Local Politics

More punches thrown in fight over Edwards sex tape

Posted February 23, 2010

— The fight over a videotape that purportedly shows two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards engaged in extramarital sex resumed Tuesday in an Orange County courtroom.

Attorneys for Rielle Hunter, a campaign staffer who had an affair and a child with Edwards, contended that former Edwards aide Andrew Young and his wife, Cheri Young, have defied a contempt of court order that they turn over all copies of the video, as well as photos of Hunter and her daughter.

Andrew Young, former John Edwards aide Ex-Edwards aide insists he no longer has tape

"They have continued to play games with the court," said Wade Barber, an attorney for Hunter. "They should be in the sheriff's custody when they leave the courtroom."

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 book, "The Politician," which chronicles Edwards' rise and fall and provides details of his affair with Hunter.

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

Hunter obtained a restraining order that bars the couple from using the videos or photos, and Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones found the Youngs in contempt for not immediately surrendering the items.

"If they don't have a malicious purpose when it comes to these items, why would they not give them back to her?" Allison van Laningham, an attorney for Hunter, said in court Tuesday.

Two weeks ago, the Youngs turned over to the court a videotape labeled "Special," four other VHS videotapes, two CDs with copies of photos and a USB drive containing photos. Jones said the items would remain sealed until the lawsuit between Hunter and the Youngs is resolved.

Robert Elliott, a new attorney for the Youngs, asked Tuesday that he be allowed to review the items turned over to the court, including the sex tape. Hunter's lawyers called that a further invasion of privacy. Jones didn't rule on the request.

The Youngs have said that they kept the items only to back up details in the book and never intended to profit from them. Still, they maintain 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.

"They have tried their best to comply with the court's orders," Elliott said. "They have done their best to cooperate."

Hunter contends in a new affidavit that the Youngs have lied about how they obtained the video and that she never abandoned it or other items now involved in the court fight. She also says in the affidavit that the Youngs have 150 photos of hers, not just eight.

"The first thing in purging contempt and respecting the law is a very simple proposition – it is tell the truth – but that's not what we got," said Alan Duncan, an attorney for Hunter.

"Of all of the people that have been involved in this sordid, sad ordeal over the last couple of years, these are good and decent people," Elliott said of the Youngs. "(Andrew Young's) only fault in this whole ordeal has been too much loyalty to a man who betrayed him."

Jones gave the Youngs until March 5 to file another affidavit, swearing to the fact that they have turned everything over in the case. Another court hearing was set for March 9 in Pittsboro.


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  • YourMom Feb 24, 2010

    This is a shame! All the courts' time and the citizens money just wasted! It shouldn't be allowed.
    Hunter - go live your life.
    Edwards - get out of NC.
    And to the Youngs - make SOME attempt at getting this out of the courts!

  • affirmativediversity Feb 24, 2010

    We can thank the TRIAL LAWYERS ASSOCIATION for John Edwards!!!!

  • affirmativediversity Feb 24, 2010

    "Seems odd that she would forget that he was married, yet remembered that the Young's had exactly 150 photos." per dsickles


  • NC is my home Feb 24, 2010

    John Edwards has disgraced North Carolina long enough! And he wasn't even born here! He only ran for the Senate to get to the Presidency.

    I think he & the whole crowd should be banished from our state forever.

  • pebbles262004 Feb 24, 2010

    IMO The youngs are as sorry as yard dirt, just like Edwards and Hunter!! Just wait until Youngs wife finds out who he is having an affair with>>>

  • Objective Scientist Feb 24, 2010

    This is beyond "Laughable"! "Rules of Thumb" for "Life". If you do not want anyone to see you having sex with someone: 1) close the blinds/curtains; 2) before "doing it", look in the closets and under the bed; 3) lock the doors; etc., etc. BUT, MOST OF ALL... DO NOT MAKE A VIDEO TAPE OF THE ACT! An additional "Rule of Thumb": if... IF you do make the video tape, in spite of everything that screams that you should NOT do it... by all means... GUARD the tape! Even if you and your lover want to "enjoy" watching a replay of the event... you SECURE the tape. You put it in a lock box or a safe... you "hide" it in a very secure, very unlikely to be discovered location. YOU DO NOT TREAT IT LIKE A TAPE OF THE FAMILY THANKSGIVING DINNER. YOU DO NOT LEAVE IT IN A HOUSE FROM WHICH YOU ARE MOVING. YOU DO NOT LEAVE IT OUT IN THE OPEN, IN PLAIN VIEW OF EVERYONE. Hunter is a gold-digging "flighty", "hair-brained" idiot. It is good John has "millions", it will take millions to keep this woman happy!

  • cwood3 Feb 24, 2010

    Why does this have to happen in North Carolina???? You know, all the bleeding hearts were embarased when Jesse Helms was in the Senate because of how he acted(I think he was a great patriot myself). Well now, all of the conservatives in North Carolina wish this drama around trashy John Edwards and company would JUST GO AWAY!!! The "Breck Boy" should be embarasing liberals as well!!! Oh-probably not!!! This is normal for Dems in North Carolina!! Clink-clink!!!!

  • BuglessDuster Feb 24, 2010

    They should just leak the tape. Once the genie is out of the bottle no one can put it back in. Then maybe all of them will go away forever.

  • Deb1003 Feb 24, 2010

    She forfeited the tape when she left the Young's home and left it there. It's the same w/ personal property, you leave a home but left a sofa or dining room table, it's obviously not important to you, so the landlord has every right to keep the property. I hoped the Youngs' made several copies, it's w/in their rights as homeowners. Let Edwards and Ms. Hunter feel the pressure of doing something SO! VERY STUPID!!!

  • drsickles Feb 24, 2010

    Seems odd that she would forget that he was married, yet remembered that the Young's had exactly 150 photos.