RALEIGH, N.C. -- A North Carolina prosecutor said Monday he wouldn't pursue contempt charges against an ex-aide to John Edwards related to a court fight over a video purported to show the ex-presidential candidate having sex with his former mistress.
A state judge in June assigned District Attorney Jim Woodall to weigh whether to pursue criminal charges against Andrew Young, his wife and two of their lawyers.
The contempt charges were tied to a lawsuit filed against the Youngs by Rielle Hunter, who was Edwards' mistress as he sought the White House in 2008. The state court ordered sensitive documents in the lawsuit to be kept under seal, including a lengthy deposition given by Edwards.
Young and his lawyers acknowledged providing those documents to federal prosecutors investigating Edwards prior to his 2011 indictment, but said they did so only after receiving a subpoena signed by a federal judge. Attorneys for the Youngs said they were asked by prosecutors to keep the subpoena a secret from Hunter and her lawyers.
A judge found that created probable cause that the four had acted in contempt of the court's order.
But Woodall determined "there is insufficient evidence to sustain a criminal prosecution in this matter beyond a reasonable doubt." The lead prosecutor for a two-county district that includes Chapel Hill, where both the Youngs and Edwards live, said the case would be dismissed.
Raleigh lawyer Philip R. Isley did not immediately return a call seeking comment. He represents Andrew Young, his wife Cheri and their lawyers Robert Elliot and David Pishko.
Andrew Young was the government's star witness at Edwards' campaign corruption trial this spring, spending more than a week on the witness stand. Edwards was acquitted on one count and the jury deadlocked on five others. The U.S. Justice Department decided against retrying Edwards.
Young was once so loyal to Edwards he falsely claimed paternity of the baby the presidential candidate fathered with Hunter. The Youngs helped hide Hunter from the media for nearly a year in a coast-to-coast odyssey. Then Andrew Young turned against his former boss and testified for the prosecution under an immunity agreement.
The civil case between Hunter and the Youngs was settled earlier this year with a state court order that required copies of the sex tape to be destroyed, though federal prosecutors may still have a copy. A hearing on the contempt of court issue was delayed until after Edwards' federal trial.
Love At First Sight?
"And when they left, my friend went over and asked Tony if that was John Edwards, and he said yes. And my friend turned to me and said, 'See, I told you it was John Edwards.' And then I came over to the table, and I said, 'I can't believe that was John Edwards; he's so hot. He's really got it going on. He's got something unusual about him, and I never would have recognized him.' And Tony said, 'Oh, my God, you should have come over and told him that. He would have loved to have heard that.'"
An Extraordinary Night
"We had an extraordinary night, and I did know that this was unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. And as we have all learned, that was accurate! [laughs] He in fact did say to me the first night, 'Falling in love with you could really [screw] up my plans for becoming President.' And of course I said, 'If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans.'"
The Oddest Connection He Had Ever Felt
"Well, what Johnny later told me was, he went to dinner and could not stop thinking about me, like, 'Who was that woman, and why didn't I go over and talk to her?' ... So when he walked around the corner and saw me standing there, he lit up like a Christmas tree. And I thought his reaction when he saw me was just so cute. I mean, he looked like a little kid at Christmas. And I just uttered to him, 'You're so hot.' And he said, 'Why, thank you!' And he almost jumped into my arms. Literally. And um, that's how we met. On the corner of 61st and Park Avenue."
'I Had To Sleep With Him'
"I used to make a joke that I could have helped save the world, but I had to sleep with him. You know? It was kind of like that."
Falling In Love
"I fell in love with Johnny ... He called me the next day. We talked on the phone almost every night for four hours. We met on February 21. On February 25—on the phone, from Davenport, Iowa—I fell in love with him. Head over heels in love. I was a goner."
Here's ... Johnny!
"Isn't that funny? You know, when I first met him, the first week of our relationship, I said to him, 'For some reason I cannot call you John, it doesn't come out. Could I call you Johnny?' And he said, 'That's my name.' And I didn't know that, but that's his actual birth name."
Knight In Shining Armor?
"I had this thing in my head like a lot of women, where you want your man to stand up on a cliff and scream, 'I LOVE HER.' You know, the knight in shining armor. And that wasn't what was going on."
On Her Relationship Status
"I am not engaged."
Why She's Talking Now
"I feel comfortable talking now, because Johnny went public and made a statement admitting paternity. I didn't feel like I could ever speak until he did that. Because had I spoken, I would have emasculated him. And I could not emasculate him. Also, it is not my desire to teach my daughter that when Mommy's upset with Daddy, you take matters into your own hands and fix Daddy's mistakes. Which I view as one of the biggest problems in all female-and-male relationships."
Not A Gold Digger
"I mean, just for starters, I never 'hit on' Johnny. I'm not a predator, I'm not a gold digger, I'm not the stalker. I didn't have any power in that way in our relationship. He held all the power."
'The Wrath Of Elizabeth Is A Mighty Wrath'
"And I believe what happened in his marriage is, he could not go to his wife and say, 'We have an issue.' Because he would be pummeled. So he had a huge fear. Most of his mistakes or errors in judgment were because of his fear of the wrath of Elizabeth. He's allowed himself to be pushed into a lot of things that he wouldn't normally do because of Elizabeth's story line. And the spin that she wants to put out there. He was emasculated. And you know, the wrath of Elizabeth is a mighty wrath."
'I Was A Bit Promiscuous'
"I was never, as it's been reported, a drug addict. The word addiction means inability to stop. I stopped doing drugs in my twenties. As for being promiscuous, I would say that I was a bit promiscuous for about six months. But it was because I was partying, and there were a lot of very good-looking available 20-year-old men around that you'd be partying with, and there was a lot of, you know, hooking up going on."
A Toxic Relationship
"[Elizabeth] was in denial about a lot of facts. And I say she was in denial because, you know, their relationship has been dysfunctional and toxic and awful for many, many years. And she was aware of, um, problems and chose to ignore them."
'I Don't Really Believe He Was A Politician'
"Well, I don't really believe he was a politician. I believe his ego and ambition drove him to that field. I believe he's more aligned with being a humanitarian. That suits his true nature. Just like I wasn't a mistress. You know, I'm not a mistress, but I played the role? I believe he played the role of a politician. It's not who he is. Being a politician was a path of transformation for him, I believe. It's not really what he was put on the planet to do."
Not A 'Home Wrecker'
"And, well, first of all, infidelity doesn't happen in healthy marriages. The break in the marriage happens before the infidelity. And that break happened, you know, two and a half decades before I got there. So the home was wrecked already. I was not the Home Wrecker."
Naming Frances Quinn Hunter
"Her name is Frances Quinn Hunter, and I love the name Frances. Johnny wasn't over the moon about Frances. So I was coming up with names, and Quinn is a name that I loved, and that was the only name that he thought was cool. And so I named her Quinn because Daddy really liked it."
Was Andrew Young In Love With Edwards?
"Andrew [Young] was in love with Johnny...In love with him. Beyond. And I believe he loved Johnny more than he loved Cheri. So Johnny was the third person in their relationship. And I'm sure she hates Johnny, because Andrew took a lot of obvious actions that were for Johnny and not for Cheri. But Cheri went along with them. And they both have a way of spinning things. But a lot of their motivation is money."