John Edwards Admits Paternity of Former Mistress' Baby

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Former senator and presidential hopeful John Edwards admitted his paternity of the baby of former mistress Rielle Hunter, in a statement on Thursday. A spokeperson for Edwards, Harrison Hickman, appeared on the "Today Show" to discuss the statement.

NBC News also reported that John Edwards, 56, has separated from his wife, Elizabeth, 60. Elizabeth Edwards is still undergoing cancer treatment. They have been married since 1977, and have had four children, Wade (1979-1996), Cate (born 1982), Emma Claire (born 1998), and Jack (born 2000).

John Edwards, besides being a former presidential candidate, also served as the vice presidential nominee for the Democratic Party in 2004. The statement issued to NBC News on Thursday said:

“I am Quinn’s [Frances Quinn Hunter] father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.

It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. I have been providing financial support for Quinn and have reached an agreement with her mother to continue providing support in the future.

To all those I have disappointed and hurt these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry.”

It is unclear what, if any, relationship John Edwards will have with Rielle Hunter in the future, aside from a parental one. The acknowledgement by John Edwards of paternity of Frances Quinn Hunter, who is a two-year-old, comes about a week before an ABC News interview with Andrew Young, who has written a soon-to-be-released tell-all about the affair.

John Edwards had earlier, in August 2008, admitted an affair with Rielle Hunter. He claimed that it ended in 2006. That year, Edwards' political action committee (PAC) paid Hunter's video production firm $100,000 for work, with another $14,086 on April 1, 2007.

Frances Quinn Hunter was born on February 27, 2008. This would sugggest she was conceived in mid-2007, long after the affair ended, according to John Edwards.

A federal grand jury last year began investigating whether John Edwards broke campaign finance law by paying cover-up money to Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young. Hickman said that it is because of the continuing investigation that Edwards is not speaking about the matter personally.

Previously, reports have claimed that a secret DNA test proved John Edwards' paternity of Rielle Edwards' child.

Written by Michael Santo

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