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John Edwards Admits To Affair: Issues Statement

Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards is admitting to an extramarital affair but denies fathering the woman's daughter.

Edwards tells ABC News that he lied repeatedly about the affair with a 42-year-old woman but says that he didn't love her. He says he has not taken a paternity test but knows he isn't the father because of the timing of the affair and the birth.

ABC says a former Edwards campaign staffer claims he is the father, not Edwards. Edwards was a top contender for the Democratic nomination for president. He placed second in the Iowa caucuses last January but dropped out of the race a few weeks later.

Edwards, a former senator from North Carolina, was the Democratic nominee for vice president in 2004.



STATEMENT OF SENATOR JOHN EDWARDS

August 8, 2008

Chapel Hill, North Carolina

In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99% honest is no longer enough.

I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006 and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.

It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up - feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.

I have given a complete interview on this matter and having done so, will have nothing more to say.


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