John Edwards sheepishly admits he is Rielle Hunter’s baby daddy

Although it all didn’t go down on an episode of Maury, it might as well have.

John Edwards, who originally tried to pass off the paternity of Rielle Hunter’s child on staffer Andrew Young, admitted in a statement to the associated press that he is the father of young Frances Quinn Hunter. Edwards has been denying the accusations for over two years, since the National Enquirer broke the story. Now he says he hopes his daughter will one day understand why her father tried to sweep her under the carpet:

“It was wrong for me ever to deny she was my daughter, and hopefully one day, when she understands, she will forgive me,” Mr. Edwards said in a statement released to The News & Observer in Raleigh, N.C., and to NBC’s “Today” show.

“I will do everything in my power to provide her with the love and support she deserves,” Mr. Edwards added. “I have been able to spend time with her during the past year and trust that future efforts to show her the love and affection she deserves can be done privately and in peace.”

Edwards made the admission ahead of a book being released by Young next month that would have outed him as Rielle’s baby daddy.