State News

Contempt hearing postponed in Edwards sex tape case

Posted October 31, 2011

— A Superior Court judge on Monday postponed a contempt of court hearing in a civil suit over ownership of a videotape purported to show two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards having sex with his former mistress, Rielle Hunter.

Hunter is suing former Edwards staffer Andrew Young for the return of personal property, including the purported sex tape. Hunter says Young, his wife and their lawyers violated a judge's order by sharing information with federal prosecutors pursuing criminal charges against Edwards.

The Youngs say they were merely complying with a federal court order.

Senior U.S. District Judge Louise Flanagan issued a sealed subpoena earlier this year directing the Youngs' lawyers to turn over thousands of pages of the confidential records to federal prosecutors, including transcripts of a day-long deposition given by Edwards.

A contempt hearing had been set for Nov. 7, but Judge Michael Morgan on Monday pushed the hearing back until January, noting that he needed to allow another federal judge to rule on an effort by Hunter's attorneys to get federal prosecutors to testify at the contempt hearing.

Last Friday, lawyers for the U.S. Justice Department asked U.S. District Judge Catherine Eagles to quash three subpoenas compelling the prosecutors to appear at the contempt hearing.

Attorney Philip Isley also told Morgan that he has represented Young on the contempt motion for less than two weeks and needs more time to prepare.

John Edwards outside court January critical month for legal issues surrounding Edwards

"There are enormous amounts of sealed documents related to the criminal indictment of Mr. Edwards that are involved in their civil case as well as the civil contempt proceeding," Isley said during a court hearing Monday afternoon. "We believe a continuance is absolutely necessary for us to be able to put on the best case that we possibly can, and we really feel that we're stuck between a rock and a hard place."

Morgan said he needed to set a Jan. 30 date for the contempt hearing "to make sure this case – the criminal contempt component of the case for which I have responsibility – doesn't languish."

Edwards also is scheduled to go on trial in January. The former U.S. senator from North Carolina is accused of using campaign funds to cover up his affair with Hunter during his 2008 run for the White House. He has pleaded not guilty.


This story is closed for comments.

Oldest First
View all
  • wildcat Nov 1, 2011

    Geez wral move on from edwards

    Please WRAL, keep us updated on the John Edwards headlines. Thanks.

  • jakecdavis1121 Nov 1, 2011

    Geez wral move on from edwards

  • unc70 Oct 31, 2011

    1. Hunter is not suing Edwards; he already supports for their child. She sued the Youngs in state court for return of her property.

    2. Under the Digital Milenium Copyright Act (DMCA) Hunter holds all rights to all videos and photos she made. Physical possession of any or all copies has no effect. Transfer of rights under DCMA must be in writing. Young has no rights. Copyright is a Federal court issue.

    3. Edwards argues that these were personal gifts, reported as such, and were not campaign donations as defined under the law. This position is consistent with rulings in several recent unrelated cases.

    4. The judge in Hunter's civil suit had ordered that the tape, other items, depositions, etc. be kept under strict non-disclosure. Just before Holding resigned as prosecutor, a "double secret" supeona delivered all these items to Federal prosecutors without notification of even the judge. While Fed trumps NC, the way this was done in secret makes for a really mad judge.

  • RomneyRyan2012 Oct 31, 2011

    He was afraid the rain would mess up his hair.

  • hpr641 Oct 31, 2011

    No one really cares about this anymore. His career in public office is over. He cannot affect our lives again. So why would anyone care?
    - DeathRow-IFeelYourPain-NOT


    I care because it appears he used the power of his position as a top Presidential candidate and former US Senator to secure $1M to be given to him (TAX FREE) to be used to pay off his mistress by fencing it through his campaign. I care because if a buddy paid me $1M to keep my mistress quiet, I'd have to pay taxes on the money. Did John-boy? I also care because he apparently used his campaign as a fencing operation. After those 2 points sink in, decide if you really don't care.

    As for Hunter, Young, and this tape ... well, that is something I DON'T care about ... it's a just a videotape ... of 2 self-important middle-aged people acting like fools. If either thinks there's a market for that somewhere, then good luck to 'em.

  • Ambygirl Oct 31, 2011

    wildcat I absolutely agree with you 100% on this today! John is a liar and a cheat. Without the Youngs, we would not know just how much of a liar and cheat he truly is. I hope that crazy Rielle takes John to the cleaners too!

  • Tarheelfan13 Oct 31, 2011

    If the Youngs technically did indeed comply with a federal judges order then it would be impossible for them to be in contempt. The federal judge has supremacy clause authority over the state superior court judge when they have conflicting decisions/order.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    Throw Andrew Young in jail for contempt

    Would you have stood in John Edwards place to say the baby was yours when that was not true? I dare say I would not have stood by him in that manner.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    Throw Andrew Young in jail for contempt.

    Absolutely not. Had it not been for the Youngs, we would not know what we know now.

  • wildcat Oct 31, 2011

    I sure hope Rielle Hunter don't back down. She should fight John Edwards all the way to court. She should also get child support from the "pretty boy" for the baby who deserves it.