and former two-time Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards
are legally separated, according to her spokesperson. The Edwardses reside in North Carolina, which allows for divorce after a couple lives separately for 12 months.
Edwards' spokesperson would not give information on the date of the filing of the legal separation documents.
Custody and visitation arrangements for the couple's youngest children, Emma Claire
, are unclear, as is their financial arrangement during the separation period.
"She said, 'I've had it. I can't do this. I want my life back,' " her sister, Nancy Anania, told People magazine
in an article appearing in an upcoming issue.
Elizabeth and John Edwards have been married since 1977 and have four children together, including daughter Cate
and their deceased son Wade.
Elizabeth Edwards has stage four metastatic cancer,
which John Edwards claimed was in remission during his affair with videographer Rielle Hunter
The legal end to the Edwardses' tumultuous marriage comes the same week that a book by John Edwards' former staffer Andrew Young
, "The Politician," is being released. Young had previously lied for Edwards, falsely claiming paternity of Rielle Hunter's daughter. John Edwards put out a statement
last week admitting that he is indeed Quinn Hunter
's father. He then left the country to help relief efforts in Haiti. John Edwards has not been seen publicly since he landed in Port-au-Prince.
In early January, the National Enquirer
reported that John Edwards was living in the family's vacation home on Figure Eight Island near Wilmington, N.C. The paper interviewed Stephanie Breshears
, who is a bartender at the Kornerstone Bistro
, located five miles from the vacation house. Breshears said Edwards came in the restaurant on Dec. 30 and for the next four nights, trying repeatedly to get her to go back to his house and have sex. Breshears told the Enquirer that after she refused his appeals, he flirted with another woman at the bar. "He told her he was 'separated, soon to be divorced,' " according to 34-year-old Breshears.
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