Andrew Young testified under oath Wednesday that he has turned over all copies of a sex tape featuring John Edwards and his then-pregnant mistress.
But the team of lawyers for Rielle Hunter, who bore the love child of the two-time presidential candidate, made it clear they don't believe Young, the former aide who helped hide his boss' affair. Hunter sued Young and his wife, Cheri, last month over ownership of the tape.
Again and again during a lengthy cross-examination, Hunter's lawyers challenged Andrew Young over discrepancies in past statements about the location of the tape Hunterleft in his home, the number of copies made of the tape and precisely who has seen the video.
Young, an attorney himself, repeatedly qualified his answers using legalistic hedges against perjury, such as "to the best of my knowledge" and "to my recollection."
"If you haven't heard ... the last couple years have been hectic for us," said Young, who interrupted his national tell-all book tour to be at the hearing. "I answered the best that I could and as truthfully as I could."
What Young tried to pass off as a faulty memory, Hunter's lawyers characterized as lies. The former aide had previously said in an affidavit that no copies of the tape were at his home.
But under cross-examination, he said he had forgotten about the copy he had showed to producers for ABC's "20/20" news program, which recently aired an hourlong special on Edwards' affair, only a few days earlier. Young testified he turned over "suitcases of material to ABC, but not a copy of the sex tape."
"In my 39 years (practicing law), I don't know if there's been a clearer case of perjury," said Wade Barber, one of Hunter's half-dozen lawyers.
Hunter , who was said to be "available if needed" by the court, did not make an appearance at Wednesday's hearing.
After Young made a reference during his testimony to the "John Edwards sex tape," Alan Duncan, one of Hunter's lawyers, attempted to correct him.
"You mean, what, for the purpose of this hearing, we're referring to as the tape of a personal nature," Hunter's lawyer offered.
The Youngs were placed under a contempt order Friday by Superior Court Judge Abraham Penn Jones after the couple refused to turn over the tape and other materials Hunter claims belong to her. Facing a stay in the Orange County Jail, Young and one of his five attorneys retrieved the original cassette, labeled as "special," from a bank safety deposit box in Atlanta on Tuesday.
Other items were brought to the court room in a blue gym bag, including a copy of the sex tape Young had at his house and other tapes and photos he had stashed in a lock box in his brother-in-law's Raleigh home. All of the materials were labeled as evidence and will be kept under seal by the court until the civil suit over who ownsthem is settled.
Young testified that a third copy of the sex tape had been turned over to the FBI by one of his lawyers in Washington. The tape was subpoenaed as part of an ongoing grand jury investigation into Edwards, who served a single term as the state's junior U.S. senator before pole-vaulting onto the national ticket as the Democratic Party's nominee for president in 2004.
Another hearing on whether the Youngs have fully complied with the judge's contempt order is scheduled for Feb. 17. Meanwhile, both the mistress and the aide, and their legal teams, will prepare for arguments over the lawsuit itself.