'The Politician' Book Details: John Edwards's Former Aide Says Edwards Discussed Leaving Elizabeth

WASHINGTON (AP/Huffington Post)-- A former aide to John Edwards says in a new book that the two-time presidential candidate told him he thought about leaving his wife but also cited his love for her as a reason to keep details of an affair hidden, according to a newspaper report Tuesday night.

The Wall Street Journal reported on its Web site that Andrew Young says Edwards asked him to go into hiding with Edwards' mistress, in part because of his wife's health.

Young wrote that Edwards concluded "that if I helped him, I would make Mrs. Edwards's dying days a bit easier. 'I know you're mad at her, Andrew, but I love her. I can't let her die knowing this.'" Elizabeth Edwards has an incurable form of cancer that returned in 2007.

Young's tell-all book, "The Politician," accounts how Edwards asked him to help cover up the affair and promised to take care of him in the future. Edwards acknowledged for the first time last week that he fathered a child with Rielle Hunter.

Young provides an unflattering portrait of Edwards, talking about his obsession with campaign donations, his fixation with his hair, his disapproval of "fat rednecks" at state fairs and the lengths he went to hide the affair. Young has said in excerpts of an ABC News interview that Edwards asked him to find a doctor to fake a paternity test and to steal a diaper from the baby to secretly do a DNA test.

A longtime aide to Edwards, Young describes the discovery of a sex tape. According to the Journal, it showed Edwards and a naked, pregnant Hunter.

"It was like watching a traffic pileup occur in slow motion -- it was repelling but also transfixing," he writes, according to the Journal.

According to the Journal, Edwards became angry when finding out that Hunter was pregnant and sought to tell the former senator that he was the father:

Young writes that Edwards unloaded on Hunter as a "crazy slut," said they had an "open relationship," and put his paternity chances at "one in three." Young says that Edwards asked him for help persuading Hunter to have an abortion. Young writes that Hunter believed the baby to be "some kind of golden child, the reincarnated spirit of a Buddhist monk who was going to help save the world."

A spokeswoman for Edwards did not immediately return a call seeking comment.

"The Politician," is not due out until Saturday, but the Journal said it purchased a copy Monday at a Washington-area book store. Edwards, a former North Carolina senator and 2004 Democratic vice presidential candidate, has largely stayed secluded since first admitting the affair in August 2008. He has acknowledged a federal investigation into his campaign finances.

Edwards spent part of last week in Haiti helping with relief efforts. His wife has declined to discuss their marital status.