Edwards Kept Requesting Millions from His Aging Benefactor

Feds say he sought money from Bunny Mellon, 100, weeks before his indictment

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Weeks before former trial lawyer John Edwards was indicted by federal prosecutors for allegedly using 2008 campaign "gift" funds to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter, he was requesting millions of dollars more from the heiress who had previously financed him. ABC News has the exclusive:

[T]he two-time Democratic presidential candidate requested millions of dollars from Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, the banking heiress whose financial support of Edwards is at the center of the criminal case. One person with knowledge of the request confirmed the amount was in the millions of dollars but was unwilling to discuss why Edwards was seeking the money.

"Bunny" Mellon (once deemed Edward's "sugar mama" by The Daily Beast) allegedly gave the candidate $700,000 in gifts during the 2008 campaign, money that was said to be used help hide Rielle Hunter's pregnancy. What lies at the heart of prosecutors case against him is that Edwards knew these funds were used for a cover-up. At a press conference the day of his indictment, he stated "I never, ever thought I was breaking the law."

Mellon is currently considered the "principal source of money that enabled Edwards to conceal his affair," according to ABC (the other source was said to be Fred Baron, a now-deceased lawyer who contributed to the fund). Of Edwards most recent request for money from the heiress, however, the news outlet notes that even if he had actually received "millions" from Mellon weeks before the indictment, it still wouldn't be illegal since the 2008 campaign "is now long over."

This article is from the archive of our partner The Wire.