John Edwards ‘categorically denies’ involvement in NYC prostitution ring

Former Sen. John Edwards (D-N.C.) on Thursday denied allegations that he paid to have sex with a call girl working for a high-end Manhattan prostitution ring.

Edwards’s attorney, Allison Van Laningham, is demanding a complete retraction from DNAinfo, the local Manhattan website that reported the story on Thursday morning.

“Mr. Edwards categorically denies that he was involved with any prostitute or service,” Van Laningham said in a statement. “These allegations are false, defamatory, and he puts those who would publish or repeat them on notice that they acting [sic] with actual malice by reporting or repeating them. He has demanded a complete retraction from the only source being quoted."

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The DNAinfo report quotes one anonymous source as saying the call girl recognized Edwards during an alleged encounter that took place while Edwards was raising money in New York for his failed presidential bid in 2007.

The Manhattan District Attorney’s office is investigating the “Millionaire Madam” Anna Gristina for allegedly running a politically connected prostitution ring that catered to the wealthy and powerful.

Edwards, who was Sen. John Kerry's (D-Mass.) vice presidential running mate in 2004, is the first name connected with the alleged madam’s “black book.”

The woman involved provided details about the alleged encounter to investigators at the Manhattan District Attorney’s office in 2008, according to DNAinfo. No charges were brought against Edwards. 

Edwards will appear in federal district court next month on six felony charges, including conspiracy, false statements and four counts of receiving illegal campaign contributions. 

Edwards has pleaded not guilty to the charges, which stem from an alleged payment of $925,000 made by two campaign donors to cover up an affair and child he had with his former mistress, Rielle Hunter.

— This story was first posted at 9:05 a.m. and has been updated.