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. ML - California

    This whole fiasco with Edwards is a waste of everybody's time. If this man wants to have other relations while married, that is his business.
    He is the one that has to "pay the price". Move on media, there are other more serious matters in this country!

    August 9, 2008 10:26 pm at 10:26 pm |
  2. Forky Tongue!!!

    That Tramp already knows and so does John Edward ...Who cares about Them... I am concerned about his Family

    August 9, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  3. aaaaa

    okay wow He had a sex with someone big deal we are all humans and we do the same thing. Bush kills millions of people around the war with his oil buddies and no one is on the news or tried for war crimes!!!!!!!!!!!!! get over it cnn report something that benefits America people

    August 9, 2008 10:28 pm at 10:28 pm |
  4. JIM...TX

    Ms Hunter does not want to participate in any invasion of her privacy???? The lady was messing around with a married man and whose wife has a terminal illness which I'm sure she was aware of. Too bad if her privacy is invaded. She should have thought about that before she was playing with the rat Edwards!

    August 9, 2008 10:33 pm at 10:33 pm |
  5. Anita

    Why is it such big news about Edwards having an affair? In Washington D.C. he is not the first nor will he be the last to do such a thing. I agree that it is not the right thing to do, both morally and politically,, but in these times of such blatant immorality in our country and in the world nothing should be a shock anymore.

    August 9, 2008 10:34 pm at 10:34 pm |
  6. Richie

    I'm guessing this affair is enough to keep Edwards off the Democratic ticket. Why doesn't the fact that McCain did the same thing matter?

    August 9, 2008 10:36 pm at 10:36 pm |
  7. jim

    Didn't McCain admit to having an affair with his current wife while his ex-wife was ill?? If so, why is the media ignoring that?

    August 9, 2008 10:38 pm at 10:38 pm |
  8. jimmy


    August 9, 2008 10:43 pm at 10:43 pm |
  9. Heather

    Like what was talked about last night on The Situation Room and Larry King and AC360,a man doesn't leave his wife and kids for a trip to The Beverly Hilton to seea women he supposedly doesn't has have a relationshiop with and hold a baby that isn't his unless he IS the father.He has met with her so many times at this hotel that he established a pattern of bahavior let led to a tip to the Nat Inq.I am sure this is no way over.No matter how much all parties want it to.I'm sure Edwards paid her off.I'm sure he told about the interview.He told her what he would say.That way she had time to respond.Plus why would any mother of a child leave the fathers name blank on the birth certificate unless she knows Edwards is the father! CNN or the Nat Inq will find out where the money she was paid came from.Imagine the reaction when it turns out presidential campaign money was used,could be.Edwards needs to come clean,sorry that's 100% !

    August 9, 2008 10:44 pm at 10:44 pm |
  10. Ella

    Part of a carefully orchestrated lie by a politician!
    A one-time senator, somewhat unknown, too unknown, untrusted!
    Trying to rely on legal issues to save himself from a bigger public
    humiliation... beware!

    August 9, 2008 10:46 pm at 10:46 pm |
  11. JV Jermn

    It is unfortunate to see a talent like Edwards make a mistake. However the public does have a short memory and over time he could always bounce back. He is also a talented attorney and could go back to ambulance chasing at least for a period of time.

    August 9, 2008 10:50 pm at 10:50 pm |
  12. Independent Voter

    A lot of money finding its way to this woman and the others involved. Even if Edwards has no guts, he DOES have money. And my bet is that he has paid her to refuse the paternity test.

    And he's paid Andrew Young to claim fatherhood. Edwards will be supporting these two in the style to which they have become accustomed for the rest of his life – or at least the rest of Elizabeth's life.

    And after that as long as he believes he might get a crack at a government post, either elected or appointed.

    Here's a real life example of "The Audacity of Hope."

    He can afford it. He's got all that money that he hangs onto while telling others to help the poor.

    August 9, 2008 10:56 pm at 10:56 pm |
  13. Her Bluff Was Called

    She backed down on "demanding" a paternity test, when Edwards said "Fine – let's do it." The reason – now she knows it won't get her anything. One of the other men involved in the Edwards campaign now claims paternity, so she was apparently having sex with several of them. Maybe she's the kind of woman who uses her body in hope of shaking down someone rich and famous. None of that exonerates Edwards. But it's an example of how common it is for women to use sex to troll after rich famous men.

    August 9, 2008 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  14. Curtis Marsh

    This is always the risk when a nation turns it's elected officials into rock stars. We don't have public servants, we have celebrities. We have politicians who can write themselves personal campaign checks for millions, who are paid 200K a year. In this case Edwards needs to be investigated immediately for campaign finance violations. Where did the money come from for the hush money to his mistress. And what ever happened to feminism. In the 70's liberated women said they they would not be a doormat to a man. In today's HIllary's style feminism it appears the paycheck is more important than personal pride.

    August 9, 2008 11:01 pm at 11:01 pm |
  15. aliousalam FL

    John Mccain had several affairs while he was still married to an ill wife who had become handicaped because of an accident while he was in jail.

    After jail, Mccain chased women all over washington and settled to divorce his wife to marry cindy.

    He is still running for president and no one is finding anything wrong with such a let down.

    It goes to his character. will he ever stand for anything than his pleasure and interest?

    The media is not interested in talking about this Mccain's affairs and his lack of character in abandonning his handicaped wife.

    Is that not media bias? a lot of people in this country still don't know who Mcain is even t hough the media has been talking to him for decades.

    but we know who Obama sleeps with or dine with, how many growth dariha he had as a baby.

    August 9, 2008 11:09 pm at 11:09 pm |
  16. JB illinois

    Has she made a lot of films lately ? It takes a lot of money to raise a child alone, and move out of state. Who expects the people to believe this nonsense? We should have known, any man who politics for the poor and then gets himself a 400 dollar hair cut is not, what he says he is. Americans are the best at overlooking the so very obvious.

    August 9, 2008 11:10 pm at 11:10 pm |
  17. True Texan

    If the John Edwards issue gets pushed too much, I wonder if the fact John McCain had an extra marital affair to end his first marriage will come up.

    August 9, 2008 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  18. Ben Martin

    I wonder if you who are critical of Edwards because of his infidelity, will have the same cricism for McCain. McCain cheated on his former wife Carol, who was suffering from debilitating injuries stemming from a car accident. McCain left his wife, who was also 2 years younger than him, for a woman 17 years his junior.

    If you find Edward’s actions repulsive, you should be twice as repulsed by McCain’s.

    August 9, 2008 11:19 pm at 11:19 pm |
  19. Flagship, North Carolina


    August 9, 2008 11:31 pm at 11:31 pm |
  20. aware

    The baby is his, and she is playing the waiting game! 😦

    August 9, 2008 11:43 pm at 11:43 pm |
  21. Democrat for John McCain

    Who cares?

    August 9, 2008 11:47 pm at 11:47 pm |
  22. Heartlight 3, Maui, HI

    If she cared about him and his career at all she would be willing to have a paternity test done immediately to prove either that the baby is his or it is not. I was willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, but refusing to have a paternity test done is selfish and inconsiderate. It makes me wonder if she is deliberately trying to damage him.

    August 9, 2008 11:49 pm at 11:49 pm |
  23. Kevin,FL

    So this poor child will go fatherless,? People these days,are nuts!

    August 9, 2008 11:54 pm at 11:54 pm |
  24. GET REAL!!!!!!!!

    how convenient...

    August 9, 2008 11:55 pm at 11:55 pm |
  25. American

    Who cares.

    August 9, 2008 11:58 pm at 11:58 pm |
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