Elizabeth Edwards wants to deny John Edwards custody when she dies

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Yesterday, the NYDN had an interesting story about Elizabeth Edwards making preparations for her death – apparently, she’s not doing very well, and she’s begun to think about who will raise her two youngest children, Emma (12) and Jack (10). Of course, the obvious choice would be Emma and Jack’s father, John Edwards. But Elizabeth doesn’t want to take the chance that Rielle Hunter will be anywhere near her kids, and Elizabeth thinks there’s a good chance John will marry Rielle when Elizabeth dies. So Elizabeth’s ideal solution is to try to leave Emma and Jack in the care of the Edwards’ oldest daughter, Cate. Cate is 28 years old now, and living in Washington, D.C. Of course, most custody experts think that whatever plans Elizabeth is making to attempt to give custody to anyone other than John is for naught.

Elizabeth Edwards is said to be determined not to let her husband’s mistress become her children’s stepmom. Insiders tell us that John Edwards’ estranged wife is investigating how – should she lose her battle with cancer – she can keep daughter Emma, 12, and son Jack, 10, away from Rielle Hunter, the woman who broke up her marriage.

“She doesn’t want Rielle anywhere near them,” says a source.

Friends say Elizabeth is exploring the option of having her 28-year-old daughter, Cate, raise them.

“She’s a smart and competent woman,” says a source, noting that, having graduated from Harvard Law School, Cate has been clerking in federal court in Alexandria, Va. She owns a Georgetown row house and has been in a longterm relationship with a resident at Georgetown University Hospital.

Hard as it is to face the worst-case scenario, Elizabeth “has been grooming Cate to take over,” says a source.

Another source says Elizabeth has been forced to confront the question of guardianship because her health has “taken a turn for the worse lately.”

Her sister, Nancy Anania Sims, disputes that she’s suffered a setback.

“She is in treatment,” Sims tells us. “But she’s doing well. She’s from strong Italian stock. She has more energy than I do.”

Sims also doesn’t believe John Edwards will marry Hunter, with whom he has a 2-year-old daughter, Quinn. even though he’s now legally separated from Elizabeth.

Hunter has said that she and Edwards used to dream about what wedding they’d have after Elizabeth was gone. But, at this point, Sims says, “I find it impossible to believe [they’ll marry]. That would surprise me.”

Sims doesn’t “think” Elizabeth has discussed Cate becoming her siblings’ guardian. But she corroborated that Elizabeth may be hoping to deprive her husband of custody.

“There are a lot of family members who are willing and able [to look after Jack and Emma],” says Sims, who might be one of them. “They’ll be well taken care of.”

John Edwards’ lawyer, Wade Smith, didn’t immediately return a phone call. But some attorneys who’ve been watching the Edwards drama believe that Elizabeth stands little chance of choosing Jack and Emma’s guardian.

“That’s ridiculous,” says New York attorney Peter Bronstein, whose star clients have included Guy Ritchie and Julian Schnabel. “The father would have the paramount right to succeed to the custody of his natural children.

“It would be very sad if Elizabeth Edwards isn’t around to see her children to adulthood. But she can’t rule from the grave and dictate whether they see their father and his girlfriend.”

The exception would be if the father was proven to be unfit – say, for instance, if Edwards were to go to jail. (A grand jury in North Carolina has been considering whether he illegally used campaign funds to cover up his affair with Hunter.)

“If a father was shown to be guilty of moral turpitude, he might lose custody,” Bronstein allows. Would that include adultery?

“No,” says Bronstein. “If that were true, half the parents in America would lose their children.”

[From The NY Daily News]

Elizabeth surely has good reason to detest Rielle, and judging from Rielle’s interview on Oprah, the bitch is crazy. I wouldn’t want my phantom, imaginary children anywhere near Rielle. Hell, I wouldn’t want my dog anywhere near Rielle. She’s bunny-boiling crazy. And it’s sad to think that Elizabeth’s dying wish is to ensure that her youngest children have nothing to do with Rielle, and that that wish probably won’t come true. Because I do see John marrying or living with Rielle after Elizabeth dies – and I think he’ll want Rielle to help him raise Emma and Jack. Ugh. Maybe Cate is the best option.

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52 Responses to “Elizabeth Edwards wants to deny John Edwards custody when she dies”

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  1. Lway says:

    I don;’t even have to read the story – the headline says it all.

    My opinion? – i think she’s dumb. I’ve been on her side all along, but causing a mess for someone else to deal with once you’re dead is just cruel. She wants payback but her kids will suffer at the end.

