Dallas lawyer Fred Baron (pictured), who was national campaign finance chairman for John Edwards’ presidential campaign, says he’s feeling a “whole bag of emotions” after Edwards, his longtime close friend, announced last week that he had an affair in 2006 with a former videographer for a PAC that supported Edwards' campaign. “Do I feel that he betrayed me? I don’t like the word betrayal. I think he was in denial himself. He did a very, very stupid, bad thing,” says Baron, a founder of Baron & Budd who is now a partner with his wife, Lisa Blue, in Baron & Blue. Edwards, who halted his presidential campaign in January, announced Aug. 8 that he “made a serious error in judgment” in 2006 and had a “liaison with another woman.” In a statement, Edwards wrote the affair ended in 2006, and he told his wife, Elizabeth, and his family about it in 2006. In his statement, Edwards wrote he is not the father of the baby the woman, Rielle Hunter, had earlier this year. Baron says that in late 2007 he helped Hunter, former Edwards campaign worker Andrew Young, Young's wife and the Youngs' three children relocate to California from North Carolina, because they were being hounded by tabloid reporters and paparazzi. “It was just a horrible, horrible situation,” Baron says. “I paid for them to relocate to another home in another state.” Baron says he paid for several months of rent on a house in Santa Barbara, Calif., out of his own pocket and didn’t inform Edwards. “I never discussed it with John. He was on the campaign trail in Iowa at the time,” Baron says. Baron declines to say how much he spent in rent for the house but says reports that he paid $15,000 a month are not true. Baron notes that Hunter and Andrew Young were not employed by the Edwards campaign at the time he helped them move. Young has said he is the father of Hunter’s child. Baron says he did not learn of Edwards’ affair with Hunter until about two or three weeks ago, when Edwards told him and some other friends. “I was shocked,” Baron says. In May, Edwards, formerly a U.S. senator from North Carolina, endorsed U.S. Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill., and Baron said he also would support Obama to be the Democratic nominee for president. Click here for an earlier Texas Lawyer profile of Baron.
-- Brenda Sapino Jeffreys