June 26th, 2010
10:23 AM ET
12 years ago

John Edwards's daughter: Our lives were 'savaged'

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2008/images/05/06/art.edwardseliz.gi.jpg caption="Elizabeth Edwards' daughter Cate is speaking out about the challenges her family has faced."]Elizabeth Edwards - and, for the first time, daughter Cate - are opening up about John Edwards's infidelity and the breakup of the marriage.

In PEOPLE's edition next week, Cate, 28, who lives in Washington and clerks for a federal judge, and her mother talk candidly about their relationships with John now, Elizabeth's cancer and other issues.

"There are the things she taught without words," Cate writes about her mother in a bonus essay for PEOPLE. Like, "how to continue to live your life on your own terms when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it."

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Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards • Popular Posts
soundoff (21 Responses)
  1. Frenchbuggler

    Does Elizabeth Edwards in fact HAVE CANCER? She almost looks too good to be battling the disease that she purportedly has.

    June 26, 2010 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  2. Frenchbuggler

    Nowadays politicians, preachers and other speakeazies and conartistes sometimes convince naive supporters that they have a life threatening disease to extract money and sympathy to draw votes and fill their pocketbooks. Would like to know if Mrs. Edwards is not up to this trick. Her husband sure proved to be one of the biggest chameleons that I have seen this side of the Mason Dixon LIne two years ago.

    June 26, 2010 10:32 am at 10:32 am |
  3. Nothing is too big to fail

    Sounds like Mike Gravel was right about Edwards.

    June 26, 2010 10:34 am at 10:34 am |
  4. Keith in Austin

    John Edwards is the worst of the worst and a poster boy for slimey politicians! I hope he lives the rest of his pathetic life in shame!

    June 26, 2010 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  5. Jeremy Babers

    I don't know what such a situation feels like, but I certainly can sympathize with the sentiments expressed. I hope that the Edwards family heals and can find peace in a world that is obsessed with building people up to revel in their destruction. No soul on this earth is perfect. John Edwards is not exempt from that rule. Thus, the respectable thing that all Americans can do is to leave the Edwards family to themselves; let them deal with their personal struggles in the private and intimate settings of their own walls. Insofar as they open up about the situation, I can only hope they find it cathartic.

    June 26, 2010 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
  6. Sue

    Although I feel sorry for Elizabeth and their daughter-–there is speculation that Elizabeth knew about the affair, but wanted her husband to continue with the presidential campaign anyways.

    If this is true, then she brought a lot of the aftermath onto herself and her family when the affair was exposed.

    Did she think that it would never be exposed?

    June 26, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  7. Axl Anderson

    Wake up out of your dreamland, baby Cate! Are there free ponies and ice cream in your neighborhood too? Half of all marriages end in divorce, and your parents are not above that just because they're rich and famous. Neither are you above it. In fact, it predisposes you to divorce now that your parents split up. And don't try to blame the whole thing on your dad either; there was a woman involved (but women are quick to forget that).

    June 26, 2010 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  8. Discernment


    . . . She knew of her husband affair yet she said nothing as John Edwards recklessly placed the Democratic Party in jeopardy of a 'Presidential Campaign Catastrophe'.

    If John Edwards had won the Democratic nomination for President and if the news of this affair had come out during the run up to November 2008; than 'Erratic Maverick' John McCain and his stupid sidekick Sarah 'Airhead' Palin may have won the leadership post and they would have finished off the U.S.A for good.

    Thankfully Edwards lost.

    June 26, 2010 11:52 am at 11:52 am |
  9. Chrissy, TX

    Yea, by your father. The woman has blame also, but your father was the one who took the vows. Apparently this is not the first time your father has done something like this. While I sympathize with your mother's illness, she was aware of his infidelity while he was running for president and it did not bother her until he got exposed. Now she claims to have been "intruded" upon. I'm sorry, but on this part I don't have sympathy for her. It just shows how much alike your father and mother are when it comes to politics. No shame what so ever.

    June 26, 2010 12:06 pm at 12:06 pm |
  10. Shirley

    Great lessons to be learned by these two model women. True, they are not perfect, but the person they held in great esteem was so imperfect. They are such role models. What a hectic time. I cannot even imagine what they must have and are going through. I can learn a lot form them.