    Hopefully she reconsiders before she dies 🙁

  2. Kate says:

    I’m not sure how the Elizabeth defenders spin this one. You’d burden your 28 year old daughter with her siblings because you remain bitter over the affair? Let’s just go ahead and assure that your 28 year old daughter won’t ever have a life of her own. This sounds about right for Elizabeth, whose public image is NOTHING like reality. Rielle is crazy as a bat, no doubt, but I think there would be other ways around this issue.

  3. Rosanna says:

    I’m not sure how people can keep on defending such a revengeful woman. Denying a father of custody because he cheated is plain old sad and bitter. Elisabeth has terminal cancer… she should start trying to grow out of her bitterness, for HER own sake.

  4. lisa says:

    He is their father..heck murderers get custody of their children. She needs to find some way to deal with the fact that he will raise these children, and most likely with the Hunter woman. She needs to find peace with that so her last days or years are more peaceful for herself and her children. When we leave this world we leave the control too. If this is true it just make all the negative stories about her ring true. I was hoping they were just blown up.

    but again this story could be just that.. a story.

  5. starcap says:

    I believe John Edwards should be the guardian when Elizabeth Edwards passes away. These two young children are not related to her biologically. She used John Edward’s sperm and a donor egg for each child. The embryos were implanted in Elizabeth’s uterus so she could carry each child until their birth. She is their mother because she nurtured and raised them. However, John Edwards is their biological father. Why should these children be raised by others who are not related to them by blood? Why should a young girl who is hoping to have a career, relationship and future family become their “mother” full time? She is their sister and always will be there for these two young children.

  6. Megan says:

    I don’t think she’s doing this out of being bitter or dumb as previous comments said…rather, I think that she’s afraid that her children will be mistreated by Rielle because they are Elizabeth’s. The “Evil Stepmother” while John is constantly working is a legitimate fear, in my opinion. Sadly, I doubt she’ll get what she wants unless he agrees to it, of course. Hopefully the children will just be raise with nothing but love and being told stories about how much their mother adored them.

  7. Linda says:

    She needs to handle this whole thing a little better.

  8. jc126 says:

    I don’t believe this story. Elizabeth Edwards is a lawyer herself, and is surely aware that such a strategy is highly unlikely, to say the least.

  9. Julie says:

    Bunny Boiling Crazy-never heard that one before, Kaiser, love it.

    As detestable as John Edwards is, Elizabeth does not stand a legal chance in hell of depriving him of their two younger children. He’s a lowdown louse, but an unfit father? If he choses to marry Rielle after she’s gone, not a thing she can do about it. Sad, really.

  10. photo jojo says:

    Yes, Elizabeth Edwards is a bitter, vengeful woman. Yes, she likely knows she cannot keep those children out of his custody. Yes, she should probably move on. Yes, Rielle is six different kinds of crazy. Yes, John is an unholy douche and yes, Elizabeth needs a new hobby. But have any of YOU all had the joy of finding out that your husband had sex with another woman over and over again while you were none the wiser? Because I have. And until you get to live through that, it’s hard to say how you’d behave.

  11. canadianchick says:

    I feel for her but she can’t control much after she’s gone. That’s a lot to burden her daughter with and I’d bet the kids want to be with their dad, particularly after their mom has died.

  12. oxa says:

    John Edwards is a narcissit and I cant see him living with or rasing his kids with Rheil Hunter. Too many people would think badly of him and that he cant stand.

  13. Whatever says:

    I really feel for her. Dealing with cancer and a lying cheating sack of crap is too much. Bad Karma, John and Rielle is definitely bunny boiling crazy. Of course, he will get custody of his kids, but not sure about Rielle. Wasn’t he just caught with a hooker recently? If he does marry her, he will cheat. Then, I will laugh my ass off. It couldn’t happen to a better person. Planning an imaginary wedding and hoping the guy you are screwing’s wife will die is just plain cruel and Rielle deserves every bad thing coming at her for being such a sick psychotic bitch.

  14. Alix says:

    First, I hope that Elizabeth Edwards lives for many more years. Second, if I were her oldest daughter, I’d jump at the chance to keep my younger siblings away from that train-wreck Rielle. Those kids have been through enough; if they can’t spend a few more years with their mom, please let it be with a loving sibling.

  15. jan says:

    I don’t believe this story either. Mrs. Edwards is a lawyer and would know this is highly improbable, if not impossible.

  16. jan says:

    And, I pray Mrs. Edwards lives long and well!

