John Edwards, former Democratic candidate for Vice President of the United States, has been in the news of late. Not in regards to the presidential campaign season well underway, but rather two scandalous court cases involving the former North Carolina senator and his mistress Rielle Hunter.
Edwards is preparing for an upcoming trial in April, where the once rising star of the Democratic Party faces charges for illegally using campaign money in 2008 to cover up his ongoing affair with Hunter. The affair took place while Edwards's cancer-stricken wife was out campaigning for him.
Fox News reports that Hunter just settled a lawsuit last week against former Edwards aide Andrew Young, where she was seeking to recover personal items she said Young and his wife took from a house she was renting in 2007 while she was pregnant. These items included a sexually explicit video she recorded with Edwards during his 2008 presidential campaign, and photographs of him with their daughter. The Youngs had claimed Hunter abandoned the items as trash. ABC News reports that under the terms of the settlement, all known copies of the sex tape were to be destroyed within 30 days. If other copies of the tape surface later, the agreement required those to be destroyed as well.
The already startling case took a strange turn Friday evening when it was reported that Edwards filed a request in the U.S. District Court in Greensboro, asking a judge to not destroy the sex tape he filmed with his mistress. WRAL originally reported the story which was picked up by several media outlets including Fox:
"John Edwards has asked a judge not to destroy a sex tape he made with his former mistress Rielle Hunter that was slated for destruction under a settlement reached last week, WRAL-TV reported.
A request filed Friday in US District Court in Greensboro said Edwards 'intends to request, by subpoena or other procedure, certain materials covered' by provisions of the injunction.
Edwards asked the court to enforce an automatic stay 'with respect to any transfer or destruction of items' until the request can be made."
With a looming corruption trial and no further explanation for why Edwards's counsel requested a stay on the decision to destroy the property, it was unclear why the former senator would not want to put the scandal to rest. Melinda Henneberger of the Washington Post speculated several legal reasons why Edwards might want to keep the tape, but it is now unclear whether the former senator even requested it.
At 4:57p.m. Saturday, WRAL updated their story where the report of the sex tape request originated Friday evening, submitting that the station misinterpreted the court documents involving Edwards.
"Editor's Note: WRAL News initially interpreted court documents incorrectly and reported that John Edwards asked for a delay in the court-ordered destruction of a sex tape he made with Rielle Hunter. In the order returning the tape and other items to Hunter, Judge Carl R. Fox allowed Edwards or other parties to delay that destruction, but specifically exempted the tape from any stay."
The updated story reads that Edwards still asked a judge Friday to "keep some materials ordered returned to his mistress from being destroyed." The Superior Court judge in the Young case had offered Edwards the ability to request that destruction of any of Hunter's property, except the sex tape, be delayed. WRAL reports that in documents filed Friday, Edwards' attorneys wrote that they will "consult with the government regarding the appropriate method," and reserved the right to request that some items be turned over to their team.