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'I've had it': Elizabeth and John Edwards legally separate

January 27, 2010 |  6:27 pm

Edwards Elizabeth Edwards has had just about enough, thank you  -- she and husband John Edwards, the former senator, one-time vice presidential candidate and two-time (and two-timing) presidential hopeful, have legally separated after 32 years of marriage and are living in different homes.

According to Elizabeth's sister Nancy Anania, speaking to People, "She said, 'I've had it. I can't do this. I want my life back.' " Elizabeth is staying in the couple's Chapel Hill, N.C., mansion and John is 160 miles away at their beach house.

"It is an extraordinarily sad moment, but I love my children more than anything and still care deeply about Elizabeth," John Edwards said today in a statement.

John recently admitted he's the father of a child born to Rielle Hunter, a campaign staffer with whom he had an affair that was uncovered by the National Enquirer in 2007. Edwards met Hunter in early 2006; the child was born Feb. 27, 2008. He copped to the affair in August 2008, but until last week denied repeatedly that Frances Quinn Hunter was his daughter.

Rielle Elizabeth said last week that she was relieved by John's admission. She has been portrayed sympathetically in the media, especially as her breast cancer returned, John's campaign continued, and then details of the affair emerged; however, a recent book about the larger 2008 presidential campaign painted a somewhat different picture. And a tell-all memoir by former aide Andrew Young, due out in February, is likely to be similarly unflattering to both John and Elizabeth.

Asked last May by Oprah Winfrey whether she was still in love with her husband, Elizabeth Edwards responded: "Neither one of us is out the door, so I guess it’s day by day, but maybe it's month by month."

Speaking of month by month: In North Carolina, divorce is allowed after a couple lives separately for 12 months.

Details of when separation documents were filed was not available.

-- Christie D'Zurilla

Photos: Elizabeth and John Edwards, above, arrive at the memorial service for Sen. Edward Kennedy in Boston on Aug. 28, 2009. At left, Rielle Hunter leaves a courthouse in Raleigh, N.C., with her daughter Aug. 6, 2009. Credits: Michael Dwyer / Associated Press, top right; Jim R. Bounds / Associated Press, left. 

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