  17. trollydolly says:

    @Julie: “bunny boiling crazy” stems from Glen Close’s character in the film “Fatal Attraction”. I’m guessing you weren’t old enough to watch it in the 80’s!!

  18. AlaskaJoey says:

    @Starcap – I’ve never heard that before, that Elizabeth is not their biological mother. Interesting. Yes, John Edwards is a douchebag of the highest order. But unless he’s done something illegal to the children, I don’t see how he won’t get custody.

    I didn’t realize their younger kids were so much younger than the older ones. Wonder who was more eager to have later in life kids- Elizabeth or John?

  19. Rosanna says:

    photo jojo I have! It’s about the welfare of the *children* (who obviously need a father!!!), not about the father being a saint. If one can’t love her children BEYOND herself, she should have no kids, IMHO.

  20. popcorny says:

    Here’s how I’d defend Elizabeth -starting with that she is a human being, and one who has been publicly humiliated and tormented.
    One who is watching her very life and existence slip away while fearing the loss of control of her children’s stability and future (and of whom she cares for most on this Earth).
    One who, like the rest of us, recognizes the loathsome character of Rielle -and does not want that loose and spent freak around her children.
    One who has implicit trust with her adult daughter -to raise them in a manner most close to how she (Elizabeth) would raise them.
    One who has every right to be fearful of the duplicitous nature and repulsive behavior(s) exhibited by her deceitful husband, the father of the children.
    She probably will not get her wishes, unfortunately, but her wishes are 100% understandable and my heart goes out to her.

  21. Amneh says:

    Although I wouldn’t want the children to end up anywhere near that crazy slut, I can’t help but feel that it is unfair to Cate for her to have to solely raise 2 kids when she’s in just the beginning her career.

  22. lucy2 says:

    I kind of doubt this is all true too.
    However, I wouldn’t blame her for wanting to keep the kids away from Rielle, except here’s the thing – I think John used her up and tossed her aside long ago. I don’t think he is capable of loving anyone but himself, and he just told Rielle what she wanted to hear to keep the affair going. Heck, he even denied their daughter for all that time too. If he truly loved and wanted to be with Rielle, he would be right now, since he’s now legally separated. She’s just too delusional to see it.

    He’s the kids’ father, and I can’t picture how he’d lose custody of them, even though he’s proven himself to be a rotten person. I do hope whatever happens, there are other family members who are in the kids’ lives, so they have someone besides their dirt bag dad to rely on.

  23. Chris says:

    I’d bet my next paycheck, and the one after that, and the one after that…, that the source of this story is either Rielle Hunter, or someone from her camp.

  24. Hautie says:

    Rielle may be nutty but she is harmless. I don’t see her doing any harm to a couple of soon to be teenagers.

    Especially two kids who have been living in the house with a hate filled Mother. I hate to think of the things she spews on about daily. What kind of daily life do they have now. Seriously.

    As unfortunate as it is when a marriage ends. Being bitter about it for years, just is not worth it. Move on. Find some peace. Spend alot of his cash!

    And for this couple who are legally seperated, they don’t seem too eager to make the divorce legal.

    I suspect it never will be.

    Elizabeth will somehow hang on another decade with her terminal condition and keep on making everyone around her miserable.

  25. Madisyn says:

    I’m with lucy2. He’s been there, DONE that! When he allegedly sees his daughter with nutjob, he gets the child dropped off by a handler, NOT Rielle. If they were still seeing each other, there would be photographic proof with Rielle pulling a “Lohan” and calling the paps herself for the world to see her and “her johnny”.

  26. hellen says:

    This is just all kinds of crazy – all 3 of them are nutjobs. Poor kids. Poor Cate.

  27. Sonja says:

    If this story is true, it would be totally unfair to have her daughter, Cate be responsible for the two younger children. Shouldn’t she be allowed to have a life of her own without being put in the middle?
    In any case, John Edwards is the father and should be the primary caregiver if Elizabeth dies.

  28. Just a Poster says:

    Don’t you guys remember that when she was first diagnosed she wanted her daughter to raise them because “John would be so busy with politics” This was years ago. I thought this was rather unfair of her then, just as I do now.

    I am in no way defending anyone in this crazy situation, however I really wish she would find some sort of peace for her remainder of time here on Earth. But this isn’t the way to go about it. This just screams spiteful (rightfully so) and controlling.

    With this story if true makes me wonder if her cancer has spread to her brain. Sometimes that can make a person not themselves and act in “different ways” then they normally would have.

