The John Edwards Extramarital Affair

Year: 2006
Parties Involved: John Edwards, Rielle Hunter

The National Enquirer has never been associated with notions of “journalistic integrity,” “legitimate reporting,” and the like. So when they broke a story in 2007 alleging that former North Carolina Senator John Edwards had had an extramarital affair and fathered a child with Rielle Hunter, a campaign worker, no one paid serious attention. It was too insane. John Edwards was presidential: clean-cut, handsome with fairly broad appeal and an infectious Southern drawl. His wife's battle with cancer was quite public. The Enquirer's tale seemed too screwed up to be true. And yet.

The turning point in the affair took place at the Beverly Hilton in July 2008. Enquirer reporters were tipped off that Edwards was scheduled to meet Hunter and her child at the hotel. They confronted him and he hid in the bathroom (see the above image) until hotel security escorted him from the premises. From then on, the mainstream media picked up on the scandal. Eventually, Edwards came clean about the affair. However, he lied about fathering the child, made one of his staff members claim paternity, wanted to fake a DNA test, and used more than a million dollars of campaign money to cover up the affair. Of course, this all eventually came to light.