In trying to keep his extramarital problems private, John Edwards only exposed them to a wider public. His latest shameful moment: His wife Elizabeth can't say she loves him or believes his love-child denial.

The Democratic politician's wife is making those comments quite publicly, on an episode of Oprah Winfrey set to air Thursday but already leaked (in part) to the New York Times. Speaking with the daytime talk show host, Elizabeth Edwards wouldn't deny the allegation her husband fathered a child with his mistress Rielle Hunter:

I've seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look like my children, but I don't have any idea.

Wait, a picture? By what excruciating process did Elizabeth Edwards get a decent (non-blurry) picture of her husband's purported love child? Apparently we have to tune in Thursday to find out. (UPDATE: Thanks to Mickey Kaus for pointing out this picture and this picture, both pretty clear. We stand corrected.)

In any case, John Edwards vehemently denied fathering that child last August in an interview with ABC, even as he acknowledged his affair with Hunter. His wife would appear unconvinced.

And that's the saddest part of this whole epic drawn-out scandal: Not only has Edwards lost the trust of the public at large after initially denying his affair with Hunter (and hiding from tabloid reporters in a hotel bathroom); he also appears to have lost the trust of his wife, terminally ill with cancer.

In her forthcoming memoir, Elizabeth Edwards discloses that her husband's first confession was itself shrouded in lies, leaving out "most of the truth." So it makes sense she is unable to trust what he says about his purported baby — or embrace his love when she needs it the most.

Asked whether she loved him, Mrs. Edwards replied, "You know, that's a complicated question."

[NY Times]

(Pic: Harpo products via AP via Times)