    I would like to say again, I do not paint her as an saint, and know he is a total douche, but the reality is, the younger kids need him. Just as his older daughter does.

  29. mia says:

    The best thing Elizabeth could have/should have done was be the best mother she knew how to be. The rest she just has to let go.
    Afterall, she married John for better or worse.

  30. Brittney says:

    …this isn’t exactly a case of spiteful bitterness. Rielle isn’t just the woman with whom John betrayed Elizabeth… she’s the woman who posed in a negligee surrounded by her young daughter’s toys.

  31. Feebee says:

    Dying or not, if true then this crosses a line. Not only spiteful beyond belief but without regard for the well being of any of her children. Not fair to the young ones or to Cate to be asked to carry that burden.

  32. mslewis says:

    Well, Elizabeth has been a spiteful, mean, nasty woman her entire life. However, I don’t believe this story. Elizabeth is a lawyer and a smart woman and she knows full well there is nothing she can do to keep her childrens’ father from having full custody of them after she’s gone. I think this story was leaked by someone from the Edwards camp because they all hate Elizabeth. Believe me, none of them will be sorry when the b!tch is gone. And, don’t feel sorry for those kids. They will be just fine. In fact, they will be better off without her and the bitterness and hate she can’t rid herself of.

  33. Alexa says:

    I cannot even imagine Elizabeth leaving her kids with John, lest that _____ (fill in the blank) Rielle get her hands on them. And we ALL know it’s just a matter of time before he eventually marries her. Why would Elizabeth want to subject the children to that? I’m sure they want nothing to do with her (Rielle)!

  34. Iggles says:

    What a twisted and bitter family. Seriously, ALL of them are damaged.

    Elizabeth needs to move on with her life. It isn’t fair to her daughter to give up HER LIFE, her YOUTH to raise two younger siblings when their father is alive.

    I’m sure Elizabeth is sprewing lots of hatred about John to the younger kids and it’s clear she has brainwashed Cate (John is a loser, but how could a sane person agree to raise children because of their mom’s vendetta with dad????)

    John is terrible, but it’s HIS kids. I don’t think it’s right for Elizabeth to try to deny his custody from beyond the grave.

    I don’t know if John and Rielle will resume their relationship (I don’t think so), but IF they do it’s their right. They’re two consenting adults. No matter how much you may hate the new “step mom”, the divorced wife doesn’t have a say on who her ex husband can marry!

    Rielle is crazy but I’m sure the younger kids will never like her — I’m sure Elizabeth has spoken ill of both Rielle and John. But beyond that, there isn’t much Elizabeth can do. What will be, will be.

  35. Orbit says:

    You guys are pretty smart. 🙂 I have a bad feeling that Liz turned a blind eye to the affair–and probably others before it–so as not to rock the boat.

    John and Rielle deserve each other.

  36. Sincerity says:

    Mrs. Edward’s concern about the welfare of her children in the event of her death is justified; however, for the sake of all of her children, perhaps now’s the time to “make peace” with her husband, John Edwards. He’s human. He’s made mistakes but he does deserve to be “an active” participant in his children’s lives. Battling over their physical custody in the event of her death will only stress them out even more. Rielle Hunter is really a “non issue” because whether John Edwards marries her or not, she’s certainly in no position to mistreat, anyone. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised, if he does not sue for custody of their daughter once the smoke clears. Mrs. Edwards should really concentrate on being good to herself and especially to her children during the time she has left.

  37. mln says:

    I hate to say it but the only thing for Elizabeth to do is reach out to John through a therapist/mediator and make peace with him because if Rielle is going to be in the childrens’ lives they need to feel safe especially while they are going through the loss of their mother at such a young age. I think that Rielle is a sick lady but realistically John will get custody unless he relinques it to his daughter.
    I wish EE well

  38. Julie says:

    Trollydolly: Thanks for the Fatal Attraction reference. You’re correct, I’ve never seen it, so I didn’t get the bunny boiling thing. I am plenty old enough, though. Guess I have a visit to my Netflix account in the near future.

    Another general thought-It’s no only unfair to Cate for Elizabeth to have her raise her young siblings, but it also sets up further animosity between Cate and her father after Elizabeth is gone. My guess is Cate is none too pleased with dear old dad at the moment and may want to comply with her mother’s wishes. But this possible custodial arrangement would further poison the well between father and adult daughter.

