Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate

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ABC News

Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate

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Rhonda Schwartz and Brian Ross

John Edwards repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about an extramarital affair with a novice filmmaker, the former Senator admitted to ABC News today.0808 13

In an interview for broadcast tonight on Nightline, Edwards told ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff he did have an affair with 44-year old Rielle Hunter, but said that he did not love her.

Edwards also denied he was the father of Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, although the one-time Democratic Presidential candidate said he has not taken a paternity test.

Edwards said he knew he was not the father based on timing of the baby's birth on February 27, 2008. He said his affair ended too soon for him to have been the father.

A former campaign aide, Andrew Young, has said he was the father of the child.

According to friends of Hunter, Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006. His political action committee later paid her $114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience.

Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa.

Edwards said his wife, Elizabeth, and others in his family became aware of the affair in 2006.

Edwards made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife's cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards has since been diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.

When the National Enquirer first reported the alleged Edwards-Hunter affair last October 11, Edwards, his campaign staff and Hunter vociferously denounced the report.

"The story is false, it's completely untrue, it's ridiculous," Edwards told reporters then.

He repeated his denials just two weeks ago.

Edwards today admitted the National Enquirer was correct when it reported he had visited Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton last month.

The former Senator said his wife had not known about the meeting.

Since becoming pregnant, Hunter has lived under assumed names in a series of expensive homes in North Carolina and, more recently, in Santa Barbara, California.

Edwards denied paying any money to Hunter to keep her from going public but said it was possible some of his friends or supporters may have made payments without telling him.

He said he would ask questions about any possible arrangement.

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