One-time Democratic Party star and presidential hopeful John Edwards has admitted for the first time he fathered a child from an affair during his White House run, as his wife battled cancer.
“I am Quinn’s father. I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves,” Edwards said in a statement to NBC News on Thursday.
“It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me,” he said.
Edwards, a North Carolina senator before joining the presidential race in 2004, and later the 2008 campaign, had up
until now denied fathering the now two-year-old child with filmmaker Rielle Hunter.
“To all those I have disappointed and hurt these words will never be enough, but I am truly sorry,” 56-year-old Edwards said in the statement.
In a bombshell disclosure in August 2008, the two-time presidential hopeful had admitted publicly to his long-rumoured affair.
He conceded it went on as he prepared for his 2008 White House run and while his wife Elizabeth Edwards was being treated for breast cancer.
Edwards apologised profusely and admitted life on the campaign trail had made him “increasingly egocentric and narcissistic.”
Asked by NBC why it took two years for Edwards to publicly admit paternity, adviser Harrison Hickman insisted he had “acknowledged it long before now.”
The reason for the public delay, Hickman said, was that “there are a lot of adults involved, there are a number of families involved, and there are also a lot of kids involved.”
Edwards was John Kerry’s running mate in his unsuccessful bid to unseat then-president George W. Bush in 2004.
According to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll released last month, Americans consider Edwards to be the “most disappointing” public figure.