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. The Lady

    May God bless you and your family. Please don't report on this all week.

    August 8, 2008 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  2. Gorbashov - Long Beach, Ca.

    Our thoughts and prayers are with the Edwards and all involved at this time?

    God Bless.

    August 8, 2008 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  3. Kim, KY

    I just don't understand why all these political wives stay with these scumbag cheaters.

    August 8, 2008 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  4. Jim Roberts

    No harm, no foul. Lets focus on the issues instead of talking about this private matter.

    August 8, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  5. Proud American

    All I have to say is "Thank God" Edwards was not the Dems nominee. We would all be big losers right now.

    August 8, 2008 08:59 pm at 8:59 pm |
  6. Wayne Hamilton

    Great statement, Elizabeth! I hope the press can understand plain English.

    August 8, 2008 09:02 pm at 9:02 pm |
  7. texas DEM

    Vice President Clinton

    August 8, 2008 09:04 pm at 9:04 pm |
  8. Salsa

    I am so disappointed in John Edwards. My heart goes out to Elizabeth. She's an amazing woman. My prayers are with you Elizabeth.

    August 8, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  9. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    One of the joys of being human is that we can correct or not repeat our mistakes. Accepting ourselves for being human is the most difficult task of any person.

    We keep believing we are perfect and that those around are as well and this leads to nothing more than more imperfection and more deception.

    Let us be honest. I appreciate people like Ms. Edwards, Senator Clinton as well as their husbands, Bill and John. They help us all to look at ourselves.

    August 8, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  10. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    When people are already in pain why hurt them more. Let leave these people alone to take care of their personal affairs and let us deal with ours.

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

    Thank God Edwards didn't win the democratic nomination – McCain would win in November and we can't let that happen.

    Personally I think this is a personal private matter that was being dealt with privately – I don't see why we have to hold politician's private lives to such scrutiny – everyone makes mistakes. I am kinda angry at Edwards for running for the nomination – if he had won and this story had leaked, he would have jeopardized everything democrats have been working for.

    Still, best of luck to the guy – he's still a great guy in my books.

    August 8, 2008 09:11 pm at 9:11 pm |
  12. sue calgary

    Let he/she who is without sin cast the first stone! Let these people alone!!

    August 8, 2008 09:13 pm at 9:13 pm |
  13. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    If we could be honest our politicians could also be. Let us not create false gods. They only fall and we hurt ourselves and them.

    August 8, 2008 09:14 pm at 9:14 pm |
  14. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    When we vote we vote for real people with their good, their bad and their ugly. They are just like us.

    August 8, 2008 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  15. Truely a Democrat

    I couldn't agree with you more Elizabeth...

    August 8, 2008 09:16 pm at 9:16 pm |
  16. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    If we look for a perfect politician we will have none.

    August 8, 2008 09:17 pm at 9:17 pm |
  17. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    Get a life and let others have theirs.

    August 8, 2008 09:18 pm at 9:18 pm |
  18. Dr. Raymond Fuentes

    Pick up a stone and cast it. There are enough stones for all of us.

    August 8, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  19. Independent

    Elizabeth Edwards you are a strong woman more ways than one...I agree it is a private matter, it was nobodies business...

    Many thoughts and prayers to your family to help you get through this...

    August 8, 2008 09:19 pm at 9:19 pm |
  20. Ridgeway

    Dump him Liz. Hillary didn't have the nerve to give up the White House. Don't make the same mistake.
    Does the baby have big, bushy hair?

    August 8, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  21. Tracie Thomason

    Just as Jesse Jackson showed in his candid comment, John Edwards has had his true character revealed. While none of us is perfect, the decision to break a marital commitment shows that nothing is sacred to him. I had hoped that Edwards was as true as he seems. I also believe that a person who truly humbles themself is worthy of forgiveness. I hope that Edwards will remove himself from the spotlight and focus his efforts on Elizabeth and his family. For him to continue on the path of public office does not show humility. I am praying not only for the Edwards family, but also all of us, who incited and supported the media frenzy that brough this private matter to our view.

    August 8, 2008 09:23 pm at 9:23 pm |
  22. California Gold

    Come on CNN. Try to be mindful of the fact there are kids in these families. Think of the kids and be considerate of privacy for them.

    August 8, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  23. Deborah McCabe

    I am soo sorry the Edwards family is subjected to the invasive press. I find it offensive how probing the media is into the personal lives of al persons in public life. Only in America do we put more emphasis on private matters than job performance. If anyone in this country is looking for perfect, too late your God does not walk among the living and to me only a deity is perfect. I want to purge with the self righteous persona of the commentators. Me personally, this is a matter meant only for the Edwards family.

    August 8, 2008 09:24 pm at 9:24 pm |
  24. Maryleigh Andrews

    This is MY country and MY vote and I deserve to choose how I will use it. When I make a purchase everything from a car, to Dr., to medicine, to vacuum, I research it thoroughly. And I am sick of being lied to by everyone who wants to sell me something, whether it's a vacuum or president.

    I do have a right to know if John Edwards or anyone else selling themselves to me, asking for my money and my vote is being honest with me. I get to spend MY money and MY vote on who I believe is the one who will represent me the best, my ideal, my sense of honor, justice, and yes, decency. I resent the MSM only allowing "us" the outsiders from knowing what they have knowledge of, as if we were too stupid to handle it. I thought so much of J. Edwards that for the first time I contributed to a campaign, and I am on a fixed income.

    He says he made a mistake, but there is a child involved and someone isn't being honest, and money is changing hands. If it weren't for the internet, we may have never known and he may have gone on to be an elected official. That's fine, but I want to know because it is my RIGHT to know how I use MY vote!

    I may have chosen to vote for him anyway. The MSM may never have given me the right to make my own choice. By the way, was my $100.00 spent to give the mistress her wonderful lifestyle, I see she is living very well.

    And for those male talking heads who repeatedly say it's only an affair and it will continue to go on, so be it, if it's so innocent come out and tell the voters.
    Thank you,
    Maryleigh Andrews San Francisco

    August 8, 2008 09:25 pm at 9:25 pm |
  25. Brian

    Elisabeth! You are truly a wonderful woman! Please keep fighting with your cancer and be well!

    August 8, 2008 09:28 pm at 9:28 pm |
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