August 9th, 2008
09:02 PM ET
12 years ago

Ex-Edwards mistress says no to paternity test

(CNN) - The woman who had an extramarital affair with former presidential candidate John Edwards won't seek a paternity test to prove whether he's the father of her 5-month-old child, her lawyer said Saturday.

In a statement he provided to the Washington Post, attorney Robert Gordon said Rielle Hunter is a private citizen and that she will not comment further on the media frenzy sparked Friday when Edwards publicly acknowledged the affair.

"She wishes to maintain her privacy" and the privacy of her child, Gordon said in the statement. "Furthermore, Rielle will not participate in DNA testing or any other invasion of her ... privacy now or in the future."

Gordon confirmed to CNN that he provided a statement to the Post. He said Saturday he would not immediately be releasing the statement to anyone else and will not be doing interviews about it.

After months of denying the affair, Edwards admitted making "a serious error in judgment" in 2006 when he had an affair with Hunter, a filmmaker who worked making videos for his presidential campaign.

He said her child is not his, as had been claimed in tabloid reports, saying the timing of the affair would make that impossible. A former Edwards campaign aide, Andrew Young, has publicly said the child is his.

Edwards said he was willing to take a paternity test to clear up the question.

"Happy to take a paternity test ... would love to see it happen," he said in an interview with ABC News.

Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, was the Democratic vice-presidential nominee in 2004. He made an unsuccessful bid for his party's nomination in this year's election and had been considered a possible VP choice for presumptive nominee Sen. Barack Obama - or a contender for attorney general or another top government post if Obama wins in November.

Filed under: John Edwards
soundoff (66 Responses)
  1. Vig

    There's more to this story....

    August 9, 2008 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  2. Michigan for Obama

    ...was this their plan to protect him? I still don't understand why he was with her within the last month...stupid man...not sure I believe him that is was over in 06...thoughts and prayers for the Edwards family.

    August 9, 2008 09:08 pm at 9:08 pm |
  3. Alan Boyer

    Unless CNN is willing to ask John McCain if he had an affair with his current wife against his first wife...this isn't news.

    August 9, 2008 09:10 pm at 9:10 pm |
  4. Helen


    August 9, 2008 09:12 pm at 9:12 pm |
  5. Lili, FL


    August 9, 2008 09:20 pm at 9:20 pm |
  6. Annie

    I guess Edwards is paying her to push back the paternity tests until after the election.

    August 9, 2008 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  7. peter esquilin

    my reaction is disbelief, however John Edwards is not running for any office .that being said the matter should between the husband and the wife although that will never happen god forbid. In any case the dirty old republican party (and I do mean dirty old men) will play this out like they dont have anything to do that is important to issues,pure and simple. As a country we should forgive and we are human and we often sin and that suchmust forgive but the dirty old republicans wont forget. Its election year and the dirty old republican will do anything to achieve winning and at the expense of other peoples suffering.

    August 9, 2008 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  8. lovable liberal

    Mistress? I think the word you're looking for is 'lover'. Or 'paramour' if you want to get fancy.

    August 9, 2008 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  9. maynard hopkins wi

    MR. Edwards;;;;

    You were the one person I thought would amount to something.Was that little escapade worth your career and the hurt that yuo have caused to your family.

    It seems like everyone who is in politics, has extramarital affairs.
    You did it to yourself. and using the cancer that your wife had or has is no excuse.

    You are now all washed up on the political scene. I thought you were better that the other people who do this sort of thing.
    Its politics as usual

    August 9, 2008 09:46 pm at 9:46 pm |
  10. Terry

    Do I smell cover up? Of course this is none of our business in regards to the personal lives involved. Knowing how the real word works and have had many dealings with lawyers related to my business that there just might be an exchange of money to make this go a way from the news media.

    August 9, 2008 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. Loving Obama

    I am truly sorry for the Edwards family and I hope John's career survives this. However, I am glad he dropped out and decided not be be Obama's running. John made a mistake, but I hope he will be fine.

    August 9, 2008 10:03 pm at 10:03 pm |
  12. Jeanine G

    suspicious, sounds like she is looking forward to keeping her stock up for longer then 15 minutes. gotta cash in....string it the test. Ahhhhhhh...the suspense makes her richer.

    August 9, 2008 10:04 pm at 10:04 pm |
  13. Mark, B'ham., Al.

