Transcript: John Edwards Interview

EDWARDS: It was a huge judgment, mistake in judgment. But yeah, I didn't think anyone would ever know about it. I didn't. And the important thing is, how could I ever get to the place, to that place and allow myself to let that happen?

WOODRUFF: …[I]f you thought that you would not get caught, how did [Elizabeth] find out about this affair?

EDWARDS: I told her.

WOODRUFF: This was before there was public reporting on this?

EDWARDS: Oh it was way before. This was in 2006. I decided, it was clear to me very quickly after this happened that I had to tell her that I loved her, she was central to my life, she had to know it and it was painful for her. Hard and painful for her, but she responded exactly like the kind of woman she is. And then she forgave me and we went to work on it. I'm not saying she thought it was okay, I'm not saying that, but she did forgive me. Listen, she understands what I understand which is that I am imperfect and anybody, anybody watching this broadcast or who hears about this who wants to beat me up for this, they should have at it. The truth is you can't possibly beat me up more than I have already beaten myself up.

***

WOODRUFF: Why did you continue to deny it [publicly] and not tell the truth?

EDWARDS: Because I did not want the public to know what I had done. Fair and simple. And there's also a lot of these you know supermarket tabloid allegations are just lies, they're complete lies. But this, this mistake, is the truth.

*** WOODRUFF: When Elizabeth did find out about this, how has she coped? What was her reaction to that?

EDWARDS: She was mad, she was angry, I think furious would be a good way to describe it. She didn't understand. We both went through a process of trying to figure out how it happened, why it happened. But she was amazing, she's just an amazing person. Elizabeth and I have been married 31 years. The admiration she gets from the public is deserved and, but nobody can see -- Bob, you've been married a long time, nobody can see inside everybody's marriage. … This is not something Elizabeth did, this something I did. And I continue to love and admire her because she has just stood with me.

***

WOODRUFF: I need to ask about probably the most controversial allegation. Which is that a report has been published that the baby of Ms. Hunter is your baby. True?

EDWARDS: Not true. Published in a supermarket tabloid. That is absolutely not true.

WOODRUFF: Have you taken a paternity test?

EDWARDS: I have not, I would welcome participating in a paternity test. Be happy to participate in one. I know that it's not possible that this child could be mine because of the timing of events, so I know it's not possible. Happy to take a paternity test, and would love to see it happen.

WOODRUFF: Are you going to do that soon?

EDWARDS: I'm only one side -- I'm only one side of the test, but I'm happy to participate in one.

WOODRUFF: Has Miss Hunter said, she does not want to do this DNA test?

EDWARDS: I don't know what she has said.

***

WOODRUFF: People say they are in contact with her, have told us that you have met her out in California several times. True?

EDWARDS: I met her this last time when I was in California for the very purpose that you and I just spoke about.

WOODRUFF: And that picture is absolutely you and you are holding that baby.

EDWARDS: The picture in the tabloid. I have no idea what that picture is.

WOODRUFF: But you've seen it right?

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