Andrew and Cheri Young: John Edwards Came First in Our Marriage

Andrew and Cheri Young say John Edwards came first in their marriage.

BySARAH NETTER via via logo
February 1, 2010, 7:02 AM

Feb. 2, 2010— -- The couple who say they hid John Edwards' pregnant mistress claim their loyalty to the one-time presidential candidate often came before their own marriage and family.

"This was years and years piled up of anger and me always having to say yes," Cheri Young told "Good Morning America" today. "We always put John and Elizabeth Edwards first. There was never a no."

The couple didn't even say no when Edwards asked them to publicly announce that Andrew Young was the father of his mistress' baby.

Andrew Young has said he was immediately enamored with the charismatic senator from North Carolina, but Cheri Young said she found him to be brash and offensive.

At the couple's first dinner with Edwards, "He was pretty loud and I guess, offended me essentially, over my pay as a nurse."

But for Andrew Young, Edwards was his ticket to the top, even as the then-senator became increasingly demanding.

"We used to have a saying on our refrigerator, 'Never confuse having a job with having a life,'" Andrew Young said today. "There were numerous times when Cheri would say, 'Andrew you need to be home,' and I would say, 'Honey I can't.'"

The Youngs are now tangled in a legal battle with Edwards' former lover Rielle Hunter over rights to an alleged sex tape that the Youngs say clearly shows Edwards and a pregnant woman. The woman's face isn't seen on the tape, but she is wearing bracelets and a thumb ring that belonged to Hunter.

Andrew Young said he has been offered a "gigantic" amount of money for the tape, but has refused to sell.

Hunter won a temporary restraining order last week, looking to reclaim a "private" video and photos. The Youngs claim they found the tape in trash at a house they shared with Hunter for several months and they claim that Hunter downloaded the photographs onto their computer. The tape, they said, was pulled out of its case and cut. They put the tape back together.

Hunter, however, claims the tape and photos were taken from a hat box in her rental house where she stored personal items. And the photos, she says, were on her computer. She has also filed suit against the Youngs for invasion of privacy.

Click here for complete coverage of the John Edwards scandal

The Youngs told "GMA" today that by the time Edwards requested they take in and care for Hunter and claim that Andrew Young was the father, they were in too deep to say no.

"Aside of Rielle already living with us … Andrew had already been taken off the campaign payroll so we were completely dependent on a job John Edwards had set up and health benefits," Cheri Young said.

The Youngs have estimated that it cost Edwards benefactors' $1 million in cash, private jets and hotel rooms to cover up the affair and Hunter's pregnancy.

Hunter gave birth to her and Edwards' child, Frances Quinn, in February 2008. Edwards didn't publicly admit paternity until January, just days before Young's book "The Politician" was due to go on sale.

Andrew Young Said He Feared for Family's Safety

Young told "Good Morning America" Monday that after he broke with Edwards, tensions over the cover-up got so heated that he feared for his family's safety.

"For several months, I used to get up at 3 a.m. and walk around the house with a baseball bat and a knife," he said. During that time, Young said he had his three young children sleep with him and his wife.

That fear, he said, peaked during a car ride "out in the middle of nowhere" with Edwards. During that ride, "all I could think about was Vince Foster," Young said, referring to the former aide to President Clinton who committed suicide in a Washington, D.C., park. Foster's death has been the subject of conspiracy theorists who speculated that he was killed to cover up a White House scandal.

"Did I think Edwards was capable? No," Young said. "But I was scared, genuinely scared, for me and my family."

Edwards' lawyers also lashed out at Young, his former confidant, before the book was released Saturday. Lawyers for Edwards, who had previously declined to comment on the allegations made in "The Politician," issued a statement Friday questioning Young's motives.

"While we have not had an opportunity to view the interview or read the book, we urge extreme caution by everyone involved. From media reports, it is obvious that there are many allegations which are simply false. It appears that Andrew Young is primarily motivated by financial gain and media attention," the statement said.

Young said he has saved voice mail messages and e-mails from Edwards and his camp proving that he had been asked to help the one-time presidential nominee hide Hunter while he made a bid for the White House, his cancer-stricken wife by his side.

He got the call asking to cover up Edwards' paternity of Hunter's baby while shopping for a turtle aquarium for his children, he told "GMA" on Monday. He said he agreed, not only out of loyalty for Edwards and compassion for Edwards' terminally ill wife, but because he had been assured by "two very powerful people" that every viable Democratic presidential hopeful had something to hide.

"We were convinced by the people that were talking to us about this that all of the candidates had skeletons in the closet," he said, adding that he doesn't believe that accusation now. "I'm not making a charge that it's true."

Click here to read an excerpt of Andrew Young's book, "The Politician."

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