John Edwards allegedly struck his wife, Elizabeth, around the Christmas holidays, in what the National Enquirer on Wednesday called "a horrific marriage-ending fight." This is the first time physical violence has been alleged in the very public and tawdry unraveling of their 32-year marriage.
The tabloid quotes an unnamed Elizabeth Edwards friend saying, "John lost his temper, big-time," adding that Elizabeth "has the divorce papers drawn up, but she can amend them to charge John with domestic violence."
On Jan. 21, Edwards publicly admitted what the Enquirer had long claimed: that he fathered a child with his 2008 presidential campaign videographer and mistress, Rielle Hunter, during a long-term affair. Their daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, turns 2 on Feb. 27. Elizabeth Edwards, who has incurable cancer, met her husband's lover and love child late last year.
Elizabeth announced their separation
after her husband finally admitted paternity. The Enquirer reported that the source of this latest story passed a lie detector test after revealing that "Elizabeth privately disclosed all the shocking details of the alleged attack." The friend also said Elizabeth told her that "when he [John] made the decision to hit me, it was over."
Edwards was not the family's only alleged aggressor, reports the Enquirer, citing another source who said: "Elizabeth has slapped John in the past during fights over his extramarital affair with Rielle. She was so tormented by John's cheating and lies that she lashed out physically at him many times, even slapping him. On a couple of occasions, when the fights became heated, she grabbed him by the shoulders and screamed, "Why, why, why?"
The former senator and presidential candidate did not respond to the Enquirer's request for comment on the wife-beating claim.
The new allegation comes a week after the release of a book by John Edwards' former staffer Andrew Young, "The Politician." Young admits he lied for Edwards during the 2008 presidential campaign and thereafter, claiming paternity of Quinn. Among other charges, the book also alleges that Edwards and Hunter made a sex tape
during their affair.
The Edwards scandal has put a spotlight not only on the North Carolina political couple but on the Enquirer itself. The tabloid, long the subject of derision by the mainstream press, has been out in front on this story from the start, with the rest of the American media slow to follow. The Enquirer's editor, Barry Levine, has nominated his reporters
for a Pulitzer Prize for their work breaking the story.
Tagged: daily guidance
, elizabeth edwards
, extramarital affairs
, john edwards
, national enquirer
, rielle hunter