May 5th, 2009
11:24 AM ET
5 years ago

Elizabeth Edwards speaks out about Rielle Hunter's baby

(CNN) – Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has long denied that he is the father of videographer Rielle Hunter's daughter - but outspoken wife Elizabeth Edwards says she isn't sure.

In an interview with talk show host Oprah Winfrey set to air Thursday, Elizabeth Edwards says doesn't "have any idea" if her husband, who has admitted having an affair with Hunter, is also the father of Hunter's child.

"The other woman has a baby," Winfrey said during the interview.

"That's what I understand," Edwards said, interrupting the media mogul.

"And there is great speculation that your husband, John Edwards, is the father of that baby," responded Winfrey.

"That's what I understand. I've seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look like my children. But, I don't have any idea," said Edwards.

In "Resilence," a new book by Edwards due out later this month, she describes her visceral, physical reaction to her husband telling her about the affair in late 2006, soon after he announced his second presidential bid.

"After I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up," Edwards writes in her forthcoming book.

Related on TIME.com: How I survived John's affair


The Edwardses recently acknowledged a pending federal investigation into payments by the former candidate's political action committee to a production company owned by Hunter.

In a statement given to several news organizations, including to CNN on Monday, John Edwards for the first time acknowledged the ongoing federal probe, but would provide no further details.

"I am confident that no funds from my campaign were used improperly," Edwards said in the statement. "However, I know that it is the role of government to ensure that this is true. We have made available to the United States both the people and the information necessary to help get the issue resolved efficiently and in a timely manner."

Elizabeth Edwards, told CNN Monday "there won't be anything that sticks on this."
A spokesman for the U.S. Attorney's Office in North Carolina refused to confirm or deny any ongoing investigation.

It is a federal crime to knowingly use money from a political action committee for personal use.

Listen: CNN Radio reports on the Edwards investigation

Updated: 11:24 a.m.

soundoff (51 Responses)
  1. Brian G, Sugar Land, TX

    Is Oprah becoming the new John King? She is much more adept at it. John King is so underwhelming, it is amazing. Any time I am in need of sleep, I just watch a bit of State of the Union and off to dream land I go.

    May 5, 2009 10:39 am at 10:39 am |
  2. Mari, Stuck in Moderation

    There is a saying my kids say.......... TMI, "too much information". If I were Elizabeth Edwards, I would keep quiet and private. As a wife and mother, I can't even imagine airing my "issues" on TV! Sadly, their children are the victims of their parents hunger for publicity.

    May 5, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  3. Kevin in Ohio

    You gotta feel bad for Elizabeth Edwards for all that's happened to her. First cancer, then the revelation that she is married to a true scumbag.

    May 5, 2009 10:42 am at 10:42 am |
  4. Anonymous

    I just don't get why people think they have to go on these talk shows and "tell all"! I wouldn't tell Oprey anything!

    May 5, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  5. Greg Pottstown, Pa.

    Where is the hate? During the elections anytime anyone mentioned McCain we were reminded that he cheated on his wife. Why is it okay for a dem to cheat but when a repub dose it, look out?

    I can't stand Oprah. She is a racist. She never got involved in politics until a black man was nominated by a major party. IMHO she would have supported Obama no mater what party, ideas or values he represented.

    May 5, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  6. TRUTH

    Oprah should stay away from politics

    May 5, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  7. Tony Amaretti

    Mrs Edwards, as hard as it may be, should divorce that deceiving,adulterous man. She should stop being his footwipe; she should stop being an enabler of men like John Edwards. When married men fool around, the wife is usually putting up with it and she should stop it.

    May 5, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  8. William, from Cali!

    "I'm not a smart man....but, I know what love is not"!

    May 5, 2009 11:03 am at 11:03 am |
  9. Thoughts

    As a former Edwards supporter who has seen the light, I don't like what Elizabeth Edwards is saying.

    Elizabeth seems to be blaming the mistress for the crimes of the husband. I hate this crap. John Edwards is a handsome, rich, and powerful man. I can excuse a woman for being attracted to that.

    I cannot excuse John Edwards. He should have known better, especially given his political ambitions and the state of his wife's health.

    Elizabeth Edwards has just fallen under her husband's spell, and she's working to rebuild his public image. Smearing John's mistress is just trashy.

    May 5, 2009 11:04 am at 11:04 am |
  10. CJ

    Maybe if she was hot and young, he wouldnt have to of had a mistress

    May 5, 2009 11:07 am at 11:07 am |
  11. Bill

    Poor Elizabeth, I feel for her. She's living a twist on John's "Two Americas" theme. Sad.

    May 5, 2009 11:11 am at 11:11 am |
  12. Carol

    I have absolutely ZERO sympathy for Elizabeth Edwards. She knew all about this. She tried to cover it up because she is as power-hungry as her husband is. What if he had been the nominee and then this story broke?

