Wife Of John Edwards' Accuser Says Sleeping Pills Affected Spouse's Memory

The wife of the chief accuser in former Sen. John Edwards' campaign finance trial acknowledged under oath Tuesday that she told the FBI her husband used sleeping pills that made him "loopy" and interfered with his memory.

But Cheri Young, the wife of former top Edwards aide Andrew Young, fought off attempts by Edwards' lawyers to cast doubt on the couple's recollection of events, denying that his use of prescription sleeping pills or her migraine headaches hampered their memories. She also denied telling the FBI that her husband drank too much.

But when asked about Andrew Young's long-term use of prescription sleeping pills, she acknowledged that she had told the FBI that "Ambien makes him loopy" and that "he sometimes can't remember things that occurred the previous day."

Edwards is charged with six felony counts of accepting about $1 million in illegal and unreported campaign donations from two wealthy supporters that was used to support Edwards' mistress, Rielle Hunter, and the Youngs during his 2008 presidential campaign.

Edwards' attorneys repeatedly tried to suggest that the Youngs had ulterior motives, getting Cheri Young to admit that she and her husband kept much of the money intended to cover up the affair.

But Young insisted that that was only fair, saying Edwards could have resolved any issues by choosing to "come forward and tell the truth."

"Her reason, in essence, is there was no amount of money that could have made up for what John Edwards put her and her family through," said Hampton Dellinger, a legal analyst for NBC News and msnbc.com.

After the testimony last week of her husband, which many legal analysts described as shaky, "Cheri Young was able to take ... the focus off of her husband, put it back on the defendant, John Edwards, and that's just what the government needed," Dellinger said.


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