tonight on "nightline," obama's bombshell. in an abc news exclusive, barack obama becomes the first u.s. president to endorse same-sex marriage. sex, lies and secret cash. he lied to "nightline" cameras to clear his name. >> a report has been published that the baby of rielle hunter is your baby. true? >> those close to the presidential contender describe that moment as they are entangled in a web of lies. and all the rage. feeling an attack?
try this. introducing the anger room where everyone from soccer moms to ceos are having a chance to smash their way to peace of mind. good evening. i'm bill weir. for those who consider same-sex marriage the last civil rights battle in america, today was a very big day. a sitting president taking sides that would have been unthinkable years ago. but those in 31 states who reserve marriage for men and women, today is another day for barack obama. tonight, robin roberts with an exclusive and historic interview.
>> reporter: today, he became the first president 230 ever say this. >> for me personally, it's important for me to go ahead and affirm that i think same-sex couples should be able to get married. >> reporter: in a sitdown at the white house, the president talked about a deeply personal thought process on the issue. an evolution that he thinks mirrors much of the country. here he is eight years ago when he ran for senate. >> what i believe in my faith is that a man and a woman, when they get married, are performing something before god. >> reporter: today, he told me for many people, family and friends changed their ideas on of that. >> malia and sasha have parents who are same-sex couples. and there are times with michelle and i, sitting around the dinner table about their friends and their parents.
and malia and sasha, it couldn't dawn on them that their friends' parents should be treated differently. and quick frankly that the kind of thing that prompts a change of perspective. >> now that malia and sasha are getting oler to what extent do they hold their father accountable. daddy, why does it work this way. >> reporter: jody covered the couple since 2007. she believes that michelle obama influences her husband more than any other. >> michelle obama got calls whether to support gay marriage. this is a classic michelle obama. what she sar v cares about is her husband showing political courage, really helping people, making the country a more equal and skrus place, delivering the change he promised in 2008.
>> reporter: did you discuss this with mrs. obama, the same-sex issue? >> yeah, this is something that we talked about over the years. and she -- you know, she feels the same way that i do. we're both practicing christians and obviously, this position may be considered to put us at odds with the views of others. but, you know, when we think about our faith, the thing at root that we think about is not only not christ sacrificing himself on our behalf but it's also the golden rule. you know, treat others the way you want to be treated. >> reporter: and there were something else. this wartime president talked about the men and women serving on the front lines. so many of whom came out to their families when he repealed
the 2r0esh8 law don't ask, don't tell. he said it did it for them also. >> when i think about the soldiers or airmen or marines or sailors fighting on my behalf and feel constrained, even that don't ask, don't tell is gone, because they are not able to commitment themselves in a marriage. >> reporter: like many politicians, the president expressed support for civil union, which gave gay partners rights. >> i hesitated on gay marriage because i thought that civil unions would be sfishl and i was sensitive to the fact that for a lot of people, the world marriage evokes powerful tradition, religious beliefs and so forth. >> reporter: as late as last year, obama's director of communications said this. >> the president has never
favored same-sex marriage. >> the president's position on gay marriage is that he has been against it. >> reporter: and months later, president obama said this to george stephanopoulos. >> i'm still works on it. i probably won't make news right now. >> reporter: so was today's news a strategic political move in an election move. >> he did not come out in favor of same-sex marriage. he risked something for important, his reputation for honesty and integrity. >> reporter: at a fund raiser in oklahoma today, mitt romney made sure his supporters knew where he stands. >> i think that marriage itself is a relationship between and man and a woman and that is my own preference. >> for the time being, it determines nothing legally.
