Aide: I Tried to Save Edwards' Marriage

North Carolina is one of several states where a scorned spouse may sue a mistress for alienation of affection - contributing to the demise of the marriage. But in a twist, Elizabeth Edwards is suing a long-time aide of her husband for revealing in his tell-all book the existence of a sex tape featuring John Edwards and Rielle Hunter.

When asked this morning on CBS' "The Early Show" whether he believed Elizabeth Edwards may have a valid argument for her lawsuit, Andrew Young, author of the tell-all book "The Politician," said his actions were actually designed to protect Elizabeth and save the Edwardses' marriage.

"From what I've been told, I think I ought to have a more valid argument [in court], that I was trying to preserve the marriage and protect the marriage and their reputation - that's my understanding of it," Young said.

"How were you trying to preserve and protect the marriage if you have outed all the details about the affair in this book?" asked anchor Maggie Rodriguez?

"Well, I think she's going back to the original activities of what we did," Young said.

"With the book, I've had no choice but to tell the whole truth, because we waited for two years for John Edwards to tell the truth.

In 2007 Young, a campaign staffer who had worked with Edwards for a decade, made a statement through his attorney that he was the father of Rielle's child. Young was married and had three children.

"When John Edwards asked me to do this, he had promised me that he was going to tell the truth soon. He made us feel ten days before the election started that Elizabeth was going to die any day and that he could not see Elizabeth go out like this - he didn't want her to die with this on the front page of the newspaper. And we agreed to do it, but he made us understand repeatedly - myself, my wife and Rielle - that this was going to be a very short-term thing, and that he was going to clear things up immediately."

"The Edwardses, in order to make the story seem more credible, told, made a lot of disparaging comments about me," Young added.

He said he waited two years "for the Edwardses to come clean and tell the truth" before publishing. "I was unable to get a job because of the things that they said and because of the fact that I'd worked for them for ten years.

"And as you know, my book came out just a couple weeks ago or a week ago, and within two weeks of my book coming out, the senator finally acknowledged paternity. He's bought Rielle on home. He's signed child support papers. And Rielle has filed a lawsuit seeking some of the materials that corroborate my story, and Elizabeth, when she threatened this alienation of affection lawsuit, which is a very obscure law going back more than a decade -

"She wanted the evidence, too - the sex tape, the voicemails, etc.?" Rodriguez asked.

"Yes. And it's not just stuff that it corroborates my story. It's also potentially evidence in the grand jury investigation against John Edwards."

"That sex tape is now in the hands of the court: Is there any question that it is John Edwards and his mistress on that tape?"

"You clearly can see John Edwards," Young said. "It's not clear that it's, you never see Rielle's face clearly, but it's clear that it's a pregnant woman, a blond pregnant woman. But you never see Rielle's face."

In response to recent reports that John Edwards intends to marry Hunter, Young said that in the past the couple had discussed marriage: "After they would have had a couple glasses of wine, they would talk about it very openly, yes,"

But, Young said this morning, he does not expect Edwards to actually go through with it.

"It would surprise me if it actually happens," Young said. "I've become quite cynical on the Edwards, and it seems like to me everything that he's done in the last month, month-and-a-half, from going to Haiti and El Salvador all of a sudden, I just think that everything is very planned and calculated.

"My cynical view is that this is a plan to make him seem like he was truly in love with someone and more sympathetic, and it also makes people more sympathetic towards Elizabeth. But that's just my cynical view."


For more info:
"The Politician" by Andrew Young (St. Martin's Press)
Book Excerpt
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