John Edwards has finally confessed to his cancer-stricken wife Elizabeth what the rest of the world already knows – that he fathered a child with his mistress.

Edwards made the belated admission to his wife in an effort to stop ex-lover Rielle Hunter from going public, sources told The ENQUIRER.

While Edwards has admitted to having an affair with Rielle, he has shamelessly denied fathering her baby, despite plenty of evidence to the contrary. Instead, one of his campaign workers, Andrew Young, claimed to be the dad.

But now, at least in private to his wife, he is finally telling the truth, sources reveal to The ENQUIRER.

The ex-senator sprang into action when he saw how upset Rielle had become over Elizabeth’s forthcoming book, Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities, which will be published in May.

 "Rielle has become extremely edgy, and John’s been afraid she might go public before Elizabeth’s book comes out so she can put her story out there first," the close source told The ENQUIRER.

"These concerns led to John telling Rielle that he had sat down with Elizabeth and admitted to being the baby’s father. This is something Rielle had been pushing John to do for a long, long time because he initially told Elizabeth he was not the father.

"The last thing John wants right now is for Rielle to go public before Elizabeth’s book comes out, make new headlines and trigger a nasty battle between the two women."

In what’s been called the biggest scandal of the 2008 presidential campaign, The ENQUIRER exposed John Edwards’ shocking affair with 44-year-old divorcee Rielle – and the birth of their love child, Frances Quinn, now one year old.

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