Local News

Perjury allegation made against ex-Edwards aide

Posted April 14, 2010 5:43 p.m. EDT
Updated April 15, 2010 8:05 p.m. EDT

— Chatham County District Attorney Jim Woodall said Wednesday that he has been asked to investigate a possible perjury charge against Andrew Young, a former aide to two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards.

Woodall declined to say who made the request.

Young has been embroiled in a lawsuit over a videotape that purportedly shows Edwards engaged in extramarital sex and photographs of him with his daughter by former campaign worker Rielle 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's tell-all book about Edwards' affair.

Four court hearings in the case were held in February and March, and Young surrendered copies of the sex tape and CDs filled with photos to a Superior Court judge who had threatened to jail him on a contempt of court charge. The items will be kept under seal until the lawsuit is resolved.

Woodall said he doesn't know how long a review of the matter would take to determine if a perjury charge is warranted. He noted that notes and court paperwork in the case were destroyed in a March 25 fire at the Chatham County Courthouse.

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

In a statement released Thursday, attorneys for Andrew Young and his wife said their clients  are open to any investigation and confident in its outcome.

"As the individuals involved know, perjury requires that the defendant have criminal intent and that the  mistake be material to the case. Any mistakes made by our clients were simple, honest mistakes quickly corrected, which resulted not from any criminal intent, but from the lapse of years before Ms. Hunter ever made a claim to materials she left behind as trash," the letter stated.