A North Carolina judge has ordered former presidential candidate John Edwards to answer a series of questions that he dodged in a deposition for the privacy lawsuit filed by his mistress Rielle Hunter against his former campaign aide, Andrew Young.
Superior Court Judge Carl Fox said Friday that he'll oversee the resumption of Edwards' closed-door deposition and immediately rule what's fair or foul.
After a hearing Friday, Fox delayed a decision on whether all or parts of Edwards' deposition would be made public until the former North Carolina senator faces the additional questioning June 20.
"I'm a firm believer and have been for the entirety of my career of providing the press access, and the people access, to the courtroom. I recognize there are times when access may be limited for certain types of proceedings and certain types of testimony under specific conditions," Fox said after initially indicating he thought Edwards should face questions in public. "But generally speaking, to avoid suspicion and questions about the integrity of the court, it's important that they be open."
Edwards is the star witness in Hunter's lawsuit that contends Young improperly took from her sensitive materials, including a reputed sex tape showing Edwards. She wants the items returned to her.
Young said Hunter left them behind after leaving a hideout they shared while covering up Edwards' affair during the 2008 presidential campaign.
The judge ordered unsealed a pair of documents showing Edwards' attorney asked Fox to block further questioning by Young's lawyers that "unreasonably annoy, embarrass, or oppress" the former senator.
Fox said he would decide after Edwards' deposition whether to make public other filings in the case.
Media outlets including The Associated Press had asked Fox to open the case to more public scrutiny, including some details of Edwards' deposition. A judge had ordered all involved in the lawsuit to keep Edwards' testimony private.
The media outlets were not seeking access to the videotape.
Hunter and Young had been able to fight their court battle in privacy far greater than allowed the average person, said Nathan Siegel, an attorney for the media outlets.
"Motion after motion has been filed under seal. We think it's time to step back," Siegel said. "This isn't just an ordinary privacy case."
The Associated Press contributed to this report.