Edwards mistress seeks profits from tell-all book as battle over sex tape ownership continues

By Mike Baker, AP
Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Edwards mistress seeks profits from tell-all book

HILLSBOROUGH, N.C. — Lawyers for John Edwards’ mistress argued Wednesday that she should have some of the profits from a tell-all book written by an aide to the two-time presidential candidate.

Rielle Hunter’s attorneys said she was entitled to money made on the book because Andrew Young promoted it by talking about an Edwards sex tape. Hunter is suing to reclaim the video.

Hunter’s attorneys did not say how much money she was seeking from Young’s book “The Politician.”

Hunter believes the sex tape was taken from a box of her personal belongings. Young contends the tape was found amid trash that Hunter left behind in a home that he was renting, and his attorneys argued that the tape was a small part of his book.

“Nobody’s making money on the Edwards sex tape and nobody’s ever made money on the Edwards sex tape,” said Robert Elliot, an attorney for Young.

John Edwards has acknowledged fathering a child with Hunter as he campaigned for president. The lawsuit continues to drag out sordid details of the affair and its aftermath.

Edwards is also awaiting the conclusion of a federal probe into his campaign finances. At Wednesday’s hearing, Young’s attorney questioned whether Hunter owned the tape or whether it belonged to the Edwards campaign.

“What possible purpose would a campaign want — or desire — a sex tape of a candidate involved in a sex act?” Judge Carl Fox said.

Elliot believes video shot by Hunter belonged to the Edwards campaign or his political action committee.

Hunter worked for Edwards’ political action committee in 2006, shooting behind-the-scenes video as the Democrat prepared to launch his second White House campaign. The committee paid her video production firm $100,000 that year and then another $14,000 later in what a senior campaign official described as a payment for leftover footage.

Hunter’s lawyers argued the Edwards campaign did not want some videotapes and that she was directed to destroy the sex tape.

“The campaign did not want some tapes that would upset Elizabeth Edwards,” said attorney Wade Barber. “She was directed to keep those.”

Neither Hunter or Young were at the hearing.

John and Elizabeth Edwards separated earlier this year after 30 years of marriage.

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