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Friday, February 24, 2012

Silky Pony & co-star negotiate return of sex tapes

I, for one, am relieved by this news: "Sex tape of John Edwards [&] mistress to be destroyed within 30 days after lawsuit settlement."

My relief flows from the general proposition that it's a good thing to reduce, when possible, the total number of things in the universe which, if seen by me by accident, might make me want to stab myself in both eyeballs with knitting needles.

The first version of the story I'd read, from TheHill.com, reported that "all copies of the tape will be destroyed within 30 days." If accomplished, that would be a rare exception to the general rule of thumb about sex videos in the digital/internet age.

But if you read to the end of the AP story, you'll find that "[i]n the settlement, the Youngs pledged to seek the destruction of any copies of the sex tape that may now be in the possession of the federal government." Meaning there are such, and meaning that the feds haven't yet made any such commitment. Nor, likely, could they — not while six felony and misdemeanor campaign finance charges are still pending against Edwards in connection with his co-star.

Just in case, I'm going to avoid acquiring knitting needles.

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UPDATE (Fri Feb 24 @ wee-smalls): Local press coverage indicates that we'll certainly hear and see more about the sex tape:

Hunter sued Young after Young's tell-all book published in February 2010 described the tape. The 21-page consent judgment and permanent injunction does carve out a notable exception to the disclosure injunction: items already sold by the Youngs as part of a movie deal based on the book.

....

"Ms. Hunter was demanding money up until very recently," said Robert Elliot, the Youngs' attorney....

This makes it sound like a financial wash, a walk-away deal where neither side paid any cash to the other. As for what's coming soon to your local motion picture theaters — or, maybe, not?

Information about the sex tape and the list known as "The Slut Club," as described in "The Politician," were specifically exempted from the non-publication order. The Youngs had sold the rights to the tape to Aaron Sorkin of Colvin Road Entertainment as part of movie deal for Young's story and book, according to the agreement, and Elliot said that anything said in the book is fair game.

However, in the agreement filed Thursday, Hunter explicitly retained the right to take the Youngs to court again with regard to the movie if more information stemming from the property returned to her is publicized.

Conspiracy theorists will immediately seize upon Aaron Sorkin's close ties to the Democratic Party and draw enthusiastic inferences and conclusions therefrom. But the Sorkin connection is actually old news. The old saying was that "Politics is show-business for ugly people" — but now it's just all an ugly blur, isn't it, even though some very pretty people are involved?

Posted by Beldar at 12:46 AM in 2008 Election, Film/TV/Stage, Humor, Law (2012), Politics (2012), SCOTUS & federal courts, Web/Tech | Permalink

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Comments

(1) Beldar made the following comment | Feb 24, 2012 1:27:42 AM | Permalink

In case you're confused, this would be the same John Edwards who was the Democratic Party's nominee for vice president in 2004 and its 2d-runner up (behind Hillary and Obama) for its presidential nomination in 2008. Remember that the next time you're inclined to poke fun at the GOP candidates today. Even the worst of Newt's infidelities, viewed in the least charitable light, look pretty minor league compared to Edwards'. Or in terms of cosmic self-destructive stupidity, Edwards' decision to permit this sex tape to be made, all by itself, out-scores all of Rick Perry's gaffes in his entire campaign. We all knew that John Edwards wanted to match and surpass that other handsome, charming, slightly roguish southern Democrat, Bill Clinton. Remarkably, he has.

I don't know, by the way, whether Ms. Hunter had or has independent counsel of her own, or whether instead she relied upon joint representation through John Edwards' counsel. Their positions necessarily generate massive potential conflicts of interest that would require extensive disclosure and discussion before they could make an informed waiver and accept common counsel. Personally and professionally, were I being asked (and no, I haven't been), I would not only advise against such a waiver, I'd refuse to be a party to one in these circumstances: I'd refuse to represent them both even if they both insisted they wanted me to. Rather, I'd tell her that she should definitely have and heed her own active and independent counsel to protect her distinct interests. She should look at the cost of such lawyers as a prudent expense to be offset against her inevitable book advance.

And John might possibly be thinking that he needs to plan now for his future video needs in prison. Would you rely on him, or those beholden to him, on a promise that every copy of the video had been destroyed? I wouldn't, but that's just me. I wouldn't take John Edwards' word that water is wet.

Finally, snark aside, I would be among the first to acknowledge cheerfully that John Edwards is innocent of the crimes he's been charged with unless and until he's proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. That hasn't happened yet, and might never. I'm frankly still expecting a plea bargain, but that's pure speculation on my part, and he certainly has the right to a full and fair trial, with all due legal processes and appeals. I have no reason to second-guess the recent postponement of his trial on health grounds, and indeed I wish him good health. He's no stranger to the courtroom and has the best lawyers that money can buy, so we'll see how things shake out for Silky Pony as his earthly reckoning approaches.

In my fantasies, he not only decides to go to trial, but he decides to be his own lawyer, to waive the Fifth, and to take the stand on his own behalf. I would seriously consider going to North Carolina for however long it took to watch that trial in person. (Okay, that's snarky again.)

(2) Dustin made the following comment | Feb 24, 2012 12:21:48 PM | Permalink

I have to admit, if you compare the GOP to John Edwards, the GOP comes away looking brilliant and saintly.

What a reckless weirdo.

"I would be among the first to acknowledge cheerfully that John Edwards is innocent of the crimes he's been charged with unless and until he's proved guilty beyond a reasonable doubt."

Well, that's a good attitude and healthy for partisans (like me) to keep in mind. But I think we know enough about John. Hopefully he will not make a comeback and we can move on to thinking about the comparable better creatures of politics.

"it's a good thing to reduce, when possible, the total number of things in the universe which, if seen by me by accident, might make me want to stab myself in both eyeballs with knitting needles."

The very words I live by.

(3) Gregory Koster made the following comment | Feb 28, 2012 11:00:55 AM | Permalink

Dear Mr. Dyer: To think that this man was a serious contender to be Attorney General. By now, Holder doubtless wishes this was true...I am astonished that Hunter would even consider common counsel. Doing so would provide a new definition of the old saw "Penny wise, pound foolish." I also note the peculiar wording "... pledge to seek the destruction of any copies of the sex tape that may now be in the possession of the federal government." This wording tests high for a percentage of weasel words.

I'm not especially impressed by the notion that the GOP field is better than Edwards when it comes to sex scandals. They are also better than The One so far as deficit spending goes, too. How impressive is that? Beyond the press gang, I mean.

Sincerely yours,
Gregory Koster

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