Lawyer Who Paid Rent of Edwards’ Mistress ‘Shocked’ to Learn of Affair
Posted Aug 13, 2008 5:46 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss
The Dallas lawyer who paid the monthly rent of John Edwards’ mistress says he was “shocked” to learn that rumors of the affair were true.
In an interview with Texas Lawyer's Tex Parte Blog, Fred Baron said he paid to move Rielle Hunter to California and funded her monthly rent for several months, but said reports that the amount was $15,000 per month were inaccurate. He refused to give the actual amount, however.
Baron repeated his assertions that he paid to relocate Hunter and Andrew Young, a former campaign worker for Edwards, because they were being hounded by tabloid reporters. Young’s wife and their three children were also relocated with Baron’s support. Neither Hunter nor Young were employed by the Edwards campaign at the time, he said. Young has said he is the father of Hunter’s child.
Baron said he learned of the affair a few weeks ago. “I was shocked,” he told Texas Lawyer.
"Do I feel that he betrayed me? I don't like the word betrayal. I think he was in denial himself. He did a very, very stupid, bad thing," Baron told the publication.
Baron formed the Dallas firm of Baron & Budd. Some have estimated that the Baron & Budd firm earned $800 million on asbestos litigation alone, the Am Law Daily reports. He now works at a new firm he created, Baron & Blue, with his wife, Lisa Blue. They sued their former firm in 2006 saying they had been denied money due under a departure agreement and reached a confidential settlement.
Meanwhile the New York Times reports Friday that Baron has ties to two lawyers who issued statements on behalf of Hunter and Young last December, suggesting “they were part of an orchestrated effort to protect” Edwards.
And the Ocala Star Banner reported this week that Hunter’s father was a Florida lawyer implicated in a scam to kill horses for insurance money. The first horse reportedly killed belonged to Hunter, who was then a teen-ager known as Lisa Jo Druck.
Updated at 6:20 a.m. on Aug. 15 to include coverage in the New York Times and Ocala Star Banner.