Was John Edwards visiting his lover (and possible baby mama) Rielle Hunter earlier than thought?
Remember: the National Enquirer’s big scoop was that they found Edwards in the Beverly Hilton Hotel on July 22 at 2:30 in the morning. Their reporters cornered him in a basement bathroom after he’d been visiting Hunter and her baby, Frances Quinn.
Edwards later explained the meeting to ABC’s Bob Woodruff as a chance to discuss with Hunter how details of their association were coming out in the press.
But now a very credible source tells me they ran into Edwards at the Beverly Hilton on June 18, between 10:30 and 11 p.m. This encounter took place not in the ballroom at a public function or in one of the restaurants or bars, but again, in the basement parking lot.
“I came down to get something from my car, and I saw another car pull in and drop someone off,” says the source. “It was John Edwards. I couldn’t believe it. He was by himself. I asked him if he was staying there, and he said, no, he was staying with friends. He was very uncomfortable.”
Edwards and the person who told me this story then went inside through the garage door. “We probably went right past the bathroom where he got stuck a month later,” says the source. Edwards and the source then parted, with the former heading to the elevators by Trader Vic’s that bypass the lobby and go straight to the hotel rooms.
This was the same elevator Edwards would take a month later, from Hunter’s room back to the basement.
Calls to Edwards' representative were not returned.
If Edwards was visiting Hunter a month earlier than already reported, then his explanation of the July meeting doesn’t make sense. Even though the source of this story didn’t see the person Edwards might have been meeting, all of the other details of this visit are similar to the second one. Edwards came into the hotel the same way, around the same time (in the first visit, he arrived around (9:45 p.m.), through the same entrance.
Even though Edwards is not coming to the Democratic National Convention here in Denver, it’s not like he’s been completely forgotten. His closest associate from his campaign, Sam Myers Sr., is now said to be working with the Biden for Vice President campaign. Myers, they say, has been assigned to handle press traveling with Biden on his campaign plane.
“If anyone knows what happened with John Edwards, it’s Sam Myers,” says an insider. “He never left John’s side during the campaign.” The source continues: “I’m amazed he’s with Biden. Sam is a mean guy, real pit bull, very unlike the Obama people.”
According to his Web site, Myers’ firm -- Myers Strategies LLC – “creates events, in the United States and abroad, that win media coverage, promote messages and convince minds.”
The very sage-like Tom Brokaw, drawn out of retirement at NBC by Tim Russert’s tragic death, thinks press treatment of Hillary Clinton was unfair.
Speaking Sunday at the annual Joan Shorenstein Center lunch for journalists, Brokaw was joined on a panel by Bob Schieffer and George Stephanopolous, while Judy Woodruff moderated.
When the subject turned to how Clinton was treated by the media, Brokaw was forthright.
“The coverage was loaded against her,” he said. “There was too much discussion of her need to drop out of the race. Voters who were passionate about her and waiting to vote for her in primaries [might have been discouraged],” Brokaw said. “I thought it was unfair and inappropriate.”
The famed NBC newsman added: “The fact that she stayed in the race probably made Senator Obama a better candidate.” Brokaw concluded: “I understand why there was unhappiness.”
The Shorenstein Center lunch also addressed issues of sexism, ageism and racism in the current campaign, although with the exception of Gwen Ifill there didn’t seem to be any other African-American journalists in the room.
Remember when John Edwards’ possible patsy in the Rielle Hunter scandal was identified as Andrew Young? A lot of people thought the famous civil rights activist, former mayor of Atlanta and ambassador to the United Nations was claiming to be the father of Hunter’s baby and keeping her in a home near his North Carolina compound.
Of course, it was another, younger and much less heralded Andrew Young.
I ran into the real Andrew Young Sunday at the impressive Shorenstein Center lunch in Denver at the swanky Brown Palace Hotel.
Had he gotten a lot of calls about the Edwards-Hunter story, I wondered?
Young, who is 76 and retired, had a good laugh. “I’ve only met John Edwards once, I think. I know it wasn’t me!”
His elegant wife, Carolyn, also got in a good chuckle. “I said, 'Andy, what have you been doing?'"
Comedian/actor/radio host Harry Shearer, one the good guys, tells me Clear Channel rejected putting up billboards for his new satire album, “Songs of the Bushmen,” in Chicago.
Shearer had planned to put up about a half dozen of them to start. The comedy album’s cover is a picture of George W. Bush, smiling, with a bone through his nose. The back cover is a photo composite of several Bush administration members standing round the Statue of Liberty in a boiling pot.
Shearer, by the way, introduced legendary musicians Randy Newman, Allen Toussaint and Irma Thomas at Sunday night’s Friends of New Orleans benefit at the cavernous Fillmore Theatre. The event featured loads of authentic New Orleans cuisine, and many of the city’s local musicians including the Meters, Marva Wright, the Soul Rebels Brass Band and the really wild, befeathered Tchoupitoulas Mardi Gras Indians.
The sensational singer/instrumentalist Henry Butler — blind since birth — led the band through a stomping, celebratory funk version of the late Billy Preston’s “Will it Go ‘Round in Circles” that just about blew the roof off the Fillmore. This sort of contemporary Ray Charles was original and authentic — a stark contrast to the half-hour “Brother Ray” live show that started the evening. The Broadway-bound exploiting of Taylor Hackford’s great “Ray” film was like a wax museum entertainment.
Not From Denver: There's word that the annual AmFar dinner held during the Cannes Film Festival may be moving locales. The dinner always has been held at Moulins des Mougins. But sources say the star-studded hot ticket is picking up and moving to the grounds of the Hotel du Cap in Antibes, behind the Eden Roc restaurant.