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Elizabeth Edwards: 'I Don't Know Whose Child This Is'

Elizabeth Edwards talked more today than she has at any other time during her book publicity tour about whether her husband, John Edwards, the forevermore former presidential aspirant, fathered his campaign mistress's baby.

Suffice it to say, her fumbling answer, on ABC's "The View," was one of the more awkward moments of her book tour thus far.

Asked if she really didn't care to know, as she has claimed, whether her husband sired Rielle Hunter's 14-month daughter - though no one broke the interview rules and dared uttered Rielle's name - Edwards initially replied that she would be "perfectly happy" if the "whole issue would go away."

Then she added, "Somebody's obviously the father of this child. And if that person has other children then the other children need to be prepared. If that's my husband, then it is. Or if it's somebody else, then they need to make certain the other children are prepared for this change in their lives."

She didn't mention her own children - Cate, Emma Claire and Jack. (Today, by the way, is Jack Edwards's birthday. He is 9.)

Pressed harder at one point, Elizabeth Edwards, who is battling inoperable cancer, conceded, "I don't know whose child this is" but added, "My relationship with my husband is not changed by this."

She admitted she does "not entirely" trust her husband. But she said she wouldn't leave him if she finds out he did father his mistress's child.

You can watch video of "The View" interview, recorded by the Huffington Post, here.

By Mary Ann Akers  |  May 19, 2009; 5:00 PM ET
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Maybe they have an open marriage, like the Clintons and so many other political couples. She may have a younger lover, too.

If not, she will leave him when the Book Tour is over.

Posted by: MikeK3 | May 19, 2009 5:37 PM | Report abuse

Please go away, Mrs. Edwards.

Posted by: BeavisfromMontana | May 20, 2009 1:52 AM | Report abuse

Who cares? Why is this woman who lies like her husband does and just as finished in politics even given the time of day in major media?

Is it because there is this cadre of women who see themselves as victims that are drawn like moths to the the flame to bask in the Celebrity Victimhood of another woman? Another HIllary? Plus a terminal disease diagnosed two years ago that doesn't appear so terminal??

Posted by: ChrisFord1 | May 20, 2009 4:56 AM | Report abuse

I kept hearing during Edward's campaign how "smart," how "brilliant" this woman was. The press was so enamored, and she doesn't even have great arms.

No one bothered to inquire about her judgment, I guess. As I age, I wonder what happened to old fashioned concepts of privacy, dignity, and doing just about anything you can to shield your children from embarrassment and hurt. All of this seems to have been replaced with a pervasive narcissism.

I guess I understand better how these two came to be married. Can two narcissists really ever be happy as husband and wife? I think not.

Posted by: Curmudgeon10 | May 20, 2009 6:34 AM | Report abuse

I suspect many commenters have not read Mrs. Edwards book. The interview questions have left the wrong impression that this is a tell-all book, or an angry book. Please read it! It is a wonderful resource for anyone who has been hurt by unexpected circumstances (of any kind) in life. Mrs. Edwards shares her experiences with the death of her son, her cancer diagnosis, and a short but honest part about her husband's infidelity. She gives her readers a way to face the pain that has turned our lives upside down, and to finally find peace. Her book helped me, and I highly recommend it.

Posted by: bettync | May 20, 2009 7:45 AM | Report abuse

I ask you: if Elizabeth Edwards would like this issue (who fathered her husband's lover's child)to just go away, why then did she feel the need to write a book dredging up the torrid mess in the first place? And America sees her as smart!
Elizabeth Edwards and the American populace are dimwits!

Posted by: arthurgowran | May 20, 2009 10:42 AM | Report abuse

ChrisFord says, "Plus a terminal disease diagnosed two years ago that doesn't appear so terminal."

You're upset because she hasn't died yet? ChrisFord, you really are the compassionate one.

Posted by: cynicalismo | May 20, 2009 12:35 PM | Report abuse

some of the above comments are disturbingly vicious. If you don't like Elizabeth Edwards, skip any stories about her. I find her a brave woman, a committed Christian and a person honestly facing the problems that any human life presents. If you don't, please keep your comments within the bounds of decency.

