Richard Johnson, NY Post
John Edwards — who quit his presidential campaign in disgrace when he was caught cheating on his wife — was barred from Bunny Mellon’s funeral by her family.
The former US senator from North Carolina had charmed Rachel Lambert Mellon, known to all as Bunny, into donating $700,000 for his 2008 presidential bid.
Prosecutors charged he used some of the money to support his mistress Rielle Hunter, who was then pregnant with his daughter Frances Quinn.
When the former politician and his daughter Cate Edwards, who is also his law partner, arrived Friday at Mellon’s funeral at Trinity Episcopal Church in Upperville, Va., he was barred from entering, a source connected to the Mellon family told NY Social Diary blogger David Patrick Columbia.
“The service may have been open to the public, but he was not welcome,” Columbia said.
Edwards and his daughter watched with the rest of the overflow crowd on a big screen in the adjacent parish house.
After a moving eulogy by actor Frank Langella, and a poignant rendition of “The Rose” by Bette Midler, the thick-skinned Edwards — seemingly oblivious to the family’s wishes — followed the funeral procession to the cemetery.
“He was working the crowd near the graveside after the service,” Columbia said.
The Mellon family was aghast two years ago when the very private Bunny, a lifelong friend of Jacqueline Kennedy, was forced at the age of 101 to testify at Edwards’ trial.
A federal jury acquitted Edwards of one charge, and the judge declared a mistrial on the remaining five charges. The Justice Department dropped the case.
A spokesperson for Edwards had no comment.
“Let each citizen remember at the moment he is offering his vote that he is not making a present or a compliment to please an individual – or at least that he ought not so to do; but rather he is executing one of the most solemn trusts in human society for which he is accountable to God and his country.” Samuel Adams, April 16, 1781.