Andrew Young said Wednesday that Elizabeth Edwards has threatened an "alienation of affection" lawsuit. Young said he had anticipated that the Edwards family would come after him following his book about the candidate's affair.
An alienation of affection lawsuit allows a person to sue a third party for contributing to the breakup of a marriage. Jilted spouses typically seek money from their partner's lover.
North Carolina is one of only about a half-dozen states that still have such a law.
A spokeswoman and an attorney for Elizabeth Edwards declined to comment.
Earlier Wednesday, a video cassette purportedly showing Edwards and his former mistress in a sexual encounter.
Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones took possession of the tape Wednesday, a week after ordering that Young hand it over.
Before Wednesday's hearing, the tape was kept in a safe in a sheriff's office, marked "special," The (Raleigh, N.C.) News & Observer reported.
The tape and the way in which it would be delivered to the court had been the subject of legal hearings for several days. The North Carolina Court of Appeals on Tuesday temporarily stopped security rules that a judge wanted during the retrieval of the sex tape.
Young, who hasabout Edwards and his affair, has said that the video depicts Edwards in a sexual encounter with a woman that appears to be his former mistress, Rielle Hunter. She has sued him for invasion of privacy and of what she deemed a private and personal video.