Posted by: BillA2 | May 20, 2009 1:23 PM | Report abuse

Decades ago i experienced a similar experience to Mrs. Edwards re infidelity. I chose silence from that time to this.As a result few people know my side which i think is very dignified . I left.
i have been blamed constantly for everything and have had little validation. Infidelity is serious stuff unless there is an open marriage, It is intensely wounding and children even though they may not "know' find out sooner or later. people who want to be free should be just that.

Posted by: mclaire12 | May 20, 2009 1:29 PM | Report abuse

The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

Posted by: atsegga | May 20, 2009 2:05 PM | Report abuse

"The Borgen Project has some good info on the cost of addressing global poverty.

"$30 billion: Annual shortfall to end world hunger.
"$550 billion: U.S. Defense budget

"Posted by: atsegga"

ZING! Thanks for reminding us about something worth caring about....

Posted by: tiranda | May 20, 2009 4:01 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth needs to do what she needs to do but...she cannot expect to go on interviews to push her book and not have sensitive questions asked that have been printed in her book. I along with millions of other women can understand why she stayed with her husband. She has been married too many years and going through a fight for her life that she needs what little peace she can find with her family intact.

Posted by: kneec7773537 | May 20, 2009 4:39 PM | Report abuse

Elizabeth Edwards is saving up money so she can afford to leave John's sorry behind. Make that money, Elizabeth!!

Posted by: forgetthis | May 20, 2009 4:43 PM | Report abuse

cynicalismo -- ChrisFord is not wishing anyone to die -- he is merely pointing out a fact that more than 2 yrs ago, right when HE was running for POTUS, she was supposedly dying of cancer and had almost no time to live -- do you think it is a coincidence that HE was having an affair/love-child at the same time? -- WIFE may be a liar, but no one wishes her dead -- just as b/c HE is a LIAR doesn't mean anyone wants him to have cancer -- it's clear they both will lie and deceive to conceal their own narsist behavior -- she does not look like a woman who has been dying of cancer for 2 years (if anything, the opposite) -- cancer story is a good cover for affair and love-child -- diverts attention and creates simpathy from press/media -- only problem is the truth came out

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 4:53 PM | Report abuse

one other comment in response to forgetthis and other post -- forgetthis is right -- she is doing it for the $$$$ to leave HIM -- I agree -- so, cynicalisma -- if you are dying of cancer, why would you need $$$$ to leave HIM?? there story doesn't make sense

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 5:19 PM | Report abuse

Er, Stinky, I'm not sure where you got this: "she was supposedly dying of cancer and had almost no time to live."

You're mis-remembering. There was never talk of any such thing but in fact of her having a treatable but not curable form of cancer with which she might live for years and years. I guess you weren't paying attention.

Posted by: Fallen1 | May 20, 2009 6:07 PM | Report abuse

Fallen1 -- I am sorry if I offended -- I don't mean to be harsh on Elizabeth -- I believe HE put her in a corner, and she is someone who didn't see a way out of it -- until it was too LATE -- I only know they said "inoperable" and the genral tone was very morbid - there story has changed so many times about everything -- they both lied, and almost had us end up with McSame

Posted by: stinky2 | May 20, 2009 6:23 PM | Report abuse

If Mrs. Edwards wishes the question re the paternity if Richelle's child would go away why in the world is she so tastelessly promoting the whole unfortunate and dismal affair in the first place? For Heaven's sake go away and show some dignity Mrs Edwards, and leave Richelle and her child alone. I am not sure who is the target for all this malice, hurt and publicity,her wandering twit of a spouse or the girl he used and left with a child. An innocent child by the way, and who is in no way at fault in this ugly bundle of public dirty wash.

Posted by: elizabeth6 | May 20, 2009 7:25 PM | Report abuse

barbara walters had the nerve to ask why she wasn't spending all her time at home with her family since she is dying. barbara, we are ALL dying, you included. why are you wasting your time on tv instead of with your family? why did you waste your time having an affair with a married man instead of spending that time with your family? quit being a hypocrite

Posted by: imalben | May 20, 2009 10:09 PM | Report abuse

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