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Lawyer: Heiress' money meant as a gift for Edwards

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GREENSBORO, NC (AP) -- A lawyer for a Virginia heiress says he believes she gave money that was intended as a gift for John Edwards, not a campaign contribution as he ran for president.

Alex D. Forger continued his testimony Monday in Edwards' corruption trial. He says that in December 2007 he first learned of a check for $175,000 deposited into the account of Andrew Young, an Edwards aide.

He says 101-year-old heiress Rachel "Bunny" Mellon said the money was for a personal need of the senator, but she had not been told what that need was. Forger also recounted a conversation in summer 2008 where Edwards said he did not know about the money.

Some of Mellon's money was used to hide the Democrat's pregnant mistress. Whether Edwards knew of the cover-up is a key question in his prosecution.

(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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