Published August 11, 2008
This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," August 8, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.
GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, FOX NEWS HOST: This is a "FOX News Alert." Former senator John Edwards admits to having an affair, but denies fathering an illegitimate child. The former presidential candidate has been publicly lying about the affair for nearly a year. The senator's mistress, a woman named Rielle Hunter. Hunter spoke to "Extra" about how and why she first started working for the senator.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
RIELLE HUNTER, DOCUMENTARIAN: It was a random meeting. He was in a business meeting in New York, and I was in the same place.
I actually definitely believe I was hired because I'm not interested in politics, like most people in America. It was not interesting because, from my perspective, it was just a gross environment, a lot of operatives, and things aren't always as they seem, which is probably a positive way of saying that.
It was a documentary series of the many sides of John Edwards. And I wanted them to be not commercials, to actually show his humanity and to give the viewer access in.
I was around him a lot, so having a camera on all the time, I was able to capture that because he's very real. I traveled for six months. It was great. We went to Africa, which was an amazing experience, going to Uganda. The whole experience was life-altering for me.
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: What don't people know about John Edwards? I mean, there's -- you know, a lot of -- you can make a -- make a lot of leaps and a lot of all that. You spent a lot of time with him.
HUNTER: I have. And from my perspective, what they don't know is how smart he is and how aware he is and how fair and open. He's -- he's -- he's -- for me, what I was most in awe about is his ability not to be defensive because people say wild stuff to him day in and day out, opinions about everything. He listens to all of it. He's open. He gives -- it's an amazing thing. I don't know how many people know that about him.
One of the great things about John Edwards is that he's so open and willing to try new things and do things in new ways.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: The National Enquirer first reported the affair last year. Senator Edwards said this about the Enquirer's story.
(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: How do you feel the situation (INAUDIBLE) this administration, a potential Obama administration?
JOHN EDWARDS (D-NC), FMR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATE: I don't know what you're -- none. I don't...
UNIDENTIFIED MALE: None? Nothing? National Enquirer story.
EDWARDS: I don't talk about these tabloids and (INAUDIBLE) tabloid trash. It's full of lies. I'm here to talk about health improvement.
(END VIDEO CLIP)
VAN SUSTEREN: Senator Edwards released this written statement today:
"In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. I recognized my mistake and I told my wife that I had a liaison with another woman, and I asked for her forgiveness. Although I was honest in every painful detail with my family, I did not tell the public. When a supermarket tabloid told a version of the story, I used the fact that the story contained many falsities to deny it. But being 99 percent honest is no longer enough.
"I was and am ashamed of my conduct and choices, and I had hoped that it would never become public. With my family, I took responsibility for my actions in 2006, and today I take full responsibility publicly. But that misconduct took place for a short period in 2006. It ended then. I am and have been willing to take any test necessary to establish the fact that I am not the father of any baby, and I am truly hopeful that a test will be done so this fact can be definitively established. I only know that the apparent father has said publicly that he is the father of the baby. I also have not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.
"It is inadequate to say to the people who believed in me that I am sorry, as it is inadequate to say to the people who love me that I am sorry. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic. If you want to beat me up, feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help.
"I have given a complete interview on this matter, and having done so, will have nothing more to say."
Now, Senator Edwards's wife, Elizabeth Edwards, released this statement today.
"Our family has been through a lot, some caused by nature, some caused by human weakness, and some most recently caused by the desire for sensationalism and profit without any regard for the human consequences. None of these has been easy, but we have stood with one another through them all. Although John believes he should stand alone and take the consequences of his action now, when the door closes behind him, he has his family waiting for him.
"John made a terrible mistake in 2006. The fact that it is a mistake that many others have made before him did not make it any easier for me to hear when he told me what he had done. But he did tell me, and we began a long and painful process in 2006, a process oddly made somewhat easier with my diagnosis in March of 2007. This was our private matter, and I frankly wanted it to be private because as painful as it was, I did not want to have to play it out on a public stage, as well.
"Because of a recent string of hurtful and absurd lies in a tabloid publication, because of a picture falsely suggesting that John was spending time with a child it wrongly alleged he had fathered outside our marriage, our private matter could no longer be wholly private. The pain of the long journey since 2006 was about to be renewed.
"John has spoken in a long on-camera interview I hope you watch. Admitting one's mistakes is a hard thing for anyone to do, and I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame. The toll on our family of news helicopters over our house and reporters in our driveway is yet unknown. But now the truth is out, and the repair work that began in 2006 will continue.
"I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John's conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time."
