Local Politics

Ex-aide seeks movie deal for Edwards book

Posted April 13, 2010 10:58 a.m. EDT

— Andrew Young, the former aide to two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, hopes to turn his tell-all book about the politician's affair with a campaign staffer into a movie.

Young has enlisted the help of Hollywood super-agent Ari Emanuel to secure a deal for the film rights to "The Politician," the best-selling book that chronicles Edwards' rise and fall. Emanuel, who is the younger brother of White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, also represents the likes of actors Mark Walhberg and Larry David, director Martin Scorsese and writer Aaron Sorkin.

Young was a top aide to Edwards during the former U.S. senator's presidential campaigns in 2004 and 2008. He helped cover up the affair between Edwards and Rielle Hunter, who was hired by the campaign to produce promotional videos.

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

The cover-up included Young posing as the father of Hunter's child so the 2008 campaign wouldn't be derailed.

Edwards admitted to his affair in August 2008 – several months after he dropped out of the race for the White House – but he didn't acknowledge paternity of Hunter's daughter until January.

Young and Hunter have been embroiled in a lawsuit over a videotape that purportedly shows Edwards engaged in extramarital sex and photographs of him with his daughter by Hunter.

Hunter alleges that Young and his wife took the video she described as "very private and personal" and the photos from a house Young rented for her in Chatham County. She contends they wanted to the items to generate publicity for "The Politician."

Young maintains that Hunter abandoned the items and cannot claim that her privacy has been invaded when she poses for provocative photos and provides details of her affair with Edwards in magazine interviews.

Still, under threat of a jail sentence for contempt of court, Young surrendered copies of the sex tape and CDs filled with photos to a Superior Court judge last month. The items will be kept under seal until the lawsuit is resolved.