    Being a Liberal Democrat, Edwards lack of character and integrity does not disqualify him from being selected to a democratic party administration as a cabinet member. If the democratic party made integrity and character a sacred criteria ,it would be as hard for them to fill positions as it would be to make experimenting with drugs was used as a disqualify criteria. They are the party of you are not responsible for your actions and the government will be your nanny!

    August 9, 2008 10:10 pm at 10:10 pm |
  14. 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 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  15. faithsem

    Hmmm lets see....he's found in the hotel with her for 5 hours...then 2 wks later he comes out and says the child is not his and that the affair ended in 2006...he is willing to do the paternity(sp) test...she wants no part of it says her they say down souh...this baby don't cry right! My heart goes out to John Edwards wife, who is dx with the uncurable cancer and the children....

    August 9, 2008 10:11 pm at 10:11 pm |
  16. Don Murphy

    American's take this stuff too seriously. It has nothing to do with how good of a public servant the man has been or how good he could be. Public servants and private citizens alike have done this sort of thing since before recorded history. In the days before the religious right, the press had enough brains to ignore this kind of nonsense and so did the American public. It's time to let people do what we pay them for instead of expecting them all to be saints. We all know how "saintly" the loudest voices of the religious right are. Just read the papers or listen to the news. Let he who is without sin, cast the first stone. What, nobody wants to pick up a rock now?

    August 9, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  17. Timber (ex dem)

    LOL, this guy supports Obama! What an endorsement!

    August 9, 2008 10:13 pm at 10:13 pm |
  18. Sheri

    I dare not touch that except to say, I hope it's not true.

    August 9, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  19. Voter from California

    This sounds rather suspicious. It seems like they all have an agreement to keep this a secret. Edwards could be the father, even if he denies it: he has lied once already, why not lie again about the baby? Hopefully, Edwards will not campaign for Obama, or the democrats can say good-bye to the White House already. I do not necessarily judge Edwards on his affair – that is his personal life, but I do judge him on the fact that he lied repeatedly when confronted publicly about it, and that he goes around talking about moral values when he clearly has none (cheating on your wife when when she is in remission from cancer is awful, so why talk about moral values to the rest of the nation?)

    August 9, 2008 10:14 pm at 10:14 pm |
  20. Anna C

    GOOD. now maybe this highly personal tragedy that is replayed over and over and over again will be off my TV screen soon.

    Fox's panel interview with an executive from the National Enquirer was so enlightening. Fair and Balanced.

    Good thing adultery is no longer a criminal offense (of course, I refer to a time VERY LONG ago). The way these news channels play out missing persons/murder cases...there is clearly no guarantee of a fair trial before one's peers anymore.

    Edwards would be stoned before he had a chance to vote for his endorsee in November.

    John is repentent. Elizabeth/family/friends are gracious.
    Let's move on.

    August 9, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  21. Anonymous

    Elizabeth Edwards and John Edwards have started to work through, that should be enough. Like Elizabeth said it is a private matter as she would like to keep it that way and we should respect her wishes.

    August 9, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  22. Anonymous

    Elizabeth Edwards and John Edwards have started to work through this, that should be enough. Like Elizabeth said it is a private matter as she would like to keep it that way and we should respect her wishes.

    August 9, 2008 10:16 pm at 10:16 pm |
  23. Aundre

    If course she won't let a paternity test happen. She has him exactly where she wants him. Paying hush money, she knows he's not the father, but she has the upper hand doesn't she!

    August 9, 2008 10:20 pm at 10:20 pm |
  24. Cath

    While this is a real shame and my prayers go out to his family, really how different is this than McCain and his affairs (ending with his affair with Cindy!!!)...McCain's first wife was in a horrific car accident and then she was dumped...what about his first kids!!!!! What about the fact that McCain is paying for all of the medical bills for his first wife (guilt, I guess!), how come the press doesn't seem to be delving into this aspect of the presumptive nominees life, but they are all a twitter over Edwards, who is no longer running??? Where is the equality in reporting we always hear about??? How come Cafferty hasn't picked up on this, he is usually the best at scoping out the truth!!!

    August 9, 2008 10:23 pm at 10:23 pm |
  25. Ivan, Chicago, Illinois

    Didn't Edwards jump all over President Clinton?
    The number of politicians are too numurous to list here that attacked
    President Clinton while they had or were doing the same.

    August 9, 2008 10:24 pm at 10:24 pm |
1 2 3