John Edwards' probing of Rielle Hunter torpedoed his political career and nearly his marriage. Now a federal probe into his finances is throwing gasoline on the fire.
The two-time presidential candidate is being investigated over his use of campaign funds - a subject that could carry the married Edwards' now-infamous affair with videographer Hunter from celebrity gossip tabloids to the courtroom.
The subject of federal scrutiny is the more than $100,000 Edwards' political action committee paid Hunter's firm for production of online campaign videos.
"I am confident no funds from my campaign were used improperly," Edwards said, addressing the matter in a carefully-worded statement.
"However, I know that it is the role of government to ensure that this is true. We have made available to the United States both the people and the information necessary to help them get the issue resolved efficiently and in a timely matter."
A range of other Edwards fundraising organizations - two non-profits and a poverty center at his alma mater - have also come under greater scrutiny.
Chief among them? The PAC that paid the company owned by Rielle Hunter for web videos documenting John Edwards' travels and advocacy in '06.
The committee also paid her an additional $14,086.50 on April 1, 2007.
At the time of that payment to Hunter, the PAC only had $7,932.95 in cash, according to the Federal Election Commission. That day, Edwards' presidential campaign paid the PAC $14,034.61 for what is listed as a "furniture purchase."
Willfully converting money from a political action committee for personal use is a federal crime. Edwards has said he was unaware of the payments.
Since being forced to admit the affair after being busted visiting Hunter and his possible love child with her last August, Edwards has been largely MIA.
His wife, Elizabeth Edwards, who is terminally ill with cancer, will soon be releasing a book, Resilience, talking about the affair. In it, she writes that news of the affair made her vomit. She also describes Rielle Hunter as "pathetic."