John Edwards Barred From Donor Bunny Mellon's Funeral

Image: John Edwards Barred From Donor Bunny Mellon's Funeral

Thursday, 03 Apr 2014 09:52 AM

By Drew MacKenzie

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Disgraced politician John Edwards, who quit his 2008 presidential campaign in shame after an extramarital affair was exposed, was barred from his wealthy benefactor Bunny Mellon’s funeral by her family.

Mellon, who died last month at 103, had donated $700,000 for his Democratic presidential bid. But prosecutors alleged that the former North Carolina senator had partially used the money to support his mistress Rielle Hunter, who was then pregnant with his daughter Frances Quinn.

Citing a report in the New York Social Diary, the New York Post said that Edwards arrived at the funeral in the Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Va., with his daughter Cate Edwards.

"The service may have been open to the public, but he was not welcome," the diary’s blogger, David Patrick Columbia, told the Post.

Edwards and his daughter, who is also his law partner at his new legal practice in Raleigh, N.C., watched the somber service with an overflow crowd on a big screen in the parish house next door.

The emotional eulogy was conducted by actor Frank Langella while singer Bette Midler performed a touching rendition of "The Rose." Even though he’d been barred from the service, Edwards followed the funeral procession to the cemetery.

"He was working the crowd near the graveside after the service," Columbia told the Post.

Edwards’ affair with Hunter led to him being charged with six counts of campaign-finance corruption, alleging that he used nearly $1 million in contributions to hide his pregnant mistress during his presidential bid.

Mellon, who was always known as Bunny and was a lifelong friend of Jacqueline Kennedy, was forced to testify at Edwards’s trial two years ago at the age of 101.

He was cleared of one charge by a federal jury in May, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges. The Justice Department dropped the case.

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