  39. DoMaJoReMc says:

    I can’t imagine the horror of having cancer while your little ones are little. Compound that with this crazy woman lingering in the background. I’m sure Elizabeth knows she can’t control the kids’ custody once she is gone, but maybe her peace is in knowing she tried. I dunno….

  40. Lola says:

    This is against the law. Period.

  41. meilamon says:

    I don’t think it’s bitter at all! I wouldn’t want my children near her either! Come on now, this woman Rielle just can’t wait for her to die so she can take over Elizabeth’s role in life. Like Rielle would even give a s**t about those children. She cares about her own child and having John to herself. I hate John for putting his wife through this. What a bastard, seriously. The brutal truth is she will have to die knowing how the story will likely play out. She has to try to forge some kind of peace about it, which sucks because it is her babies, the people she loves most on this earth. The reason she’s fighting to live. As a mother myself, I absolutely understand. Rielle is a wicked woman.

  42. Cinderella says:

    I don’t think he’s interested in Rielle anymore if he’s out in bars picking up younger chicks.

    It is more likely that Elizabeth is concerned that John may go to prison. Either way, hopefully she is reasonable enough not to saddle her oldest daughter with that responsibility without the help of other family members.

  43. ThatBKChick says:

    After the Oprah interview, experts and critics alike said that the woman is mentally ill or stupid. This woman had not an ounce of remorse for what she has done to Elizabeth. John Edwards will surely answer to a higher power for what he has done. I am just mortified each and everytime I think of how naracissitic this piece of garbage is…he could have cost us the election, making his dying wife hold a tarished and tourmented 18 months of campaigning for him and of couse knowning probably six months toward the end of the campaign that he had fathered a child…SMDH!

    I think she knows more about John Edwards that we think. As someone said, she is a very bright and smart attorney, and there is a very good likelyhood that there is something that Elizabeth knows that is making her make this decision. Like the possibility that he has a personality disorder or something deep seeded. I don’t think any woman or person would want their children to be estranged from their parent/father if they are a decent human being.

  44. Anti-icon says:

    Bitter and resentful, well yes, I believe she has every right and it is the normal and natural response to attempt to “control” who raises her children. It is such a crying shame that she has been forced into this type of death. Just heinous. Those poor kids. No matter what mistakes Elizabeth Edwards has made in her life, no one deserves this kind of death….no one.

  45. Tia C says:

    If this is really true, then Elizabeth is more petty, vengeful and childish than I had previously thought. She needs to just let go. This isn’t helpful to anyone, least of all Cate. She shouldn’t be saddled with raising her two young siblings just because her mother is bitter and jealous. This whole story smacks of too ridiculous to be true….

  46. Jeri says:

    Sad..Sad..Sad.. See how many people can be affected by (John’s or anyone’s) infidelity.

  47. Jessie says:

    I know how she feels — my ex husband is a waste of space, and I have an 8 year old daughter who has been raised my me and my current husband. But me ex still has rights. I have an autoimmune condition and I decided to investigate if my daughter could stay with her stepfather if something happened to me, and I was told he had no chance, and it broke my heart, because he’s raised her since she was 2. Elizabeth Edwards just has to unfortunately learn how to cope with the law.

  48. Aspen says:

    He’s not their father. He’s their sperm donor. Huge difference. He relinquished his role as father a long time ago, and DNA has nothing to do with family.

    One comfort is that the kids are old enough now that no one will be able to lie to them about how everything happened. At least they’re old enough to know the truth about what a scumbag their sperm donor really is.

  49. Anti-icon says:

    Hautie–your comments are so mean. Do you even realize what impending death is? Advising Elizabeth Edwards to “move on” and “Spend cash.” How stupid both those sentiments are when one is dying. If this is true, then it is HER WAY of moving on….and the safety and welfare of her children is most likely the ONLY thing that is keeping her alive. I hope you show more compassion to the “real” people in your life who are on their death beds.

  50. Not a constructing permit as you would for additions to the interior or exterior of a house but if you live in an HOA community, you wouldn’t be allowed to build it at all permits or not.

  51. Wendy Orange says:

    Elizabeth is in one horrid position. Instead of Cate as guardian, I’d rather than her sister and husband were to take the two young kids in. Legally, this may be hard, but not impossible.

    John is possibly heading for prison for using funds illegally. I think the kids would be best if they join a happy family who know and love them. Just wishing!

  52. pelusa says:

    I’d like to see how all of you who have such derogatory remarks made of Elizabeth Edwards, handle what she went through. Well, she has moved on now, hasn’t she. I hope you’re all happy now!