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Long IslandPolitics

Friend: John and Elizabeth Edwards have separated

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards hugs his

Democratic vice presidential candidate John Edwards hugs his wife Elizabeth as he arrives at the Democratic National Convention in file photo in Boston, Mass. (July 28, 2004) Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images

RALEIGH, N.C. - A friend says Elizabeth Edwards has separated from her husband, two-time presidential candidate John Edwards.

Andrea Purse tells The Associated Press on behalf of Elizabeth
Edwards that the couple has separated. Purse released a  statement Wednesday that says Elizabeth is moving on with her life and wants to put this difficult chapter behind her.

It comes as details emerge about a tell-all book from longtime John Edwards aide Andrew Young, who initially claimed he fathered a child with Edwards’ mistress.

John Edwards publicly declared last week that he was the one who
fathered a child with Rielle Hunter, who worked as a videographer
before his second presidential campaign.

North Carolina law requires couples to be separated for a year before divorcing.

A former aide to John Edwards says in a new book that the two-time presidential candidate told him he thought about leaving his wife but also cited his love for her as a reason to keep details of an affair hidden, according to a newspaper report Tuesday night.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site that Andrew
Young says Edwards asked him to go into hiding with Edwards’
mistress, in part because of his wife’s health.

Young wrote that Edwards concluded “that if I helped him, I
would make Mrs. Edwards’s dying days a bit easier. ’I know you’re
mad at her, Andrew, but I love her. I can’t let her die knowing
this.”’ Elizabeth Edwards has an incurable form of cancer that
returned in 2007.

Young’s tell-all book accounts how Edwards asked him to help
cover up the affair and promised to take care of him in the future.
Edwards acknowledged for the first time last week that he fathered
a child with Rielle Hunter.

The book, “The Politician,” is not due out until Saturday, but
the Journal said it purchased a copy Monday at a Washington-area
book store.

Young provides an unflattering portrait of Edwards, talking
about his obsession with campaign donations, his fixation with his
hair, his disapproval of “fat rednecks” at state fairs and the
lengths he went to hide the affair. Young has said in excerpts of
an ABC News interview that Edwards asked him to find a doctor to
fake a paternity test and to steal a diaper from the baby to
secretly do a DNA test.

A longtime aide to Edwards, Young describes the discovery of a
videotape showing Edwards and a naked Hunter.

“It was like watching a traffic pileup occur in slow motion — it was repelling but also transfixing,” he writes, according to the Journal.

A spokeswoman for Edwards did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic
vice presidential candidate, has largely stayed secluded since
first admitting the affair in August 2008. He has acknowledged a
federal investigation into his campaign finances.

Edwards spent part of last week in Haiti helping with relief efforts.

His wife has declined to discuss their marital status.

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