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

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

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="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.


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. S .Victor

    McCain should stop his old stuff experince after he voted for Iraq war,quess what ?Americans deficit now is more than eight trillion dollars.Generations yet unborn will pay for John Mccain mistake.

    August 9, 2008 12:01 am at 12:01 am |
  2. Peter E

    If you're an Obama supporter who is right now thinking up ways to twist this story into a hateful comment about Hillary or McCain then you need to take a long hard look in the mirror. And also apologize to Obama because you're despicably undermining his positive message of hope and change.

    August 9, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  3. J.C.

    Mrs. Elizabeth Edwards is a very courageous woman, and I don't think she is going to run for presidency some day.

    August 9, 2008 12:04 am at 12:04 am |
  4. Corey, Maryland

    What a strong woman. Through the death of a son, through breast cancer two times, and a marriage on the rocks, she is still going strong willing to work out her problems and keep her family going. She is an inspiration to all woman.

    Obama Richardson 2008

    August 9, 2008 12:12 am at 12:12 am |
  5. Wow

    Elizabeth has a lot of grace. I hope that women in media (aka "the view" tv show, Nancy Grace, etc..) do not condemn her or judge her for staying with her husband, or try to pressure her into what THEY think she should do. Every woman has her own path of grace to walk and I hope they respect Elizabeth's.

    As for John, I am not surprised. He is a politician afterall.

    August 9, 2008 12:15 am at 12:15 am |
  6. Paris

    I feel for you and your family, but you lied.

    God bless,

    August 9, 2008 12:16 am at 12:16 am |
  7. Doreen martin

    We are to love the sinner but hate the sin. It takes a real man to admit his mistakes. May our Savior in Heaven give Grace and forgiveness to John Edwards. Please pray for him to come to repentence.

    August 9, 2008 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  8. JM in the OC

    Wow. Grace personified.

    August 9, 2008 12:19 am at 12:19 am |
  9. Jesse

    I always thought the trial lawyer was a sleeze bag. I was right.

    August 9, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  10. Kimberly

    I agree that this is a private matter. It makes me sick how the media feels like it is their place to report this. This was a mistake that was made against his family not our country and it should stay behind close door. Elizabeth Edwards and her family have enough to go through without having a personal matter being publicized. I hate with what is going on in our country that we feel we need to go into someone's personal life and hurt an entire family. I would just like to say to the Edwards family that I am sorry that we live in a county of nosey people who cant keep their nose out of other peoples business. I would just like to say to Elizabeth Edwards to stay strong and know that there are people out here who do care about your family and hate what this had done to you. You need to worry about your illness and your family.

    August 9, 2008 12:20 am at 12:20 am |
  11. Tracy, Buffalo

    The two of them already handled this. It is only between the two of them. I will be really disappointed if I hear CNN reporters were in front of their house.

    August 9, 2008 12:25 am at 12:25 am |
  12. lets talk about se....

    i hope MSM allows them to heal through this

    August 9, 2008 12:31 am at 12:31 am |
  13. Anonymous

    I don't understand why it is any concern of the media to be publishing these sort of reports. These are two decent people who need the time and respect of people to mind their own business. It is a shame that the media acts like the National Enquirer. I don't think this will harm the Edwards but, it sure makes the media look like fools. Are there any real journalist in this country anymore? I guess they have all died and we are left with idiots.

    August 9, 2008 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  14. Chula

    My prayers go out to Elizabeth and her children.

    Looks like the wrong Edwards ran for President..........Elizabeth seems to be the strong one!

    August 9, 2008 12:42 am at 12:42 am |
  15. Winston Taylor

    If I could speak to Mrs. Edwards I would pray her, " Please continue to support your husband, because after who ever gets the promotion, who ever writes the book (s), who ever makes money due to your lives... afer all of that is done, and your lives become information stored away in the archives, after a hypocritical country, trying to soothe their own guilt by using your cancer situation, stops being sentimental... after all that, all you have left is your faith and your family. Mam if the statement you put out is a genuine one, as a Pastor I am saying to you, May the God of reconciliation engage you in the ministry of reconcilation in your own house. May His peace keep your heart as you and your family (ALONE) go through this and what has already transpired."

    August 9, 2008 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  16. Bethany

    whoa. elizabeth sometimes you gotta stop standin' by your man!

    August 9, 2008 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  17. Proud American

    Once again the sleeze reporters are at it. What happens to a husband and wife is none of our bussiness. Oh that's right your in the public eye too. How's it going with your better half, how are your kids doing, (oh one's on drugs, one's pregnet and not married, one just got a sexually transmitted desease, lets talk about it) I know it's none of our business. No one in this world is perfit except our lord and savior. This just proves that John Edwards in human. please don't beat this to a palp. Leave it alone for his wife and children. Take the higher road.
    I remember John Edwards and his family in my prayers.

    August 9, 2008 01:03 am at 1:03 am |
  18. DAF, Seattle

    Do we not learn? As a people, as a country, do we not learn?

    This matter is so intensely private. Is Mrs. Edwards' cancer not enough for her to have to deal with but now she must address this private family matter publicly? Mr. Edwards is no longer running for office, though if he were this still wouldn't be our business.
    This "reporting" was not for the public good. It is tabloid journalism and it is offensive. I hope the Edwards family finds peace and I wish them strength for what will no doubt be a humiliating and draining experience. Focus on your health, Mrs. Edwards. You are a role model to many.

    August 9, 2008 01:06 am at 1:06 am |
  19. Denis Logan

    His political life is over, now we all know what happened. From here on it is none of my business. It is a private family matter.

    August 9, 2008 01:08 am at 1:08 am |
  20. D.M.

    You appear to be a very loving and forgiving lady. I believe that most Americans have prayed for you since learning you had been diagnosed with cancer. I heard you speak well on your husband's behalf many times during his Presidential run. It is your decision to forgive your husband. However, John is in politics and he will be judged by people.

    Personally I was never happy with him as a candidate for a few reasons. I believe that a rich man such as John who places his political career above his wife who has cancer is heartless in every respect of the word. To make matters worse he has had an affair.

    Mrs. Edwards, my thoughts and prayers are with you and your children.


    August 9, 2008 01:20 am at 1:20 am |
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