A judge ordered an ex-aide to former Sen. John Edwards on Friday to turn over a sex tape said to depict Edwards and his former mistress, an official in a North Carolina court said.
Judge Abraham Penn Jones found former Edwards aide Andrew Young and his wife, Cheri, in civil contempt of court, said Tammy Keshler, a judicial assistant in Chatham County Superior Court.
He ordered them to give the court the tape and other materials they may have by 2 p.m. Wednesday, she said. The judge said he could jail the Youngs if they do not comply, she said.
The Youngs appeared in court in Pittsboro, about 35 miles west of Raleigh, North Carolina, to contest a temporary restraining order forbidding them from disseminating the videotape.
The couple has said they possess “a video recording showing Senator Edwards engaged in sexual activities with a woman who, from all indications, is not his wife and who the Youngs believe to be Ms. Hunter, based upon her appearance,” court documents say.
The woman on the tape is visibly pregnant, the Youngs say. That means the video might not be the one specified in the restraining order, because Rielle Hunter, Edwards’ former mistress, said that tape was created in September 2006, the Youngs say.
Video: Young: I have Edwards sex tape
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John Edwards (Politician)
“This means that, as a matter of human biology, Ms. Hunter would have given birth no later than June 2007,” the Youngs say.
Hunter was pregnant in 2007 and gave birth to Edwards’ daughter Frances Quinn on February 27, 2008.
In the court documents, the Youngs suggest that Hunter might have mistaken when the video was made. Even if that is the case, they say, Hunter abandoned the videotape in the trash at their home and made no effort to recover it until almost two years after she had left their home.
Friday’s court proceeding is the latest development in a saga involving one-time Democratic presidential hopeful Edwards.
In January, he admitted that he had fathered a child with Hunter, a videographer who worked on his campaign.
Edwards, 56, had publicly denied paternity for more than a year. About a week after his admission, Edwards confirmed reports that he had legally separated from his wife, Elizabeth.
Those announcements came just before Andrew Young released an embarrassing book about the Edwardses and his campaign.
In the book, Young portrays John Edwards as a cold, calculating and reckless politician willing to deny fathering a girl, risk his marriage and put the Democratic Party in potential political jeopardy, all in the name of pursuing the presidency.
After Hunter became pregnant, Young says in the book, he agreed to the North Carolina senator’s request to lie, allowed Hunter to live in his home and said he was the father, though Young was married with three children.