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Edwards sex tape to be destroyed

This news story was published on February 24, 2012.
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By Kyle Jahner, McClatchy Newspapers –

RALEIGH, N.C. — John Edwards couldn’t keep his mistress or the child they conceived from becoming public. His mistress has had better luck with their sex tape.

The video reportedly shows a sexual encounter between Edwards — during the time he was seeking the Democratic presidential nomination — and Rielle Hunter, a woman hired to film his campaign.

An agreement was filed in court Thursday under which the videotape and a copy will be destroyed. It also orders former Edwards campaign aide Andrew Young and his wife, Cheri, to return several items of Hunter’s property, and bans the Youngs from disclosing the contents of that property.

Hunter sued Young in 2010 after Young’s book published described the tape. The consent judgment and permanent injunction does carve out a notable exception to the disclosure injunction: items already sold by the Youngs as part of a movie deal based on the book.

Attorneys from both sides said they were pleased with the outcome of the settlement, and that their clients got what they wanted.

“Ms. Hunter was demanding money up until very recently,” Robert Elliot, the Youngs’ attorney. In a written statement, he further criticized “outlandish efforts of Ms. Hunter’s legal counsel to try to paint Mr. and Mrs. Young as liars and thieves,” despite the fact that the book merely revealed a truth that Hunter and Edwards had lied about for two years.

Hunter also sought other items of her property, including several other videos she had made, photographs, and such documents as medical records a list of names titled “The Slut Club.”

Young’s book, “The Politician,” documented his experience as a campaign aide for Edwards, including his role in keeping Edwards’ and Hunter’s relationship a secret. Those efforts included Young’s false claim that he was the father of Hunter’s baby, born in 2008. Hunter and the Youngs lived in the same Santa Barbara House, provided by Edwards, during his presidential campaign.

Young had said he found the property inside a box of trash Hunter had left behind.

Information about the sex tape and the list known as “The Slut Club,” as described in “The Politician,” were specifically exempted from nonpublication. The Youngs had already sold the rights to Aaron Sorkin of Colvin Road Entertainment as part of movie deal to Young’s story and book, according to the agreement, and Elliot said that anything from the book is fair game.

However, in the agreement filed Thursday Hunter explicitly retained the right to take the Youngs to court again if more information stemming from the property returned to her is publicized.

“Ms. Hunter is very much pleased by the result. She has accomplished the purpose she was trying to accomplish from the outset,” Hunter’s attorney Alan Duncan said.

Edwards was indicted on six felony and misdemeanor counts last year, having allegedly used $1 million provided by two wealthy donors to conceal Hunter from the public. As details from Young’s book emerged in early 2010, Edwards’ wife Elizabeth separated from him, and in December, she died from breast cancer .

Edwards was a one-term senator from and John Kerry’s vice presidential running mate in the 2004 election.

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