Now, as you heard, The National Enquirer broke this story in 2007. The Enquirer also confronted Senator Edwards visiting his mistress last month at the Beverly Hilton hotel. The National Enquirer's Alan Butterfield was there and joins us live from the Hilton.
Alan, let me start first with the former senator's statement. He said that the relationship was a short one in 2006. Can you tell me what you know about what happened last month in Los Angeles?
ALAN BUTTERFIELD, NATIONAL ENQUIRER: Well, I was one of the reporters that confronted him. We had a tip that he was going to meet the mother of his love child, Rielle Hunter, at the hotel. So -- And we knew the gentleman that was going to bring him in, Robert McGovern. We have pictures of them.
I was in the parking lot, the private parking lot at the hotel, and we saw -- I observed Mr. Edwards getting out of Mr. McGovern's car approximately at 9:45 PM. We saw him walk around the side entrance of the hotel, or the side wing of the hotel, and go downstairs and take the elevator up to the room where Rielle Hunter was at with the baby.
Approximately around 2:45 AM, five hours later, Mr. Edwards exits the room, takes the elevator all the way downstairs and begins to attempt to leave the hotel when myself and another reporter started to ask him questions about his affair. Mr. Edwards ran down to the men's bathroom and held it shut while we were trying to get in to continue our interview with Mr. Edwards.
At that time, the security, who happened to be there -- they were helping another customer or guest with a lost key -- sort of broke us up and went on and talked to Mr. Edwards. And to make a long story short, 15, 20 minutes later, they shuttled him out of the hotel. He was not a registered guest of the hotel. We were. Mr. Edwards -- or another news operation spoke with the security guard who talked to Mr. Edwards, and Mr. Edwards asked the security guard, What are the reporters asking? Security guard repeated what we were asking, and then, according to the security guard, Mr. Edwards's face turned, like, ashen white. Since that time...
VAN SUSTEREN: How old is -- I'm sorry, go ahead.
BUTTERFIELD: No, you know, and since that time, he's done the denial, non-denial, tabloid trash, this, this, this. You know, he still has refused -- we asked the question, if he is not the father of the child, what was he doing at 3:00 o'clock in the morning, visiting a woman that he used to have an affair with and then another man's baby at 3:00 AM? I mean, I'm a father. You know, not many newborns are up at that time.
VAN SUSTEREN: Alan?
VAN SUSTEREN: How old is that child? When was that child born?
BUTTERFIELD: February 27.
VAN SUSTEREN: Of this year.
BUTTERFIELD: Of this year, 2008.
VAN SUSTEREN: How do you know that Rielle was in that room? What makes you certain that she was in that room, and that the child was, too?
BUTTERFIELD: We -- we know. There have been eyewitnesses, and we do know -- I mean -- you know, we do have a lot of stuff we have yet to print, and you know, that's part of that. We do know that Rielle was in that room. We saw Bob McGovern, the gentleman who shuttled Rielle in and out of the hotel. He also is the one that went to Mr. Edwards's hotel here in Los Angeles and picked Mr. Edwards up and shuttled him back to the Beverly Hilton at 9:45. I personally witnessed that happen. I personally witnessed Mr. Edwards getting out of the 1999 BMW that Mr. Mcgovern has and enter into the hotel.
VAN SUSTEREN: All right. Now, some other man has publicly said that he is the father. Do you know anything about that man?
BUTTERFIELD: Yes. His name is Andrew Young, and he's -- to all -- from what our sources have told us, he's happily married to his wife, Sherry (ph) Young. I believe they have two or three kids. And they were living at the time in Chapel Hill, North Carolina, as well as Rielle Hunter. They were all living in the same gated community when we hit up Rielle Hunter, or we took pictures of her, six months pregnant.
After we exposed them, they all picked up and moved up to Montecito, California, and Mr. -- Andrew Young -- he used to be the campaign finance director, I believe, for Mr. Edwards for North Carolina. And as of September, I believe, of last year, he quit that job. And to my knowledge, right now, he is not working. But yet he lives in a $3 million home in Montecito, California.
VAN SUSTEREN: Do you know if there have been any money payments from former Senator Edwards or anyone who works for him to either Rielle or Andrew Young?
BUTTERFIELD: We know that Rielle is getting paid and we know Andrew Young is getting paid. Today, I just heard Fred Baron (ph), the wealthy attorney from Dallas, admitted that he has made some payments to this. He released a statement a couple hours ago, from what I understand.
VAN SUSTEREN: Alan, thank you.
BUTTERFIELD: Thank you.
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