Local News

No contempt charge against ex-Edwards aide in sex tape dispute

Posted August 6, 2012

— The Orange County district attorney said Monday that he won't pursue contempt of court charges against a former aide to two-time presidential candidate John Edwards.

Superior Court Judge Michael Morgan asked District Attorney Jim Woodall in June to investigate possible contempt charges against Andrew Young, his wife and the attorneys who defended him in a civil suit brought by Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Hunter sued the Youngs two years ago, seeking to recover personal items she said they took from a house she was renting in Chatham County in 2007. The items included a purported sex video she recorded with Edwards during his 2008 presidential campaign and photographs of him with their daughter.

The two sides settled the lawsuit in February, and all copies of the sex tape were to be destroyed.

During the course of the suit, however, Hunter's attorneys alleged that the Youngs violated a state court order by turning some information over to federal prosecutors, including a deposition that Edwards made in the case.

Superior Court Judge Carl Fox had ordered that much of the evidence in the lawsuit to remain sealed.

The Youngs and their attorneys, Robert "Hoppy" Elliot and David Pishko, maintained that they were only complying with a federal subpoena in the criminal case against Edwards.

Morgan found there was probable cause that the Youngs and the two attorneys had violated a requirement in a state judge’s order calling on them to notify Hunter's attorneys within six days if anything had been released regarding the civil case.

Woodall said his investigation determined that Elliot and Pishko sought guidance from Fox when federal investigators asked for information.

"I’m very confident that the state would not have been able to prove this case, and frankly, I think this is a matter that needs to be put to rest," Woodall said. "The civil case has been settled, all the other matters to my knowledge have been settled, and I think the end needs to come to this. I don’t think there would be any state purpose served in pursing a prosecution.”

Sources have indicated that attorneys involved in the case were not to comment about it.

A federal jury acquitted Edwards in May of one charge of accepting illegal campaign contributions, and prosecutors dropped five other charges when jurors couldn't reach a verdict after nine days of deliberations.


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  • Objective Scientist Aug 7, 2012

    Perhaps the "legal" definition of "contempt of court" is such that the case for neither the Young's nor anyone else is sufficiently strong to prosecute them... but it seems that in the "court of public opinion" ALL/EVERYONE involved in the Edwards case is GUILTY of being "CONTEMPTIBLE"!

  • BlahBlahBlahBlahBlah Aug 7, 2012

    Go away

  • trekkie13 Aug 7, 2012

    A federal subpoena is always going to take precedence over the orders of a state superior court judge when they conflict. It is called the Supremacy Clause in the US Constitution. That is probably the real reason the state cannot bring charges.

  • boneymaroney13 Aug 6, 2012

    Democrats trying democrats. Did you expect any different outcome?

  • dollibug Aug 6, 2012

    Finally someone who has SENSE enough to put an end to this....IT IS ABOUT TIME...

  • ncwolf08 Aug 6, 2012

    Enough already...looking into a contempt charge was a waste of time and money. Please save this for the next Democrat the feds bring on on charges...

  • dlentz2 Aug 6, 2012

    I sure the Edwards team wants this to go away, so I'm sure they made this known. And I agree with MadMaxx. Federal trumps State and one day Edwards chickens will come home to roost.

  • eightbal1962 Aug 6, 2012

    Just let it go people. This is such a waste of time, effort and money. Give him back his stupid sex tape. You have already made a 100 copies anyway. Anybody who would want to watch it, is not worth worrying about. Yuk Yuk Yuk. So tired of all of this. A bunch of supposedly grown people acting like a bunch of dingbats.

  • superman Aug 6, 2012

    Judge Fox must have been in JE's pocket for him to seal the evidence in a civil case. Funny how lawyers always seem to be brothers and protect each other. I thought I remembered that JE requested the video not be destroyed.

  • wyoming Aug 6, 2012

    Wow, would John Edwards, the people trying to bring him down, and all these stories surrounding him just go away? I really don't care about him one way or the other anymore.