    Elizabeth's a shrewd, clever, cookie. Now she's trying to play the poor, sad, housewife whose innocent husband was tricked by a wicked woman.

    Gag me, Elizabeth. You would've gone along with all of it if you could've been First Lady. Out of the three of them, I prefer the girlfriend.

    May 5, 2009 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  13. I laugh at Limbaugh daily

    Its a shame John Edwards couldnt control the male hormones controlling him.I liked many of his ideas for the working man and the poor of this Nation.He let more than just his wife and kids down,he let millions of supporters down.A man without self control cant be counted on for critical jobs.I dont trust any of the politicians on either side,Ds or Rs today,but least of all, Republicans,they have proven themselves totally unworthy of anything for over thirty years and the Dems may be catching up fast.It looks like the Big Bank owns and controls everything.

    May 5, 2009 11:21 am at 11:21 am |
  14. just truth

    I agree with most of what has been said. if lizzy had a problem with it she should have kicked his ass to the curb. but this is politics so we have to air our dirty laundry in public just like clinton did and teddy boy kennedy and the rest of the scum that we elect.

    May 5, 2009 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  15. Nathan,

    John Edwards is a weasel. Why not just take a paternity test to determine if he is the father. Yuo see as long as there is no proof then his affair with the woman is somehoe mitagated.

    May 5, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  16. Sniffit

    The only thing Oprah and politics have in common is that there is a portion of our population who would vote for a bucket of chum if Oprah endorsed it. I may have agreed with her last time and voted for Obama, but this is soap opera, not politics.

    May 5, 2009 11:28 am at 11:28 am |
  17. cjr

    Instead of blaming her husband, Elizabeth is blaming this other women. I am so tired of desparate women who will do anything to keep their boyfriends, husband – I have lost a lot of respect for Elizabeth- but hope she does well and has a good life

    May 5, 2009 11:31 am at 11:31 am |
  18. Cooper

    It seems like Elizabeth Edwards is still in some deep denial.

    May 5, 2009 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  19. Why write about this

    I do not understand why CNN writes about this.

    I do not understand why Mrs Edwards goes on Oprah and talks about it.

    I do not understand why Mrs Edwards writes a book about it.

    I do understand why John Edwards had the affair, lied about it; had a child from the affair, and is lying about it, and funneled campaign money to his mistriss illegally, and is lying about it. John is no different than 50% of the elected officials in Washington DC – arrogant, deceitful, untrustworthy, self centered, moronic, and unfit for public office.

    MY SOLUTION TOO WASHINGTON – TERM LIMITS FOR CONGRESS – SAME AS THE OVAL OFFICE – 2 FOUR YEAR TERMS AND YOU ARE DONE.

    May 5, 2009 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  20. JB

    Maybe it was just about sex, and he didn't want to leave his wife. In Europe this happens a lot, and people don't get so bent out of shape about it.
    In any event, I agree that it's way too much information – Mrs. Edwards should keep her personal life private. Take a cue from Jackie Kennedy, and leave us out of it.

    May 5, 2009 11:41 am at 11:41 am |
  21. NOT SO FAST...

    Elizabeth is blaming the other woman here? She knew John had the affair when he was running for office so she decieved the public too. She doesn't know if it's his baby? she doesn't want to know! If a husband of mine cheated and I decided to forgive him, we need to then except that child too. it is not the child's fault.

    May 5, 2009 11:42 am at 11:42 am |
  22. carolflowery

    so, basically, barbara walters and this other woman have a lot in common, both loved having affairs with married women, sweet

    May 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  23. obama/mama

    Getting on Oprah and airing your dirty laundry will not help you feel better. Either you make peace with your husband and work it out or get to steppin....

    May 5, 2009 11:43 am at 11:43 am |
  24. Fair is Fair

    Elizabeth, I truly do feel for you and hope you are healing.

    You would fare far better if you dumped your dirtbag husband and also come to the conclusion that denial is not a river in Egypt. As far as blaming the other woman... well, last time I checked, it took 2 to to the mattress mambo.

    May 5, 2009 11:46 am at 11:46 am |
  25. Susan

    You all make me sick, saying how dare Elizabeth blame the other woman.
    What this woman was innocent...you know as well as I she was throwing herself at an obviously married man...not respecting that he had a family...yes he was weak and stupid and he shouldnt have done it...but this pathetic woman that needs to validate herself by sleeping with other people's husbands is the most to blame as far as I am concerned. I see it everyday, woman having no respect for other people's husbands and families...desperate to have a man to feel validated and think if they take someone elses husband that means that man will want to leave their wife and be with them instead and then they will feel powerful themselves because they got the man. Woman that do these things have horrible psychological problems and I don't feel sorry for them at all...same with Lewinski, Marilyn Monroe..all the others who throw themselves at men that aren't available to them so they can feel needed. All you defending her out there have either been the other woman or have no problem being the other woman.

    May 5, 2009 11:48 am at 11:48 am |
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