- The Washington Times - Sunday, September 20, 2009

CHAPEL HILL, N.C. (AP) | A man who once claimed to have fathered the child of John Edwards’ mistress says in a book proposal that the former presidential candidate is the real father and that Mr. Edwards worked with his campaign finance chairman to hide that secret, according to a newspaper report published online Saturday.

The New York Times said the book proposal by former Edwards aide Andrew Young states he helped facilitate the affair between Mr. Edwards and Rielle Hunter. According to the newspaper, Mr. Young wrote that Mr. Edwards once told Miss Hunter they would wed after Mr. Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, who has cancer, died.

Mr. Edwards told Miss Hunter that the ceremony would be held on a rooftop in New York and the Dave Matthews Band would make an appearance, the newspaper said, citing its examination of the book proposal.

St. Martin’s Press has said Mr. Young signed a book deal with the publisher in June and it involved a strict confidentiality agreement. A spokesman for the publisher did not immediately return a phone message and e-mail seeking comment Saturday.

Mr. Edwards has said the affair with Miss Hunter ended in 2006. That year, Mr. Edwards’ political action committee paid Miss Hunter’s video production firm $100,000 for work on his 2008 presidential campaign. Then the committee paid her another $14,086 on April 1, 2007. The Edwards camp has said the latter payment from the PAC was exchanged for 100 hours of unused videotape Miss Hunter shot.

The same day, the Edwards presidential campaign had injected $14,034.61 into the PAC for a “furniture purchase,” according to federal election records.

Mr. Edwards, a Democratic senator from North Carolina from 1999 until his vice presidential bid in 2004, acknowledged in May that federal investigators are looking into how he used campaign funds. Grand jury proceedings are secret, and the U.S. attorney’s office in Raleigh has declined to confirm or deny an investigation.

Mr. Edwards adamantly denied during an interview with ABC News last summer that he had fathered a child with Miss Hunter, and he welcomed a paternity test. Mrs. Edwards has said she doesn’t know if her husband is the father.

Mr. Young said in 2007 he was the child’s father. Miss Hunter said around the same time that Mr. Young was the father, and the birth certificate does not list a father’s name.

Michael Critchley, Miss Hunter’s attorney, declined to comment Saturday. A lawyer for Mr. Young did not immediately return messages left at his office Saturday.

Joyce Fitzpatrick, a spokeswoman for Mr. Edwards, and his attorney, Wade Smith, said that Mr. Edwards would not comment Saturday. Mr. Smith has said Mr. Edwards may make a statement at some point in the future about the paternity of Frances Quinn Hunter, who is 19 months old, but there was no timetable for that.

Mr. Young hasn’t spoken publicly since saying he was the father in 2007 and has repeatedly ignored reporter requests for interviews.

Mr. Young got his last campaign paycheck in the middle of November, a month before he and Miss Hunter publicly declared through attorneys that he was the father. Fred Baron, who was Mr. Edwards’ national finance chairman and is a wealthy Dallas-based trial attorney, said last year he quietly sent money to Miss Hunter and to Mr. Young’s family to resettle in California.

Mr. Baron, who died of complications from cancer a few months after Mr. Edwards acknowledged the affair, said he provided the money on his own, to “help two friends and former colleagues rebuild their lives when harassment by supermarket tabloids made it impossible for them to move forward on their own.”

The New York Times said the book proposal states that Mr. Edwards knew from the start that he was the father of the child and expended considerable effort trying to conceal it. The proposal says Mr. Edwards pleaded with Mr. Young to claim paternity and asked Mr. Baron to check whether a doctor would fake the results of a paternity test.

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