Former Aide Testifies On Day 2 Of John Edwards Trial
Andrew Young, who at one point claimed paternity of the child Edwards fathered during an extramarital affair, took the stand on Day 2 of the trial in which Edwards faces charges of using illegal campaign contributions to cover up said affair with videographer Rielle Hunter. ABC News reported Young told the court Edwards had tried several times to scrounge up the money from other sources.
In the spring and early summer of 2007, Edwards told Young to "approach [Bunny] Mellon and ask for a noncampaign expense, something that would benefit him," Young said today.
Edwards suggested Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, a wealthy philanthropist, because she had offered to pay for Edwards' notorious $400 haircuts when they became a campaign issue.
Young also testified about the complex system they allegedly devised in order to keep the money trail away from the campaign.
Mellon made the personal checks out to her interior decorator, who would co-sign checks with Young's wife in the wife's maiden name, he said. Young said his wife would then deposit the checks into their own account.
"She thought it was crazy and was scared to death," Young said today about his wife's initial reaction. Eventually she relented, he said, as Edwards insisted that it was not illegal and that no one was going to get in trouble.
Those first checks totaled $35,000 between the two of them.
Young also offered some more intimate details to the behind-the-scenes scandal.
Edwards' former aide also described how people around the campaign and Edwards' wife began to notice that the candidate was having an affair.
Young said that he and Edwards were having drinks with the former senator's then-law partner David Kirby and Hunter.
Young testified that Kirby had asked him "What the f--k is going on?" after seeing Hunter and Edwards cuddling.
"He's your friend," Young said he told Kirby at the time. "You know him better than I do."
Young also talked about the moment when Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, realized something was going on. John Edwards was asleep and Hunter called his cell phone. Elizabeth Edwards picked up and didn't say anything as Hunter started talking because she thought it was her lover who had picked up.
After Elizabeth Edwards hung up without speaking, she woke up her husband and told him to fire Hunter.
John Edwards fired Hunter the next morning, but the relationship continued. Elizabeth Edwards, who was battling cancer at the time, switched cell phones with her husband. But to get around this, Andrew Young would call to talk to John Edwards and then would three-way call Hunter so they could speak to one another without Elizabeth Edwards finding out.
Edwards' character has already been dragged through the mud plenty since rumors of the affair first arose in 2007. He now faces up to 30 years in prison if convicted of the six charges brought against him.