Published May 01, 2012
John Edwards' mistress wouldn't allow the family that was hosting her to so much as "touch" her child, fathered by Edwards.
She ordered that same family to set up her utilities when she moved out.
And she kept a costly spiritual adviser in tow, once even consulting the healer about a problem she had with a Reuben sandwich.
These are among the bizarre details and claims about Rielle Hunter that emerged during testimony this week by Cheri Young, the wife of former Edwards confidante Andrew Young.
Cheri Young was cross-examined on Tuesday by Edwards' defense attorney, who at one point suggested Young was simply trying to "get" Edwards by testifying on behalf of the prosecution.
But on both days, she painted an unflattering portrait not just of Edwards but of Hunter, describing her as high-maintenance and demanding -- especially after her baby was born.
Andrew Young had agreed to publicly claim the love child as his own, but during Monday's testimony, his wife said: "We were not allowed to touch the baby. My kids were not allowed anywhere they might breathe on the baby."
Under cross-examination, Young clarified Tuesday that she believes her children "held the baby once."
Young also testified that Young gave Hunter a list of utility companies to call when she moved out of the Youngs' house to a home nearby. She said Hunter handed the list back to her and said: "Set it up."
Young described, too, how she and Andrew wrote several checks, including one for $8,000, to help Hunter pay for her spiritual adviser's services. Hunter, she said, even called in the adviser for help when she complained, at a Colorado diner, that her Reuben sandwich had the wrong sauce.
Amid the ups and downs of dealing with Hunter, Young described how the family's efforts to conceal Edwards' affair transformed their lives.
"There was no returning to normal life at this point," said Young. "Our name was not cleared."
Young described how her husband, after initially claiming paternity of the child, had trouble finding work because of intense coverage in the tabloid media.
During cross-examination, defense lawyer Alan Duncan asked Cheri Young, "Did Andrew Young's work and devotion to John Edwards, in your view, cause turmoil in your marriage from your standpoint?"
"It did, sir, but that was our agreement," Young replied, explaining that supporting her husband's job was part of her commitment to the marriage. "I made it okay."
Duncan asked Young whether the tension in her family caused her anger towards Edwards.
"Mr. Edwards wasn't a source of anger to me, sir," she said. "There were things that I absolutely had a problem with. ... There were specific things he did that bothered me, but it was more the time away from family."
Tensions flared when Duncan asked, "If you can get John Edwards, that's what you want to do, isn't it?"
Young replied, "Excuse me?"
Duncan repeated the question.
"Sir, that is a completely false statement," Young replied. "I'm here to tell the truth about my experiences, about my life."
During cross-examination, Duncan tried to establish that much of Young's testimony, especially regarding Edwards' alleged statements, was based on secondhand stories from her husband.
Young said she had been on two phone calls, in which she heard Edwards speaking directly, and a third phone call where she heard the candidate crying.
Young's testimony was cut short Monday after she complained of a migraine. On Tuesday, Duncan questioned her about her history with the condition and asked if migraines affected her memory. Young explained that her memory was affected only while the migraine episodes are occurring.
Duncan asked Young, "Have you had problems with your memory over the last five years?"
"Not that I know of," she responded, which drew a few snickers from the gallery.
When asked if her husband had memory problems, Young replied forcefully, "Sir, I'm not going to testify for my husband."
Duncan also questioned Young's previous statements that she had not co-authored her husband's tell-all book, "The Politician."
"Well, isn't your name on the royalty checks for the book?" Duncan asked.
Young replied, "I can assure you I did not write one line of the book. I can assure you I can't write."