John Edwards is coming clean. The politician has finally admitted that he is the father of Frances Quinn — the two-year old daughter of Rielle Hunter, a campaign videographer with whom the married Edwards had an affair.
The former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate released a statement to NBC's Today Show acknowledging his paternity, and his commitment to supporting the young girl, known as Quinn.
"I am Quinn's father," the confession begins. "I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves. I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace."
Edwards, 56, has been married to Elizabeth Edwards for nearly 33 years. The couple had four children together; their eldest, son Wade, died tragically in a 1996 car accident. In August 2008, Edwards admitted his extramarital affair with Hunter (whom he met while campaigning for a 2008 presidential bid), but consistently denied being the father of her child.
Edwards' statement continues: "It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me. I have been providing financial support for Quinn and have reached an agreement with her mother to continue providing support in the future. To all those I have disappointed and hurt these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry."
The fallen politician has no plans to speak publicly today; NBC News points out that he is under investigation for spending campaign funds to cover up the affair, an accusation he has denied.
A rep told NBC that that Edwards privately acknowledged Quinn as his daughter long ago, but waited to make it public to protect his family. "He's not doing this as a way to try to bring attention to himself…He's doing this as a way…to begin to put this behind, not just him, but everybody else who's been affected by this."
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