London, Aug 9 : Former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards has admitted that he lied by denying an affair with a former aide while his chief fundraiser conceded that he had given money to the woman, who has remained silent.
The National Enquirer magazine recently caught Edwards, 55, secretly visiting Rielle Hunter, 44, and her six-month-old baby Frances Quinn Hunter at a Beverly Hills hotel. This week, photographs of him holding the baby girl were published.
The bombshell could be a damaging distraction for Barack Obama, the Democratic nominee, whom Edwards endorsed amid much fanfare in May, The Telegraph reported.
In a detailed prepared statement, Edwards said that during his political campaigns "I started to believe that I was special and became increasingly egocentric and narcissistic."
"If you want to beat me up - feel free. You cannot beat me up more than I have already beaten up myself. I have been stripped bare and will now work with everything I have to help my family and others who need my help," he added.
Edwards insisted he had not been engaged in any activity of any description that requested, agreed to or supported payments of any kind to the woman or to the apparent father of the baby.
A televised confession by Edwards taped by ABC News, which had been investigating the affair, was broadcast late on Friday night.
Fred Baron, the chief fundraiser for Edwards, indicated that money had been given to Hunter and Andrew Young, the former Edwards aide, who is married with children, who has said he is the father.
Mr Edwards, a former Senator for North Carolina who was the Democratic vice-presidential candidate, insisted he was not the father of the child and said he was willing to take a paternity test.
He stated he had not been in love with Hunter, an obscure film-maker whom he met in a New York bar in 2006 and subsequently hired to make films about his 2008 presidential bid and travelled extensively with her in the United States and as far afield as Africa.