Last week, we wrote about the women of the Edwards trial, and how they each seem to fit into stock characterizations, as if made for a Lifetime movie: the loyal wife; the brave, silent daughter; the frail, wealthy donor; the gold-digging, Medusa-esque mistress. There's a new bit of information to come out in the trial, and it shifts a few of these characterizations into a more human (less stereotypical) realm and a far more brutal one. As much as the characters in this drama can start to feel like just characters, they are real women with actual feelings and emotions. And just as Cheri Young expressed displeasure over her husband's actions, Elizabeth Edwards was not, it appears, the silent, accepting wife. She was angry—very angry—to learn of her husband's affair.
The New York Post calls this a "meltdown" (rather belittling, given that we know Elizabeth would pass away several years later of breast cancer). Further, is it really "taunting" your husband to confront him about his extramarital dalliance, an affair that's appeared on the front page of The National Enquirer, an affair he's promised you he would end? Via the Post,
John Edwards’ humiliated wife had a meltdown a day after his tawdry affair went public — hysterically taunting her husband by groping him and exposing her breasts in front of stunned campaign staffers, according to testimony yesterday in his federal campaign-finance trial.
An aide, Matthew Nelson, testified that Elizabeth "was groping and pawing" at her husband in the car en route to the Raleigh airport, and that she asked "Is this what you two do in the car when you are together in New York City?” She also reminded him that they were surrounded by staff, not friends when he said, of her reaction "not in front of our friends," according to the New York Times. Another aide, Christina Reynolds, said that Elizabeth was both upset and "vocal," storming off and collapsing "into a ball in the parking lot." After she calmed down a bit, she confronted Edwards again, this time showing her breasts (she'd had a lumpectomy in 2005). Reynolds said John "didn't have much of a reaction."