GREENSBORO, N.C. - The wife of a former aide to John Edwards rebuffed questions Tuesday on whether she had any incentive to lie to hurt the former presidential candidate.
"Sir, I'm here to tell the truth about my experiences, about my life," Cheri Young said in response to one of Edwards' defense lawyers. "It was a lie when we accepted paternity for your client, and that is why we are here today."
Her husband, Andrew Young, was among Edwards' closest aides in 2007, when the couple became embroiled in a yearlong effort to cover up the former U.S. senator's extramarital affair and the pregnancy that resulted from it.
Both Youngs have testified at Edwards' campaign-finance corruption trial that the candidate asked Andrew Young to issue a statement falsely claiming paternity of the child Edwards fathered with his mistress, Rielle Hunter. At the time, Edwards was a presidential candidate and it was just weeks from the Iowa caucuses.
In his cross-examination, defense lawyer Alan Duncan suggested the couple made a lot of money from the scandal.
They kept about $1 million secretly provided by two campaign supporters while the couple helped hide and care for the pregnant mistress. The Youngs also made hundreds of thousands of dollars from Andrew Young's 2010 tell-all about the affair and by selling film rights.
Cheri Young agreed they had made money through the cover-up she said was initiated by her husband's boss.
After years of denials, Edwards acknowledged paternity of Hunter's daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter, days before the release of Andrew Young's book. The girl, now 4, lives with her mother in Charlotte.
Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six counts related to campaign-finance violations. He faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted on all counts.
At the end of the day, the defense showed a tape that Cheri Young filmed inside the $2,700-a-month rental home near Chapel Hill that was leased for Hunter while she was hiding from tabloid reporters during the fall of 2007. Duncan suggested the Youngs had made the video as part of a scheme to extort money from Edwards, who was then still denying the affair.
Cheri Young said she made the tape to help document what her family had been through as a result of the affair. "This was proof that there really was a Rielle Hunter," she said.