Local Politics

Edwards sex tape turned over to court

Posted February 10, 2010
Updated February 16, 2010

— A former aide to two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards argued in court Wednesday that he has complied with a court order to surrender a videotape purported to show Edwards engaged in extramarital sex.

But the attorneys for Rielle Hunter, a campaign staffer who had an affair and a child with Edwards, repeatedly questioned Young's credibility and maintained that Young was in contempt of court.

"We have no insurance in our minds that they don't have other things," attorney Alan Duncan said.

Edwards sex tape Attorneys want to know if sex tape was copied

Hunter sued Andrew Young and his wife on Jan. 28, saying they had taken a video she described as "very private and personal," as well as two campaign videos she shot and eight pictures of her daughter.

She alleged that Young and his wife wanted the items to generate publicity for his new book, "The Politician," which chronicles Edwards' rise and fall and provides details of his affair with Hunter. She obtained a restraining order that prevents the couple from using the videos or photos.

A federal grand jury in Raleigh is investigating whether campaign funds were illegally used to cover up Edwards' affair.

The Youngs said last week that they kept the items only to back up details in the book and never intended to profit from them. Still, they maintained in court filings that Hunter left the items in a box in their home for more than two years, so she no longer could assert ownership over them since they were abandoned.

Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones on Friday ordered Young to turn the videos and photos over to the court, where they would be sealed until the lawsuit is resolved.

Young said Wednesday that he went to an Atlanta bank on Monday to retrieve the sex tape and other items from a safe deposit box, and he turned them over to Wayne Truax, an independent security officer Jones ordered to take custody of the items and return them to Orange County.

"I did the best I could. To the best of my recollection, I've turned over everything," Young testified.

Truax said he brought everything back to Hillsborough on Tuesday, and the items were placed in a safe in the Orange County Sheriff's Office before being turned over to Jones on Wednesday.

The items included a videotape labeled "Special," four other VHS videotapes, two CDs with copies of photos and a USB drive containing photos.

Hunter's attorneys questioned Young as to the existence of other copies of the sex tape and photos, despite objections from his attorneys.

Young said he doesn't recall e-mailing any image or video files, but he did give a copy of the sex tape to his Washington, D.C., attorney to turn over to the FBI and the grand jury. He also showed a copy of the tape to ABC News before conducting a recent interview.

He added that his house has been broken into more than once, but he doesn't believe that anyone gained access to any image or video files.

"We didn't obtain anything without (Hunter's) consent," he said. "We've given everything we have to the court."

Jones said that, before he lifts his contempt order against the Youngs, he wants to ensure all image files related to the case have been scrubbed from their computers. He also wants to hear from Young's Washington attorney, who's been snowed in for several days. The judge scheduled another hearing in the case next Wednesday.

Hunter was in Hillsborough Wednesday in case she needed to testify at the hearing, but she never appeared in court.

As he left the courthouse, Young said that Edwards' wife, Elizabeth Edwards, has threatened him with an alienation of affections lawsuit.

"When we wrote this book, we fully anticipated for some very powerful people to come after us. As you can see from today, they've done that," he said. "The reason I am fighting for this is, first of all, they have called me and my family liars, and we are going to fight to the very even to prove that that's not true."


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  • jrfergerson Feb 11, 2010

    I say to Elizabeth why sue the Young's, It was Johnny boy that could not keep his pants zipped up that you should go after. And if they had told you would you have believed them since you wanted to be in the white house just as much as Johnny boy. For your demands to drop the potential of suing the Youngs' sounds to me like a bit of blackmail. Just my opinion folks.

  • cwood3 Feb 11, 2010

    Hope all you Democrats that supported these weasels are pleased with your efforts. Such an ambulance chaser-and I guess-now-a shirt chaser. Wonder if there were others????

    And for him to admit that after Elizabeth was dead and in the grave, He'd marry Reille!! Hummmm. Wonder if she would ever trust him???? NOT!!

    And these people wanted to occupy the WHITE HOUSE!! Are they/you crazy????

  • RomneyRyan2012 Feb 11, 2010

    This should be under the "Entertainment" section. Elizabeth wants to sue him for alienation of affection because he ruined her marriage. Let's see, John was screwing Riele, got her pregnant, made tapes of it, and Mr. Young is somehow responsible? Puhleez...

  • pebbles262004 Feb 11, 2010

    As far as I'm concerned the young's are as low as dirt..He knew he was a back staper..and that is the lowest kind...I would love to know who he was running around with at the same time that Edwards was, because Ive always heard that birds of a feather fly together.....

  • sillywabbitthepatriot Feb 11, 2010

    You play you pay.

    Note to Hunter and Edwards, especially Edwards...your self-inflicted humiliation shall follow you to your grave and is forever etched within your name.

    You got what you both deserve.

  • itsmyownopinion Feb 11, 2010

    Quote from news story: "I did the best I could. To the best of my recollection, I've turned over everything," Young testified.

    Is "To the best of my recollection,..." some kind of safety net for being less than honest just in case a copy of the tape turns up at a later time? I have no respect for the Youngs.

  • wondermom24kids Feb 11, 2010

    Oh please, Elizabeth Edwardsd needs to look to herself, John and Ms. Hunter in regards to that affair and any alienation of affection case. Unless, John is secretly gay, Mr. Young has nothing to do with the breakdown of that marriage.

    I can't blame the Youngs for wanted documentation of the things they put in that book. But now it is time for all of this to end. They have all taken up more than their 15 miuntes!

  • Mommyoftwo Feb 11, 2010

    If Elizabeth Edwards files suit against Young for Alienation of Affection she better add her husband to that same suit because it's all his fault!

    But Young and Edwards are cut from the same cloth and are both SLIME! Arrogant, obnoxious and I would NOT put it past Young to have another copy or 5 somewhere.

    They make Lifetime movies look more realistic and sane!

  • Objective Scientist Feb 10, 2010

    Hmmm... how much more of this do we have to endure? The Edwards', both John and Eliz... WAY TOO MUCH AMBITION/DESIRE TO BE IN THE WHITE HOUSE! Andrew and Cheri Young... similar ambition, except they were to ride the "coattails" of the Edwards'. Side note: judging by the quality of their wardrobes and activities, it seems the Youngs have "done quite well financially", even though the deal of being "taken care of for life" by Edwards and Baron seems to have fallen through. Rielle Hunter... an absolutely disgusting "gold digger" and a complete "kook" to boot. Then there is Fred Baron... who knowingly funded this fiasco and Bunny Mellon who may have known to some degree what was going on, but was likely "taken advantage of" by John Edwards and Andrew Young. Just heard that John Edwards' "approval rate" is down to 15%, lowest ever. WHO... pray tell, is part of that 15% that approve of him???

  • HAP Feb 10, 2010

    i really don't like him, nor his wife

    I don't not like him or his wife.

    So which is it?