Local News

Suit over Edwards sex tape settled

Posted February 23, 2012 3:22 p.m. EST
Updated February 24, 2012 6:22 a.m. EST

— John Edwards' former lover settled her lawsuit Thursday against a former Edwards aide over a videotape purported to show the two-time Democratic presidential candidate engaging in extramarital sex.

Terms of the settlement between Rielle Hunter and Andrew Young and his wife include destroying the sex tape within 30 days.

"She's pleased with the outcome," attorney Alan Duncan said of Hunter.

"There were no 'winners' as such," said the Youngs' attorney, David Pishko.

Hunter sued the Youngs two years ago, seeking to recover personal items she said they took from a house she was renting in Chatham County in 2007. The items include a video she recorded with Edwards during his 2008 presidential campaign and photographs of him with their daughter.

The Youngs maintained that Hunter abandoned the items after moving out.

The video and photos have been held under court seal since shortly after the lawsuit was filed, along with transcripts of a deposition Edwards has given in the case.

Duncan said Hunter's intent has always been to get her property back, and the settlement achieves that. Aside from the video, the photos and a baby name list will be returned to Hunter.

The settlement also precludes the Youngs from using any photos of Hunter or her daughter to promote "The Politician," Andrew Young's tell-all book about the Edwards campaign and a planned movie based on the book.

Likewise, Hunter cannot sell or broadcast any photos she has of the Youngs.

The Youngs admit no liability in the case, according to the settlement, and Pishko said Hunter's attempt to block Andrew Young from testifying against Edwards in his federal trial on campaign finance violations "failed miserably."

Edwards has been charged with six felonies and misdemeanors in connection with the use of nearly $1 million from two wealthy donors to conceal his affair and child with Hunter. His trial has been delayed until at least late March as he undergoes treatment for an irregular heartbeat.

Hunter's attorneys have sought contempt of court charges against the Youngs for providing some of the confidential documents to federal agents investigating Edwards.

The Youngs said they were only complying with a secret federal subpoena.

Although the settlement doesn't prohibit the Youngs from cooperating with prosecutors in Edwards' case, it doesn't resolve the pending contempt of court proceedings.

The settlement also calls for the Youngs to make a good-faith effort to provide Hunter with a list within 20 days of material that they turned over to the government and to make a similar effort to destroy any copies of the sex tape that federal authorities might have.