RALEIGH — John Edwards has been spared from having to sit down with attorneys for his former campaign aide next week, when he was scheduled to respond to questions under oath about an alleged sex tape with his mistress.
Judge Carl Fox issued the reprieve in Wake County Superior Court on Thursday, saying the deposition in the wrangle over ownership of the videotape could wait until after the resolution of a federal criminal case against the former senator and 2008 presidential candidate.
Edwards, 57, was accused this month of "participating in a scheme to violate federal campaign finance laws." Federal prosecutors contend that he improperly used campaign money to hide his pregnant mistress while he pursued a bid for the White House.
He was to go behind closed doors Monday with lawyers representing Andrew Young, his former aide who wrote a tell-all book about the 2008 presidential campaign.
But his lawyers argued such a question-and-answer session could cause complications, and possible self-incrimination, for Edwards amid the criminal allegations. Fox agreed to the delay.
"As much as I don't like the idea of staying, I think it's absolutely necessary in the interest of justice," Fox said.
Young, his wife, Cheri, and Rielle Hunter, the former campaign videographer with whom Edwards had an affair and fathered a child, are in a legal battleover who owns the sex tape.
Edwards answered all but 70 of the 2,200 questions asked in a deposition taken in February related to the civil case, his attorney Jim Cooney said.
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But lawyers for Young insisted that he had not provided key details that get to the crux of the case.