Ex-Edwards Mistress Tries to Block 'Private and Personal' Video

As ex-aide touts sex tape, Rielle Hunter claims tapes taken from her.

Jan. 28, 2010— -- Presidential candidate John Edwards' former mistress has gone to court to suppress "a personal video recording that depicted matters of a very private and personal nature."

Rielle Hunter's bid for a temporary restraining order to prohibit Andrew and Cheri Young from possessing and distributing certain photos and videos comes as Young, also a former Edwards aide, details what he believes is a sex tape involving Edwards and Hunter.

"There was one tape that was marked 'special,'" Andrew Young told ABC News' Bob Woodruff in an exclusive interview, describing his discovery of a tape in Hunter's trash. "It's a sex tape of Rielle and John Edwards made just a couple of months before the Iowa caucuses."

Though Young never saw the woman's face in the tape, he said she was "visibly pregnant" and was "wearing a bracelet" and a "thumb ring" typically worn by Rielle Hunter.

"It's her jewelry," Andrew Young's wife, Cheri, told ABC News. "It could be on another woman with the same jewelry."

Watch "20/20" and "Nightline" Friday, Jan. 29 to see Andrew Young's exclusive interview. Then tune in to "Good Morning America" Monday, Feb. 1, when Young will appear for his first live interview. Visit the "20/20" Web site at ABCNews.com all week for more on Young's account of the sex scandal.

In an affidavit filed with the bid for the temporary restraining order, Hunter said she never authorized the display of her "private and personal" videotape that she said she made around September 2006 -- and, in fact, she hid it away because of its sensitivity.

"In or about December 2006, the decision was made that the video should be destroyed," she wrote in the affidavit. "Therefore, I opened up the plastic casing of the miniDV cassette and pulled out the tape contained therein. However, because I was concerned that persons seeking information about my activities were or could be searching my trash, I decided to instead store the remains of the miniDV tape in a hatbox in which I stored other important personal items in order to maintain possession and control over the video. I did not take any action that would obliterate the contents of the tape itself."

Though Hunter refers to making and hiding the videotape in 2006, the woman in the sex video appears to be pregnant. Hunter was pregnant in 2007 and had Edwards' child, Frances Quinn, on Feb. 27, 2008.

Andrew Young, who covered up the Democratic presidential candidate's affair with Hunter, is recounting the sex scandal and the elaborate cover-up in a new tell-all book titled, "The Politician," which will be released Jan. 30.

Young told ABC News' "20/20" that he came across the sex videotape as he cleaned up a home he rented in North Carolina where Hunter briefly stayed in October 2007.

Hunter said she left three videotapes and other items in storage at a Chatham County, N.C., house Young had rented for her, assuming they were safe.

In August 2008, she said, while living with the Youngs in Santa Barbara, Calif., she asked them to enter her former North Carolina residence to retrieve her passport, which was stored in the same box as her videotapes.

"I learned the video recordings were missing in September or October 2008, in conjunction with a move of my personal belongings," Hunter wrote. "I believe the Youngs or one of them in fact have possession of the video and/or one or more copies of the video."

Cheri Young: 'We ... Taped It Back Together and We Played It'

Andrew Young told a different story. He said he and wife Cheri briefly returned to Raleigh, N.C., in July 2008 to clear out the house where Hunter had briefly lived before their December 2007 escape from the media.

Young said they found a box Hunter had left behind, which included some videotapes, in a pile of trash.

"It [the tape] was cut and pulled ... out," Cheri Young told ABC News, "We... taped it back together and we played it."

Young, who had worked for Edwards since his 1998 Senate win, said he was absolutely sure it was his boss in the tape.

"It's definitely him. You never see her face. But you see -- you clearly see his face for a long time. And I can't speak for the other body parts, but it's definitely his face," Young told ABC News.

The Youngs said they were "aghast" by the contents and the thoughtlessness of leaving it in a house that was on the market.

"It's amazing the tape exists. ... But to leave it in a house that's for sale -- where Realtors are going to be coming through it -- and leave it there for eight months -- is unbelievable," Young said.

By that point, Young's relationship with Edwards was rapidly deteriorating, and he said he believed that the tape was an important chip against his boss.

"We felt like we finally had something that completely corroborated what we said," Young told ABC News.

Young justified his actions, writing how he made plans to secure the tapes and leave copies with his lawyer should anything happen to him.

"We weren't going to use it in any nefarious way, but I planned to deposit a copy in a safe-deposit box and place at least one other with an attorney with instructions to make it public, if necessary, should anything suspicious befall us," Young wrote. "I had read enough John Grisham novels to think that ... sometimes powerful, rich people don't always play by the rules. And we were scared."

Loyal Aide Takes Bullet for Presidential Hopeful

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.

Aide Says John Edwards Made Abortion Plea

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 Claims Edwards Shocked by Pregnancy

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.

In August 2008, Edwards admitted to the affair with Hunter in an exclusive "Nightline" interview with Woodruff, but strenuously denied fathering the child.

According to Young, Edwards looked to abortion as a way out but soon planned a cover-up to hide Hunter from the hawk eyes of the media and his cancer-stricken wife, Elizabeth.

"There was a whole series of calls of how do we deal with this," Young said. "This was no longer an affair. This was going to be, you know, at least, at the minimum, a year-long commitment. And it was going to take much larger resources than we had."

ABC News' Michael S. James contributed to this report.

Watch "20/20" Friday at 10 p.m. ET and visit the "20/20" Web site Friday to follow the money trail of Edwards' benefactors, who provided cash, private jets and secluded mansions that were used to hide Edwards' pregnant mistress.

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