Washington, Aug.10 : Former Democrat vice-presidential candidate John Edwards has announced that he will take a paternity test over a child whose mother's past made her the model for a novel about the Eighties excesses of sex and drugs.
Edwards, 55, has shocked the American political fraternity and public by admitting that he had had an affair with Rielle Hunter for nine months, but denied having fathered her child.
The Daily Telegraph quoted Edwards as saying that it was his egotistical belief that drove him to have an affair with Rielle Hunter, 44, two years ago.
In an internet statement, Edwards's wife, Elizabeth, who is suffering from terminal cancer, declared that her husband had made a "terrible mistake" but said that after her disease returned last year, the couple had been able to patch up their marriage. She wrote: "I am proud of the courage John showed by his honesty in the face of shame."
In his statement Edwards said: "In 2006, I made a serious error in judgment and conducted myself in a way that was disloyal to my family and to my core beliefs. In the course of several campaigns, I started to believe that I was special and became egocentric and narcissistic."
Edwards was driven to confess when the National Enquirer magazine spotted him earlier this month visiting Miss Hunter and her baby girl in her hotel room in the early hours of the morning.
Miss Hunter has confessed to her colourful past on her website. She said that she gave up drink and drugs some years ago when she moved to Los Angeles.
In his interview with ABC News, the 2004, Edwards insisted he had never paid Hunter money but said that his aides might have done so without his knowledge. Financial records show that Edwards's political action committee paid Miss Hunter 114,000 dollars for her work on the campaign videos.
The child's birth certificate names no father but both Miss Hunter and Andrew Young, a married former aide to Edwards, have said that he - Young - is the father.