Local Politics

Edwards' ex-mistress house-shopping on coast

Posted December 8, 2009 2:09 p.m. EST

— The former mistress of two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is looking at houses on the North Carolina coast, where Edwards and his family have a beach house.

Rielle Hunter was interested in renting a home at 1008 Windlea Run in Wilmington to be closer to the former U.S. senator, the home's owner said.

Reed Allen said Hunter looked at his home twice, accompanied by her young daughter, Frances. He said the deal fell through after a story about her possibly moving to North Carolina surfaced in the tabloids.

The New York Times reported in September that Andrew Young, a former Edwards campaign aide, wrote in a forthcoming book that Edwards fathered Hunter's child and worked with Fred Baron, his campaign finance chairman, to hide that secret. Young previously claimed to be the girl's father; the birth certificate doesn't list a father's name.

Baron, who died last year of cancer, previously admitted that he paid for Hunter and Young's family to resettle in California. He said he provided the money on his own.

A federal grand jury in Raleigh is looking into how Edwards used campaign funds. Hunter spent nine hours at the federal courthouse in August while the grand jury was meeting, but it's unclear whether she testified because grand jury proceedings are secret.

Edwards admitted in August 2008 – eight months after dropping out of the presidential race – that he had an affair with Hunter, who had been hired by his campaign to produce promotional videos. He said the affair ended in 2006, and he has denied fathering her child.

Sources have told WRAL News that they expect Edwards to publicly admit paternity of the child, most likely after the investigation into the use of his campaign funds is over.

The Wilmington house Hunter looked at is near where the television show "Dawson's Creek" was filmed.

Edwards owns a home on nearby Figure Eight Island.