Scandal: Affair with a former campaign videographer
How he was outed: The National Enquirer
After months of denying the allegations, the onetime vice-presidential candidate confessed on Aug. 8, 2008, to having an affair with a 42-year-old aspiring actress turned political documentarian named Rielle Hunter, whom Edwards' staff had hired to make videos for his campaign. In a plot twist fit for a Jerry Springer episode, Edwards, whose wife Elizabeth was diagnosed in November 2004 with incurable breast cancer, vehemently denied fathering Hunter's child, as had been alleged in the Enquirer report, and offered to take a paternity test. While no public paternity test was conducted and an Edwards staffer originally claimed to be the father, Edwards eventually admitted in 2010 to having fathered Hunter's daughter. In an interview with ABC News Nightline, Edwards chalked up the affair to a "self-focus, an egotism, a narcissism" inevitably spawned by his becoming a leading national political figure (and perhaps by his receiving a nod as People magazine's Sexiest Politician in 2000). On June 3, 2011, a North Carolina grand jury indicted Edwards on six felony charges concerning the use of campaign funds to cover up the affair. If convicted on all counts, Edwards could face up to five years in prison. Elizabeth died in December 2010.
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