Cover Story: Edwards, mistress and sex tapes

PITTSBORO, NC (WBTV) - A North Carolina judge Friday ordering a former aide to presidential candidate John Edwards to turn over a sex tape purportedly featuring Edwards and his mistress Rielle Hunter.  If he doesn't the judge is threatening to send the aide to jail.

Andrew Young is the aide and you've no doubt seen and heard of him and his book "The Politician" released last week, which is already a national best seller.  What's on the tape and what are the legal issues surrounding it?

Andrew Young and his wife Cheri showed up at the courthouse in Pittsboro halfway between Asheboro and Raleigh Friday under a judge's order to turn over a videotape and other items being sought by John Edwards' mistress Rielle Hunter.

Young says he found the tape in a box Rielle Hunter had left behind at a home he rented for Hunter in Chatham county.

Young and his wife said they held onto the material so they said they would have proof of Edwards' affair backing up Young's story in his book on the former North Carolina U.S. Senator and presidential candidate.

"We had gone to grand extremes to protect them on our part and here's a sex tape," said Young's wife Cheri.

"But it shows the arrogance and the hubris that he had," said Andrew Young.

Rielle Hunter, a campaign staffer who had an affair and a child with Edwards, sued the Youngs last week saying they had taken a video she described as "very private and personal" as well as two campaign videos she shot and eight pictures of her daughter.  She's demanding it be turned over and a judge granted a temporary restraining order.

The Youngs say that Hunter abandoned the items.  They say she left them in the home and didn't ask about them for two years.  They also question whether Hunter has a right to the sex tape saying she might not even be the woman with Edwards on the tape.

Jason Huber, a professor at the Charlotte School of Law says in cases like this the court wants to seal all the materials until the lawsuit is settled.

He says, "In this instance when you're dealing with these very private intimate or allegedly very private intimate details of a person's life the court has an interest in maintaining the status quo.. to protect both sides from irreparable injury and ultimately be able to hear the case on all the merits."

Judge Abe Jones ruled Friday the Youngs must surrender the materials by 2:00 pm Wednesday or go to jail.  It appears they will comply.

"We're happy to give the materials to the court," Andrew Young told reporters outside the courthouse, "we in over two years were never planning on.. we never did anything with them. There's a reason nobody's ever seen the tape. And while the court resolves these issues we're happy to give them to the court."

This has become more than a battle over a sex tape.

A federal grand jury in Raleigh is looking into whether money from the Edwards' campaign was illegally used to cover up Edwards' affair.

Just last week the John Edwards and his wife of 32-year Elizabeth confirmed they had separated.  Rielle Hunter and her two-year old daughter are living in a rented home in Charlotte.