01.29.10

8 John Edwards Secrets

The Daily Beast tracks the best parts of the new John Edwards tell-all The Politician, by his former aide Andrew Young.

The Daily Beast tracks the best parts of Andrew Young's tell-all book about John Edwards, The Politician, and his 20/20 appearance.

Couple Time

When Elizabeth was out of town making appearances for her book, Edwards and Hunter acted every bit the committed couple in front of Young—Hunter reportedly called the candidate “Love Lips”—and even spent time together along with Edwards’ children. According to Young Hunter slept in the Edwards’ bed and spent time making plans for an eventual wedding to John which would include a performance by the Dave Matthews Band. ( The Wall Street Journal)

Mincing His Words

Though Hunter and Edwards were openly affectionate in front of Young, he writes that Edwards “always used the lawyer's trick of speaking in code so he could claim "plausible deniability" if it was ever needed. She would say she loved him and spoke so loudly that I could hear her on the phone. He would say only, "Me too." And if she asked him if he missed her, he would say, "That's correct"—pronouncing it "cohhhhhhrect"—but never, "I miss you." ( The New York Times)

Throwing Money at the Problem

Thanks to a long list of wealthy donors, including Bunny Mellon, Edwards was able to spend massive amounts of money to keep the affair a secret. “I know of at least a million dollars. And there was much, much more,” said Young. “We were living in mansions, flying around in jets. … Money was no object.” At one point Young reports receiving "an envelope full of cash, hundred-dollar bills, was wrapped in Fred Baron's [a major Edwards benefactor] stationery.” The package came with a note that said, “'Old Chinese saying, use cash, they can't trace it.” ( ABC News)

How to “handle” the pregnancy

Lloyd Grove: John Edwards’ Sugar Mama

Eric Dezenhall: John Edwards’ Audacity of Spins
When she learned she was pregnant in 2007 Rielle Hunter first contacted Young, who was then told by Edwards to “handle it.” Edwards also called Hunter a “crazy slut” and enlisted Young in an attempt to convince Hunter to have an abortion, but according to Young she saw the baby as “some kind of golden child, the reincarnated spirit of a Buddhist monk who was going to help save the world.” Young later came across a video featuring Edwards and a pregnant Hunter that he describes as “like watching a traffic pileup occur in slow motion—it was repelling, but also transfixing.” ( The Wall Street Journal)

John’s Comments on Elizabeth

Edwards had equally harsh words for his wife as he did for his mistress, and referred to Elizabeth as “crazy.” Though Young reports receiving countless angry emails from Elizabeth, John felt that her warm persona played better with voters than he did, and that this was the main factor keeping him in the marriage. ( The Wall Street Journal)

Dealing with the Aftermath

As the Grand Jury investigation continues to examine the funding behind the affair’s cover-up, Young has hit back against Edwards’ across-the-board denials. “Everything that I did was at the direction of John Edwards, everything,” he testified. “So I don’t understand how the senator could even begin to deny that he was involved in every aspect of this.” Young has also been vocal about his regrets from the ordeal: “For myself, I am so sorry for my part in this. I am so sorry for what I did to my family. This is going to be on my tombstone,” he said. ( ABC News)

Keeping Up Appearances

Much like his political rival Sarah Palin, Young reports that Edwards was a disciple of the Atkins diet and complained about appearances during which “fat rednecks try to shove food down my face. I know I’m the people’s senator, but do I have to hang out with them?” He was also known for being fussy with his “naturally thick and lustrous” hair, and according to Young, refused to use products other than “HairTec Thick & Strong Shampoo for Fine, Fragile Hair.” Prior to the notorious slip-up when his campaign committee reported a $400 bill for two haircuts, Edwards had made a habit of paying for the haircuts out of pocket in order to avoid public disclosure of their high prices. ( The Wall Street Journal)

The Patriot

Before a campaign event in Las Vegas, Young writes, Edwards had him cut the “made in the USA label” out of his suit to sew over the “made in Italy” label on Edwards’ own clothes. ( The Wall Street Journal)

Plus: Check out Book Beast, for more news on hot titles, authors and excerpts from the latest books.