Media & Communications Law

Ex-John Edwards Aide Turns Over Copy of Sex Tape, Is Held in Contempt in Privacy Case

  • Print.

A former aide to onetime Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has been held in contempt of court for turning over a copy, but not the original, of a claimed sex tape of his boss and Edwards’ then-mistress, reports the Politico.

The existence of the tape, which reportedly shows the former senator from North Carolina and a woman believed to be his ex-mistress, Rielle Hunter, in a sexual encounter was revealed in Andrew Young’s recently released tell-all book, The Politician.

Hunter has sued for possession of the “personal video recording,” and a North Carolina judge today held former Edwards aide Andrew Young and his wife in contempt for not turning over all copies, according to the Raleigh News & Observer.

However, Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones declined to have Young arrested at the Chatham County hearing. And if Young turns over the video and photos at issue by Wednesday, the contempt order will be expunged, reports ABC News.

Jones would then hold the contested items under lock and key until the court battle over their ownership is resolved.

Hunter has filed an invasion of privacy suit against Young, notes an Associated Press article about today’s hearing.

Hunter was granted a temporary restraining order last week preventing Young from selling the items she seeks to obtain from him, which include videotapes of interviews with Edwards and digital photographs of herself and her daughter, the Observer explains.

Young and his wife say they will comply with the judge’s order, the newspaper reports. The original video is in a bank safety deposit box and a lawyer is holding other materials on a laptop computer.

In his book, Young says he found a discarded sex DVD in a home that Hunter shared with members of his own family; she says in court papers that she attempted to destroy it and argues that it belongs to her.

Young says he never intended to sell the tape but kept it to prove his story of how he helped the former senator cover up his affair with Hunter. Young originally said he was the father of Hunter’s daughter with John Edwards, but Edwards has since acknowledged paternity.

“Mr. Young and his wife didn’t do anything improper in obtaining these items,” says attorney Mark Edwards of Durham, who represents Young. “Some were abandoned. Some were items Ms. Hunter uploaded on their computer.”

Related coverage:

Caucus Blog (New York Times): “John Edwards Admits Paternity”

Opinionator (New York Times): “Grifters’ Tale”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.