Local News

Civil trial over reputed Edwards sex tape delayed

Posted July 29, 2011 1:12 p.m. EDT
Updated July 29, 2011 5:25 p.m. EDT

— A judge has delayed the civil trial involving a purported sex tape featuring former presidential candidate John Edwards until 2012.

Orange County Superior Court Judge Carl Fox said Friday there is no way the civil trial could be held at the same time as a pending criminal case against Edwards.

Both were previously scheduled to start in October. Fox rescheduled the civil trial for March 26.

Edwards' former mistress Rielle Hunter is suing his former aide Andrew Young for the return of personal property including what's reputed to be a sex tape featuring Edwards.

Federal prosecutors are also pursuing charges that Edwards accepted illegal campaign contributions to hide his affair with Hunter during his unsuccessful 2008 presidential bid.

The cases are separate but feature an overlapping cast of characters.

Hunter's lawyers were upset Friday after learning that Young had turned over all his documents and depositions to federal investigators months ago.

"This is not the way the courts are supposed to operate," attorney Alan Duncan said. "I frankly find this whole process difficult to understand. I've never seen anything like it ... We received no notice and opportunity to be heard. We received no information the documents had been released. This has gone on for months."

Young's attorney, Robert "Hoppy" Elliot, said his client was simply following a federal order which forbid them from telling anyone.

"(Young) had no choice. He did not seek it out (or) collude with anybody. He was ordered to give documents to the U.S. attorney and the government, and he did so," Elliot said. "It would have been a violation of a federal court order for me or my firm or Andrew Young to provide information to the other side. We had no choice."

Fox decided that another judge will have to determine whether that was right, triggering yet another delay in the civil case that Young's attorneys claim has become a media sideshow to Edward's fight against the federal charges.