Elizabeth was battling her cancer. People can overlook the affair but it was the fact that he was cheating on his wife while she was fighting for her life; that makes it so much worse. His rising star in the party has not just dropped, it has completely vanished from the Democratic universe. John should just give up any hope of ever doing anything other than voting as a democrat. Thanks to the Enquirer for sticking with this story and forcing Edwards to finally admit to his wrongdoing.

    August 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  23. jimmy

    "LET HIM WHO IS WITHOUT SIN CAST THE FIRST STONE".

    August 9, 2008 12:05 pm at 12:05 pm |
  24. Remy

    Is CNN sinking to the level of National Enquirer?

    August 9, 2008 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  25. Pat

    I enjoyed the story segment last night Wolf. And I too have to wonder why John Edwards would meet with Rielle at at Hotel miles away in the wee hours of the morning? And what about the picture of him with the baby? What is that about? I don't feel it is really my business to know but, you brought it up and now I'm curious! :-)

    August 9, 2008 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
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