Edwards’ paternity claim is challenged

Associated Press

A man who once claimed to have fathered the child of John Edwards’ mistress says in a book proposal that the former presidential candidate is the real father and that Edwards worked with his campaign finance chairman to hide it, according to a newspaper report published online Saturday.

The New York Times said the book proposal by former Edwards aide Andrew Young states that he helped facilitate the affair between Edwards and Rielle Hunter. According to the newspaper, Young wrote that Edwards once told Hunter they would wed after Edwards’ wife, who has cancer, died.

Edwards, a U.S. senator representing North Carolina from 1998 until his vice presidential bid in 2004, adamantly denied during an interview with ABC News last summer that he had fathered a child with Hunter, and he welcomed a paternity test. His wife, Elizabeth, has said she doesn’t know whether her husband is the father.

Young said in 2007 he was the child’s father. Hunter said around the same time that Young was the father; the birth certificate does not list a father’s name. Michael Critchley, Hunter’s attorney, declined to comment Saturday. A lawyer for Young did not immediately return messages Saturday.


Joyce Fitzpatrick, a spokeswoman for Edwards, and his attorney, Wade Smith, said Edwards would not comment Saturday. Smith has said Edwards may make a statement in the future about the paternity of Frances Quinn Hunter, who is 19 months old.

The New York Times said the book proposal states Edwards knew from the start that he was the father of the child and tried to conceal it. The proposal says Edwards pleaded with Young to claim paternity and asked his campaign finance chairman, Fred Baron, to check whether a doctor would fake the results of a paternity test.