02/23/2012 06:29 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

'John Edwards Sex Tape' To Be Destroyed As Part Of Court Settlement

In a sad development for cinephiles who love cynicism and the petty miseries of the human race, a court has ruled that the John Edwards Sex Tape -- a hotly contested property in legal circles -- will be awarded (awarded?) to Rielle Hunter, its original filmmaker, a world-famous videographer and the ex-mistress of former presidential candidate and Sen. Edwards (D-N.C.). But lest you think that the content of this tape would be appearing on Hulu as part of the Criterion Collection, think again: all known copies of the tape are to be destroyed, per ABC News' James Hill:

According to North Carolina court officials and a Hunter spokesperson, Hunter and former Edwards’ aide Andrew Young, along with his wife Cheri, agreed to end their dispute more than two years after the case was originally filed. Under the terms of the settlement, all known copies of the sex tape are to be destroyed within 30 days. If other copies of the tape surface later, the agreement requires those to be destroyed as well.

The court determined that other disputed items in the case, including a series of intimate photos of Hunter and her daughter, belong to Ms. Hunter and would be turned over to her. [Former Edwards aide Andrew Young and his wife, Cheri] admitted no liability.

And so, the "John Edwards Sex Tape" joins such titles as "The Day The Clown Cried" and "Cocksucker Blues" in the annals of never-released movies whose few viewers enjoy lording the fact that they've watched the film over the rest of us. Interestingly enough, this also means we'll never really know if the John Edwards sex tape lives up to the title, "John Edwards Sex Tape." As Hill points out, all we really know is that Hunter sued the Youngs to recover a "personal and private" videotape "that came to be known in court filings as 'the Edwards sex tape.'”

In lieu of being able to show you the tape, please enjoy this astoundingly exacting "interactive timeline" from the Associated Press, about the "John Edwards sex tape," before it gets optioned by Ken Burns for a multipart documentary for PBS.

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