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The scandal that derailed John Edwards’ career, shattered his image as a devoted family man and led to his indictment is now set to play out in federal court.

The former Democratic presidential candidate is fighting allegations that he violated federal campaign finance laws during his 2008 bid for the White House.

Prosecutors contend he secretly obtained hundreds of thousands of dollars from two wealthy supporters to hide his affair and love child with Rielle Hunter.

John Edwards Trial Begins

Hunter, was a campaign videographer who gave birth to their daughter, Frances Quinn, at a time when Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, was battling breast cancer.

Elizabeth Edwards passed away in late 2010.

The alleged donors were Fred Baron, a wealthy Texas lawyer who is no longer alive, and Rachel “Bunny” Mellon, a wealthy 101-year-old benefactor.

They supposedly provided more than $900,000 in living expenses for Rielle Hunter, who is not expected to testify at the trial of the ex-U.S. Senator.

 
Prosecutors argue the money should have been reported as campaign funds because it was meant to help Edwards preserve and protect his image.

As Edwards’ family watched from the courtroom in Greensboro, N.C., 100 men and women were given a brief review of the jury selection process.

The case seems as much made for celebrity gossip tabloids as it is for legal scholars studying the reach of federal regulations governing elections.

Whether or not Edwards can win it is an entirely open question.