John Edwards Judge Won't Block Sex Tape Testimony

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John Edwards Witness Feared He Would Be Shot
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John Edwards Witness Feared He Would Be Shot (ABC News)

The judge in the John Edwards trial today rejected a bid by Edwards' former mistress to sharply restrict what the court and the public can hear about a sex tape the couple made together.

The tape shows Rielle Hunter, who later gave birth to Edwards' child, and it shows enough of Edwards to be able to identify him.

Judge Catherine Eagles rebuffed the request calling it "extremely broad," according to the Associated Press.

The judge had earlier ruled that the video itself is inadmissible and will not be introduced during the trial.

Hunter, who was a videographer on Edwards' failed bid for the presidency in 2007, is expected to testify later in the trial.

The tape came up when Edwards' lawyer Abbe Lowell was grilling key prosecution witness Andrew Young about the final conversation that Edwards and Young during a car ride on Aug. 18, 2008 in a wooded area.

By this time their friendship had been severely strained by the extraordinary efforts to keep the secret of Hunter's pregnancy.

During their conversation Young told Edwards, "If he wasn't going to tell the truth about what transpired, then I was going to tell the truth."

Young told Edwards that he had saved voicemails, text messages, emails and photographs.

"You also told Mr. Edwards you had a private video of Miss Hunters?" Lowell asked.

At that point, the prosecution objected and the subject was not pressed.

Young said that Edwards was sweaty and "at one point I was scared for my life."

"Did you think John Edwards was going to shoot you?" Lowell asked.

"Not personally," Young answered.

"You thought there was a gunman in the woods who was going to come and shoot you?" the lawyer asked.

"That though did cross my mind," he answered.

"Were you afraid there was a gun or a tape recorder?" Lowell asked.

"Both occurred to me," Young replied.

Edwards is on trial for allegedly illegally using more than $900,000 in campaign donations to hide Hunter and her pregnancy.

His defense, however, says the money was used to hide the affair from Edwards' wife and was not related to his presidential campaign.

They emphasized that point today by noting that in a book Young wrote about the affair he said that during the Aug. 18 car ride Edwards told his once trusted aide that he had already confessed to his wife, Elizabeth Edwards. "I have told Elizabeth and you can't hurt me," was the quote.

During his testimony this week, however, Young has said to the court that Edwards said simply, "You can't hurt me."

They have also depicted Young as a greedy liar who used the scandal for his own financial profit.

In today testimony, Young conceded that he included as affair-related expenses trips with his family to Disneyland, Legoland, skiing in Aspen, and a trip to Mexico.

He also admitted spending $200,000 of the money to put in a pool at his home and wire it for audio.

Young testified earlier this week that he was told that hiding Hunter was the "most important" job in the campaign, even after Edwards dropped out of the race because he was hoping to become vice president or attorney general.

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