John and Elizabeth Edwards Legally Separated

Elizabeth EdwardsJohn EdwardsHealthThe Associated PressPoliticsHaiti Earthquake (2010)

RALEIGH, N.C. -- Elizabeth Edwards has separated from herhusband, two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, after atumultuous three years in which the couple's marital troublesbecame tabloid fodder.

Andrea Purse, a friend of Elizabeth Edwards, told The AssociatedPress on Wednesday that the couple has separated.

She released a statement on behalf of the 60-year-old mother of four that said,"Elizabeth is moving on with her life and wants to put thisdifficult chapter behind her."

North Carolina law requires couples to be separated for a yearbefore divorcing.

The announcement comes as details emerge from a tell-all book bylongtime Edwards aide Andrew Young, who initially claimed that hefathered a child with John Edwards' mistress in the weeks leadingup to the crucial presidential primaries.

John Edwards publiclydeclared last week that he was the father of the child with RielleHunter, who worked as a videographer before his second presidentialcampaign in 2008.

Young's book details how Edwards went to great lengths to hidethe affair.

In excerpts from an ABC News interview, Young said thatEdwards asked him to find a doctor who might fake a paternity testand asked him to steal a diaper from the baby, now almost 2, todetermine whether it was really his.

He also claims that themarried couple sought to politicize her cancer diagnosis.

The statement released on behalf of Elizabeth Edwards said shewill not engage in a dialogue on "false charges" in the book.

"Based on the limited portions of the book that have been madeavailable, it is clear it contains many falsehoods andexaggerations," she said.

Elizabeth Edwards has an incurable form of cancer that returnedin 2007 as the couple was campaigning for the presidency.

She saidin an interview with The Associated Press last week that her healthgot worse for a period but has been recently improving.

John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and 2004Democratic vice presidential candidate, has largely stayed secludedsince first admitting the affair in August 2008.

He deniedfathering a child with Hunter at that time.

He has acknowledged afederal investigation into his campaign finances.

Edwards spent part of last week in Haiti helping with earthquakerelief efforts.

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Elizabeth EdwardsJohn EdwardsHealthThe Associated PressPoliticsHaiti Earthquake (2010)