John Edwards quit politics after a cheating scandal that saw him have a child out of wedlock with his mistress. Edwards now practices law in North Carolina, where he co-owns a law firm known as Edward Kirby.
John Edwards is a 70-year-old American attorney who served as a United States senator from 1999 to 2005. He later unsuccessfully contested for the presidential ticket of the Democratic Party in 2004 and 2008. In 2004, he was picked as the VP candidate by John Kerry, but they lost the general election. Edwards was regarded as the golden boy of the Democrats, but his political career was torpedoed by an infidelity scandal. Where is he now, and what is he up to? All these and more are answered below.
What Happened to John Edwards?
John Edwards quit politics after it emerged that he had cheated on his wife, Elizabeth, and fathered a child out of wedlock. It was a major scandal that went down in the late 2000s. Prior to that time, Edwards was a very popular figure in the Democratic Party. After a high-flying career as a litigator pursuing successful cases against big corporations, he ran for office as a senator to represent the state of North Carolina in 1999 and was successful on his first attempt.
He spent six years making a name for himself and, by 2004, decided not to seek reelection to the Senate. He rather contested for the presidential nomination of the Democratic Party. He lost out, but the winner, John Kerry, picked him as VP. The pair ended up losing to Republican George H.W. Bush. John Edwards contested for the Democratic Party presidential nomination again in 2008 but ultimately lost out to Barack Obama. It was just as well because even if he had won, his infidelity scandal would have been a herculean hill to climb.
John Edwards was first rumored to be cheating on his wife and mother of his four children, Elizabeth, in 2007. He, however, dismissed the speculations as mere trashy tabloid stories, and many believed him. However, by 2008, other reputable media organizations started reporting the story and the fact that Edwards had welcomed a child with his mistress.
Edwards admitted cheating on his wife in 2008 but denied that he was the father of the child that his mistress had given birth to. He continued his denial for the next two years before eventually accepting paternity in 2010.
The whole thing was quite sordid because, during this period, his wife was battling breast cancer. The media had a field day with it, and by the time it was all over, there was no resurrecting his political career.
Who was John Edwards’ Wife?
John Edwards’ wife was Mary Elizabeth Anania Edwards. She was a lawyer like him, as well as an author and health rights advocate. The late Elizabeth Edwards was born on the 3rd of July 1949 in Chapel Hill, North Carolina. She spent her formative years in North Carolina and qualified as a lawyer in her late 20s. She spent the early years of her career in law practice before going into advocacy.
Elizabeth met John when they were both students in law school at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), and they got married on the 30th of July 1977. Their union produced four children, namely Lucius (1979 – 1996) and Cate (b. 1982), Emma Claire (b. 1998), and Jack (b. 2000).
Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer in 2004, and she underwent treatment for it. Her cancer went into remission, and she was able to help her husband on the campaign trail. She also became outspoken on the issue of breast cancer. Her cancer unfortunately returned in 2007, and it was around this time that the rumors started spreading that her husband was having an affair. This put a great strain on their marriage, and she did her best to try and forgive her husband.
However, after John Edwards admitted in 2010 that he was indeed the father of the child of his mistress, Elizabeth was fed up. She filed for divorce; however, the divorce was not finalized before she died of metastatic breast cancer on 7th December 2010. At the time of her death, Elizabeth was still legally married to John Edwards, and he, alongside other family members, was by her side in her final days.
Who was John Edwards’ Mistress?
John Edwards’ mistress is Rielle Hunter, a former actress, producer and writer. Rielle Hunter is a native of Fort Lauderdale, Florida, and was born on 20 March 1964 with Lisa Jo Druck as her birth name. Her parents’ names are James and Gwen Druck, and she has a sister named Rozanne Druck Marshall. She was previously married to a man named Alexander Hunter from 1991 to 2000.
Rielle Hunter first saw John Edwards in the lounge of The Regency Hotel in New York in 2006. They were instantly attracted to each other but did not speak to each other. As fate would have it, they ran into each other on a corner street that same day and exchanged contacts.
They later started communicating and began a full-blown affair that lasted several years. They welcomed a daughter named Frances Quinn in 2008. By that time, their affair had been uncovered, and John initially denied paternity for two years before finally accepting in 2010.
Hunter was hurt by the public denials, but she and John continued seeing each other. When his wife died, she moved into his home. Reports have it that the affair continued till 2015.
Rielle Hunter now lives in North Carolina with Frances and has stated that she and John remain good friends and co-parents.
She has penned a tell-all book about her affair with the former senator. She has also written other books, including a 2016 children’s book titled “Howie Do It: Finding Happiness Right Now”. Her daughter illustrated the book. Rielle has primary custody of Quinn, while her dad maintains an active presence in her life.
Is John Edwards Currently Married?
John Edwards is not currently married. Following the death of his wife, Elizabeth, he carried on his romance with his mistress, Rielle Hunter. They later broke up, though. Upon breaking up with Rielle, John Edwards began dating Danielle King, a single mom of one.
Their romance reportedly began sometime in 2013 (which conflicts with reports that John and Rielle continued dating till 2015), and they were spotted together in public on several occasions. Danielle also hung out with Edwards’ two youngest kids. The romance later came to an end, though, and since then, Edwards has not been publicly linked with anybody.
Where is John Edwards Now?
John Edwards presently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, and is the co-founder and partner of a law firm known as Edward Kirby. The law firm has offices in Raleigh, North Carolina, Washington D.C., and San Diego.
Edwards continues doing what he knows best, suing big corporations to get compensation for wronged clients. His areas of practice include personal injury, birth injury, truck accidents, wrongful death, etc. Edwards is also a philanthropic fellow and spearheads charity efforts by his law firm.