“He said he loved me and that he knew that I knew he would never abandon me,” Young said.
Prosecutors allege Edwards directed Young to start giving money to Hunter in 2007 after she threatened to go to the media and expose the affair. Edwards suggested asking elderly heiress Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, who had already given generously to the campaign, Young testified.
Prosecutors showed the jury checks from Mellon written to her interior designer, who would then endorse them and send them to Andrew and his wife, Cheri. Starting in June 2007, Mellon would eventually provide checks totaling $725,000, funds that Young said Edwards and he called the “Bunny money.”
Telling Mellon the money would be used for a “non-campaign” expense, Young said she offered to provide $1.2 million over time to help. Under federal law, donors are limited to giving a maximum of $2,300 per election cycle.
On Wednesday, Young testified that while in the Washington hotel room, he overheard Edwards‘ half of a phone conversation with Mellon’s interior designer, Bryan Huffman, who was involved in funneling the money to hide Hunter.
Edwards‘ political hopes dimmed that July in 2007 when tabloid reporters photographed him at a California hotel with his mistress and baby daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, who was then 5 months old. Despite the grainy photos, Young said Edwards moved ahead with a planned overnight visit to Mellon’s Virginia estate, where he was to ask the heiress to provide another $50 million to establish an anti-poverty foundation.
“He said he could be to poverty what Al Gore was to the environment,” Young testified.
It would be another two years before Edwards acknowledged he had fathered the child. The girl, now 4, lives with her mother in Charlotte.
During cross-examination, Edwards attorney Abbe Lowell peppered the former aide with questions about subtle inconsistences between Young’s testimony and accounts of his story in grand jury testimony, media accounts and his book. One juror appeared to fall asleep during the third hour of cross-examination.
Lowell asked Young if he had once tried to be like Edwards, going to the same dentist, hiring his boss’ former homebuilder to construct his dream house. He asked whether Young had fallen in love with Edwards.
“A lot of people in the country did,” Young replied.
“Did you fall out of love with him?” Lowell asked.View Entire Story
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