Nightly News   |  May 01, 2012

Cheri Young spars with Edwards’ lawyer

On Tuesday Cheri Young, the wife of former John Edwards aide Andrew Young, denied that she harbors any hatred toward Edwards, saying she there to tell the truth about her experiences. NBC’s Lisa Myers reports.

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>>> the criminal trial of john edwards continued today, and the testimony was another reminder that this real-life soap opera was a family tragedy that went well beyond edwards ' own loved ones. our report from nbc's lisa myers .

>> reporter: cheri young arrived today showing no signs of the migraine headache that cut short yesterday's testimony. cheri , how are you feeling? she sparred with john edwards ' lawyer about whether she hates him and blames him for trouble in her marriage. mr. edwards was like a third person in your marriage, and you had a great deal of anger. not about mr. edwards , while acknowledging she had to swallow a lot because of her husband's job. isn't if true you were trying to get john edwards , duncan asked? sir, that is a completely false statement, she shot back. i'm here to tell the truth about my experiences. there's no hatred. i can't live like that, sir.

>> cheri young has been a steel magnolia, slender physically, but unyielding in putting the blame for this entire episode squarely on the shoulders of john edwards .

>> her demeanor was in sharp contrast to yesterday's sometimes tearful testimony. she recounted an important direct conversation with edwards about how to handle hundreds of thousands of dollars to take care of his mistress rielle hunter. money prosecutors allege amounted to illegal campaign contributions, a charge edwards denies. has cheri young been a stronger witness than her husband?

>> she's taken the government's case, which in many ways may have gone into the ditch during the cross-examination of andrew young , and put it back on track.

>> reporter: the defense did get young to admit that her husband drank heavily when working for edwards and often took ambien, which she acknowledged sometimes made him loopy, and affected his memory. lisa myers , nbc news, greensboro, north carolina .