    June 26, 2010 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  11. Norma Jarvis

    It sickens me that John Edwards turned out to be somebody we really didn't know. I would have voted for him. I wrote to him when he was a senator and received a personal letter regarding my concerns as a senior citizen. Seems you never really know someone. I never thought he would cheat on hi wife and father a child. Shame on you, John.

    June 26, 2010 12:12 pm at 12:12 pm |
  12. joseph cecil smith

    no, OUR LIVES IN THE USA WERE SAVAGED BY JOHN EDWARDS. he had the nerve to lie to the nation, run for the top office, carrying a bag of infidelity, lies, shame, and MORE LIES. He would have RUINED OUR POLITICAL PROCESS FOR YEARS. Do not ever ever think this was about edwards or his life.. the nation REQUIRES stronger men to lead it, and this weak lying man was posing and pretending to be MAN ENOUGH – but he was totally profoundly LYING TO AMERICA. that is the only reason they were savaged.. edwards was poised to really harm our nation – that is the total truth.

    June 26, 2010 12:17 pm at 12:17 pm |
  13. Hugo

    "There are the things she taught without words," Cate writes about her mother in a bonus essay for PEOPLE. Like, "how to continue to live your life on your own terms when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it.___________________

    Is she talking about Hunter Riley or is she talking about the press? I do believe her golden Democrat Daddy is the one that invited both into their lives, too bad, maybe if they send her to one of Bill Ayers proposed re-education camps she can be salvaged...

    June 26, 2010 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  14. Frenchbuggler

    A multi-cardealership owner and NASCAR sponsor based right here in Carlot, NC, a few years back convinced a crowd of IRS folks to let him off from prison time by faking that he had leukemia. Today he is as fat and decadent as ever, looking a picture of health. Ten years ago, he said he claimed he was dying and many fools believed this fake story. He owns about 30 or 40 car dealerships...he will probably stage another bout of life threatening leukemia or maybe a brain tumor soon, since most of his dealerships are presently on the rocks.

    June 26, 2010 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  15. Micky

    John Edwards needs to just go away, he’s a filthy swine!

    June 26, 2010 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  16. Former Republican, now an Independent

    As many politicians do, John Edwards messed things up for his family and the nation by his poor judgement. The sad thing is, he remains the smartest and most qualified person to change the country for the better. That chance is now lost for everyone.

    June 26, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  17. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    I feel sorry for this family but her father could have stepped down from day one but he made the choice to continue to lie and according to Elizabeth she also knew and stood by his side.

    June 26, 2010 12:51 pm at 12:51 pm |
  18. Ann, Sykesville, MD

    Elizabeth looks like hell and her character is vicious. I don't think she loved Edwards it must have been the glamor life she bought into and her meal ticket flew away when he took a look at her controlling, mean face.

    June 26, 2010 01:05 pm at 1:05 pm |
  19. Ed4030

    "...when it somehow becomes savaged by people you never invited into it." Elizabeth clearly has not understood that John shares most of the blame in this story. It's a sad thing to accept but Rielle Hunter does not owe Elizabeth Edwards anything. It is John Edwards who owed her something because they were married. It is a sad fact to accept but the world isn't full of people who automatically want to do the right thing. Also, bringing her daughter Cate into this, in my opinion, is just Elizabeth Edwards going on a PR campaign to rev-up her image. She sounded nasty in her interview to Oprah, her husband now looks like a moron in the political world and that's where they are. When I see a pic of Elizabeth and John holding Rielle's baby, showing that it is not this innoncent child's fault that she was born to two irresponsible adults, then I might want to hear about her "savaged" lives. Until then, we were slowly forgetting about this mess and don't want to be reminded of it.

    June 26, 2010 01:07 pm at 1:07 pm |
  20. Ann, Sykesville, MD

    She ought to embrace the beautiful half sister to her children. If she loved Edwards and her own, that's what she would do. Also, why blame the other woman? It is Edwards she has a relationship with and she should relate to. Spoiled brat, she is. Grow up!

    June 26, 2010 01:08 pm at 1:08 pm |
  21. Jamey Columbus

    Elizabeth Edwards knew about Johns infidelity, and took a blind eye to it to build up her own stature. But once it became public whats a women to do but take advantage of a situation.

    June 26, 2010 01:09 pm at 1:09 pm |