Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, whose cancer-stricken wife campaigned enthusiastically for him, has admitted that he had an extra-marital affair with a novice filmmaker but denied fathering the woman's daughter.
55-year-old Edwards, the former North Carolina Senator, acknowledged that he repeatedly lied during his Presidential campaign about the affair with Rielle Hunter but insisted he loved only his wife, Elizabeth.
"Two years ago I made a very serious mistake," he told ABC News in an interview.
Edwards, however, denied that he was the father of 43-year-old Hunter's baby girl, Frances Quinn, but expressed readiness to take a paternity test.
Edwards had declared his presidential candidature for this year's elections in December 2006 while he was the Democratic Vice Presidential nominee in 2004.
Hunter's friends were quoted as saying that Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006 and his political action committee later paid her USD 114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience.
Edwards said the affair began during the campaign with Hunter travelling with him all over the US and to Africa.
In the interview, he said he told his wife, who has been diagnosed with an incurable form of cancer, about the affair in 2006. "She (Elizabeth) was mad, she was angry, I think furious would be a good way to describe it," he said.
Elizabeth, 59, meanwhile, sought privacy for her family in a blog she posted on liberal Daily Kos Web site. "John made a terrible mistake in 2006 ... This was our private matter."
"I ask that the public, who expressed concern about the harm John's conduct has done to us, think also about the real harm that the present voyeurism does and give me and my family the privacy we need at this time," she wrote.