Cate Edwards is standing by her disgraced father John Edwards’ side during his trial for campaign violations, but the testimony on Wednesday was so painful for her to hear that she left the courtroom crying and wiping away her tears.
The 30-year-old was overcome with emotion after a former aide to her father spoke about a fight between John and Cate’s mother, Elizabeth Edwards, who passed away in December 2010 after a six year battle with breast cancer.
Christina Reynolds began to recall a shocking fight that John and Elizabeth had in the Raleigh airport in October 2007, the day the National Enquirer broke the story about the then presidential candidate's affair with Rielle Hunter.
As the testimony began, John turned around to Cate and said “I don't know what's coming; do you want to leave?" and she spoke back to him softly before abruptly leaving the courtroom in tears.
Her father called after her, saying “Cate, Cate,” but she fled sobbing.
The incident that Reynolds detailed was published in the book Game Change in 2010 but attributed to an anonymous source.
She testified that a very upset Elizabeth Edwards confronted John about the Rielle story and stormed away from him, but collapsed in the parking lot.
Reynolds said Elizabeth then walked back to John, pulled off her shirt and bra and while topless screamed at him “You don’t see me anymore.” She testified that John didn’t show any emotion during the shocking outburst, but that he called Elizabeth’s doctor and asked for help.
John Edwards has pleaded not guilty to six counts related to campaign-violations, and his parents and daughter Cate have been by his side in the courtroom daily during the trial.
If convicted on all counts, Edwards faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines.
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