RALEIGH, N.C. – Confirming what practically everyone already suspected, John Edwards confessed Thursday he fathered the baby born to his ex-mistress – an admission that came just ahead of a bombshell book by a top aide to the former Democratic presidential candidate.
Edwards had long denied the girl, Frances Quinn Hunter, was his, even after he admitted cheating on his wife with the child’s mother, Rielle Hunter. Hunter had been hired before Edwards’ 2008 White House campaign to shoot video of him.
“I am Quinn’s father,” the 56-year-old former North Carolina senator said in a statement. “It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me.”
The confession came ahead of the Feb. 2 release of a book by former Edwards aide Andrew Young that is expected to describe how Edwards worked to hide his paternity with Young’s help. Shortly before the 2008 presidential primaries began, Young stepped forward to claim that he fathered the child who was born on Feb. 27, 2008.
The scandal may not be over: Federal prosecutors are investigating Edwards’ campaign finances, apparently with regard to Hunter, whose video production firm was paid at least $100,000 in 2006 alone.
Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, who is battling an incurable return of cancer, said the “whole family is relieved” by the admission and that she hopes it will put an end to the news stories.