- The Washington Times - Friday, January 22, 2010

RALEIGH, N.C. | Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards finally admitted Thursday he fathered a child during an affair before his second White House bid, dropping long-standing denials just ahead of a book by a former campaign aide who initially took the fall.

Mr. Edwards released a statement admitting paternity of the girl, Frances Quinn Hunter, who was born in 2008 to videographer Rielle Hunter as the result of an affair to which Mr. Edwards already has confessed.

“It was wrong for me to ever deny she was my daughter,” said Mr. Edwards, adding he was providing financial support for the child and mother. “I am Quinn’s father.”

Elizabeth Edwards, who has been battling an incurable return of cancer since 2007, said in an interview with the Associated Press that “the whole family is relieved.” She declined to discuss the couple’s marital status and said she didn’t know where things will go from here.

“If somebody has a crystal ball, they can let me know,” she said when asked what was next for her and her husband.

The admission comes ahead of the Feb. 2 release of a book by former Edwards aide Andrew Young that is expected to describe how Mr. Edwards worked to hide his paternity with Mr. Young’s help.

Mr. Young initially claimed he was the child’s father shortly before the 2008 presidential primary contests began. Word that Mr. Young was naming Mr. Edwards as the father first came when details of his book proposal were reported by the New York Times in September. Mr. Edwards’ lawyer at the time declined to comment.

The child was born Feb. 27, 2008, indicating that she was conceived in the middle of 2007, several months after Miss Hunter stopped working for Mr. Edwards. The Edwardses renewed their wedding vows in July of 2007 to celebrate their 30th wedding anniversary.

Miss Hunter’s lawyer, Michael Critchley, said the admission is “good for everyone.”

Mr. Critchley said Mr. Edwards’ statement amounted to a public acknowledgment of something that was known privately. He said Miss Hunter did not have an immediate comment. It is not clear where she and the child are living.

Mrs. Edwards said her cancer got worse for a period but has recently been improving, with some signs of tumors shrinking. She said she’s now on an “upward path” and hopes that her husband’s admission will now end news stories about the family’s matters.

“My marriage shouldn’t be on anybody’s radar screen except mine,” she said.

Since admitting the affair in August 2008, Mr. Edwards has largely gone into seclusion. He has acknowledged a federal investigation into his campaign finances while both Mr. Young and Miss Hunter - with her child - have made appearances at a federal courthouse in Raleigh.

In his statement, Mr. Edwards said, “I will do everything in my power to provide her [the child] with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.”

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