Opinion: A timeline of the John Edwards-Rielle Hunter affair, lies

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Nine years before John Edwardsfound himself at the center of his own sex scandal with Rielle Hunter, he spoke out about Bill Clinton‘s infidelities at the impeachment trial of the then-president:

“I think this President has shown a remarkable disrespect for his office, for the moral dimensions of leadership, for his friends, for his wife, for his precious daughter. It is breathtaking to me the level to which that disrespect has risen.”

Edwards, apparently, didn’t learn much from the Clinton debacle. And he ignored one of the biggest lessons from that mess: If you’re a politician who gets caught having an affair, don’t lie about it.


Edwards did lie about his involvement with Hunter. Several times. Here’s a handy timeline charting his denials, as well as other highlights of the scandal:

  • 2006: Edwards meets filmmaker Rielle Hunter in New York. His “One America Committee” pays her more than $100,000 to produce four videos about Edwards.
  • Dec. 28, 2006: Edwards announces his candidacy for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination.
  • Oct. 10, 2007: The National Enquirer reports that Edwards had an affair with Hunter. Edwards responds: “The story is false. It’s completely untrue, ridiculous.” Hunter also denies the allegations.
  • Dec. 19, 2007: The National Enquirer reports that Hunter is pregnant and Edwards is the father of the child. An ex-Edwards aide, Andrew Young, 41, claims he is the father of Hunter’s child.
  • Jan. 30, 2008: Edwards ends his campaign for the Democratic nomination.
  • Feb. 27, 2008: Hunter gives birth to a daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter. No father’s name is given on the birth certificate, filed in California.
  • July 22, 2008: The National Enquirer reports that it caught Edwards visiting Hunter and her daughter at the Beverly Hilton in Los Angeles.
  • July 23, 2008: At a press conference in Houston, Edwards says “the tabloid trash is full of lies.”
  • Aug. 6, 2008: National Enquirer publishes photos that it says are of Edwards with Rielle Hunter and with her baby.
  • Aug. 8, 2008: Edwards admits to having an affair with Hunter. He denies fathering her daughter or making any financial payments.

-- Kate Linthicum