The long-time, loyal aide had made himself indispensable to both John and Elizabeth Edwards professionally and personally. But he burst onto the national stage in December 2007 as the man who "took the bullet" for the Democratic contender, falsely claiming paternity of Edwards' daughter to protect Edwards' reputation and political career.
For Young, admitting paternity was the ultimate sacrifice for a political figure and a man he had long revered, but it was far from the first hit he took for the presidential hopeful.
Since the summer of 2006, Young said he was aware of Edwards' affair with Hunter and was ultimately entrusted by Edwards to conceal it. The affair, Young says, began in February 2006.
Young claims that Edwards even called upon him in late May 2007 to convince Hunter to terminate her pregnancy.
"The senator tried to convince her to have an abortion. ... He tried to convince me to convince Rielle to have an abortion," Young told Woodruff.
"She [Hunter] asked me if I were in her shoes what would I do. And if I said, 'I'm pro-choice, but after having had three kids, if you're asking me what I would do, no, I would not do it,'" Young recalled of his conversation with Hunter.
Young claims that Edwards was infuriated with him for not convincing Hunter and stressed that he was not certain the baby was his because Hunter was a "weird slut and a freak."
Hunter had started out eager just to be around Edwards, but over time became more comfortable in her role as Edwards' lover -- even wife -- having sex in the Edwards' marital bed, according to Young. Eventually, she became possessive and demanding, Young claims.
When Edwards rushed home in tears from campaigning in Iowa at the news that his wife's cancer had returned, he used Young's phone to call Hunter to cancel a date to celebrate her birthday in Des Moines that night.
"All I could hear was Rielle cussing," Young said. "She [Hunter] didn't care about Elizabeth's prognosis. All she cared about was that the senator was not going to be there to celebrate the birthday."
Each time Edwards professed his love for his wife on the campaign trail, Young said, "Rielle would go crazy...and it was my job and Cheri's job to calm her down."
The stakes got even higher in May 2007 when Young said he got a frantic call from Hunter.
"She said, 'I need to talk to him right now,' and started cursing and she threatened to go public if I didn't put them together. I said, 'well, either somebody's died, or somebody's pregnant.' And she said, 'Well, nobody's died,'" Young recalled.
Young said Edwards was shocked by the pregnancy and believed there was only a one-in-three chance that the baby was his.
"He was cussing her out, calling her crazy ... and saying that ... she had sworn to him that she was physically unable to get pregnant. And that he just felt like he had been set up," Young said.
Young also maintains that Edwards had also asked him to arrange a fake a paternity test. "Get a doctor to fake the DNA results," Young said Edwards told him. "And he asked me ... to steal a diaper from the baby so he could secretly do a DNA test to find out if this [was] indeed his child."
Young said he ignored the requests.