Opinion: ABC News: John Edwards admits affair, denies paternity


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ABC News is reporting that John Edwards confirmed that he indeed had an affair with videographer Rielle Hunter, but denied that he is the father of her baby -- the subject of recent allegations in the National Enquirer that have launched a broad debate over the media’s responsibility in pursuing such stories.

In an interview with Bob Woodruff to air this evening, Edwards admits to having an affair with Hunter but says it began and ended while the cancer afflicting his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, was in remission. The disease has since flared anew.

ABC said that Edwards, who has not taken a paternity test, contended he could not be the father of Hunter’s baby because the affair ended before the child’s conception. A former aide, Andrew Young, has said that he is the father though a birth certificate apparently lists no father for the child.


It was unclear whether Edwards had been on Barack Obama‘s short list of vice presidential contenders, but his admission would seem to put a spike in that, not to mention any high-profile role at the Democratic National Convention on Aug. 25-28 in Denver.

Added to the controversy: Edwards lied about the affair when the Enquirer first raised the issue in October. As The Ticket reported then, Edwards, then actively seeking the Democratic nomination, told reporters the story was ‘false’ and ‘ridiculous.’

Video of the news can be seen here.

-- Scott Martelle