I am told that Rielle Hunter, the former girlfriend and putative baby mama of ex-Senator John Edwards, was surprised yesterday. She learned, along with the rest of us, that an old friend was selling her out.

The Daily Beast’s Sara Nelson got hold of a book proposal by Andrew Young, the former Edwards campaign worker who claimed he was the father of Hunter’s now 18-month-old daughter, Frances. Of course, no one believed him and in time it was revealed ‘ not by Edwards ‘ that the Senator was the father.

Young says in the proposal what everyone kinda knew: Edwards associate Fred Baron, now deceased, paid Young to say he was the father, to have Hunter live with him and his family, and then go with her to a house in Santa Barbara when the baby was born.

But last October, Baron died, suddenly from cancer. The whole project fell apart. With Baron gone, Edwards disavowed Young. He was, to use a phrase from the current vernacular, “thrown under the bus.” Hunter and baby moved in with a friend. She still awaits a settlement and acknowledgment from Edwards.

Hunter, I’ve been told, was shocked to hear about Young’s proposal. But of course, Young was never a saint. In his history: check forgery and DUI, according to published reports.

The cover-up over Hunter’s baby is amazing, to say the least, for a politician who prided himself on honesty. Since it started, Baron is dead, Young was used and now feels his reputation ‘ such as it was ‘ is in tatters. The little girl has no father. And Edwards allowed his wife, Elizabeth, to publish her book, “Resilience,” which manifested itself in a barrage of embarrassing publicity that no one believed.

Three weeks after publication, “Resilience” was gone from USA Today’s Top 150 Bestselling Books. It got as high as number 19. The book ‘ which should have been called “Denial” ‘ is listed in the 500s on amazon.com.

For the record: this Andrew Young we speak of is not the former mayor of Atlanta or famed politician. When I ran into the real Andrew Young last August at the Democratic convention in Denver, he and his wife were each amused by the idea. “I said, I wondered what you were doing with your free time,” joked Mrs. Young.

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