Two lawyers who acted seemingly independently in December to defuse rumors of John Edwards' affair had links to a key backer, the New York Times reports—lawyer Fred Baron, whose wife donated to Edwards' nearly defunct political action committee just as it paid Rielle Hunter $14,000 4 months after her contract ended. The cover-up, made by lawyers for Hunter and Andrew Young, the Edwards aide who claims to have fathered her child, suggests the affair may have gone on longer than the former candidate admits.
Edwards' PAC claims that Hunter's April 2007 payment was delayed because that's how long it took her to turn over video footage. And while Baron has little memory of arranging legal counsel for Hunter and Young, he admits giving them money to relocate to a California house—with Young's wife and children—when the National Enquirer broke the story in October 2007. Meanwhile, a friend tells the Times Hunter told her she was seeing a married North Carolina man named John in March 2006—months before Edwards says the affair began. “There were stormy moments for her, a lot of tears and a lot of struggle,” the friend said.