Deep Background

How the Enquirer Exposed Edwards

It took two years for former presidential candidate John Edwards to tell the truth about his affair with Rielle Hunter that resulted in a daughter, but the former editor in chief of the National Enquirer was surprised. He thought it’d take longer. In The Wall Street Journal, David Perel offers behind-the-scenes details of its battle with Edwards, which the mainstream press ignored. When the Enquirer published a photo of an obviously pregnant Hunter, Edwards derided the report as “tabloid trash.” The media bought it, but the tabloid didn’t give up the hunt. Following a tip that Edwards would be visiting Hunter and her newborn, the tabloid sent reporters to stake out the hotel, catching the pair on video. When Edwards left her room the next morning, reporters chased him down the hallway till he ducked into a men’s bathroom. “Behind the scenes we sent him a message—deny the affair and we will release the video and prove you a liar,” Perel writes. Still Edwards denied being the kid’s dad, evading the question even as sources told the Enquirer that he was arguing over child support with Hunter. Edwards finally admitted paternity, Perel triumphantly says, “[t]wo years and three months after the Enquirer first reported on his affair with Rielle Hunter.”