Finally! Former senator and presidential and vice-presidential candidate John Edwards has admitted to fathering a child with mistress Rielle Hunter. After denying he ever had a love child, now Edwards tells NBC News in a statement, "I am Quinn’s father... It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me."
In 2007, the National Enquirer reported that Edwards and Hunter, who was hired as an Edwards campaign videographer, were involved in an affair, but he denied it. Then, in 2008, months after dropping out of the presidential race, he admitted to the affair with Hunter, a former NYC party girl he met at the Regency Bar in 2005, but denied fathering her daughter. (Edwards' close friend and former aide Andrew Young initially claimed he fathered the child, as a smoke screen that no one bought; Young is releasing a book about the scandal next month.)
Here is Edwards' full statement:
I am Quinn’s 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.
His attorney explains that it took years for Edwards to admit the truth publicly because "there were a lot of people involved. There are a lot of adults involved, there are a number of families involved, and there are also a lot of kids involved.” Edwards, who is reportedly separated from wife Elizabeth, who has waged a public battle with cancer, is under federal investigation to see whether campaign money was used to cover up the affair.
Hunter's former boyfriend, author Jay McInerney, previously told the Daily News that he was surprised she fell for Edwards, "She's not attracted to conventional guys - and Edwards, with his haircut and all, is a conventional guy."