right now, it's state rather than federal law. there was a sense that it meant something. >> it means something to the kids and kansas and missouri who don't get to live in new york where we actually have same-sex marriage, that the president of the united states has come out and said that you are equal, that you do matter. so it does mean something. >> and "good morning america" will have much more of robin's exclusive conversation with the president in the morning. coming up next, he was once a presidential contender himself and now john edwards is on trial and his former aides are coming clean about the day he lied to "nightline" cameras. thanks for babysitting the kids, brittany. so how much do we owe you? that'll be $973.42. ya know, your rates and fees aren't exactly competitive. who do you think i am, quicken loans? [ spokesman ] when you refinance your mortgage with quicken loans,
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four years ago, one of the golden boys of american politics appeared on this program. and denied impregnating his misstress while his wife battled cancer. we know now thats with all a lie. butted a john edwards fights allegations that he used big campaign cash to cover his tracks, we are getting a glimpse of what his life was like to the people who trusted him in the inner circle. bob woodruff has the latest tonight. >> reporter: john edwards has walked in the courthouse every day for weeks, his devoted daughter by his side. a parade of staffers the, who once stood with him, now tell a tale of loyalties broken and trusts betrayed. today we heard from jennifer palmieri who told the dak story of the interview edwards did
with me for "nightline." >> can i say, thank you, bob, for coming. >> reporter: and the teeth of a scandal, his pregnant mistress and his dying wife. let me ask you, do you have iowa fair with miss hunter? >> in 2006, two years ago, i made a mistake. >> reporter: palmieri told edwards not to do the interview if he planned to lie. a report has been published that baby of miss hunter is your baby. true? >> not true, not true. published in a super market tabloid. that is absolutely not true. >> reporter: palmieri says that he was lying about the baby not just to the public but to staff. today, palmieri told the court how she discovered the truth about rielle hunter, hired to be
a videographer for the campaign after they met. she huddled with edwards and his wife, elizabeth, to try to find out how to huddle the story. elizabeth was a cancer survivor who connected well with women. a big part of the campaign was elizabeth. i don't think that if this is true, you can survive it, she told him. but in public, he continued to deny the affair. >> i have been in love with the same woman for 30 plus year, as anyone who has been around knows. she is an extraordinary human being. >> reporter: inthe enquirer printed a bombshell, that rielle was pregnant with a baby, prortedly edwards baby. >> it's lies.
>> reporter: he asked a close aide to claim paternity. >> he wanted me to issue a statement claiming paternity. so he starts telling me, you know, look, i can win iowa. >> reporter: but soon, his presidential campaign was over. his attention around his growing sex scandal was not after the enfirer caught him visiting rielle and the baby. elizabeth thought the public would leaf him alone if he confessed to the affair. >> reporter: why did you not don't tell the truth? >> i did not want to public to know the truth. >> reporter: then he sat down with a "nightline" interview. does elizabeth think the baby is yours. >> no, of course now.
>> reporter: the baby was hit. his wife succumbed to cancer. >> reporter: how could you have have done this? >> can i explain to you what happened? first of all, it happened during a period after she was in remission from cancer, no exdmus any way. >> reporter: a year before the interview, elizabeth learned that fred backer was intouch with his misstress. they were in an iowa hotel room and elizabeth edwards learned that fred and his wife had just taken rielle shopping in los angeles. >> i do know fred baron. >> reporter: do you think it's possible he was trying to protect you? >> do i think it's possible? yeah, of course. >> reporter: the money rielle received is the central issue in the case.
prosecutors are trying to prove that edwards violated campaign finance laws by sending money to cover up the i affair. >> i had nothing do with money being paid. something was being paid, it wasn't being paid on my behalf. >> reporter: but it seemed clear today that for palmieri, the real price paid bus by elizabeth to whom she remained loyal until the end. he is doesn't want to be alone, she said breaking down in ear v tears. she was affair that when she died, there wouldn't be a man around who loved her. and i said, i will be there. >> bob said that the prosecution will rest without calling rielle hunter, thanks to bob woodruff. coming up, the therapeutic answer to breaking stuff adds we become press in the anger room.
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well, if you ever worked construction, you know that demolition with be almost as satisfying at creation. if you have ever broke an window, there is something in your brain that squirts a dal lop of relief before regret. where can you go to tap into your inner hulk? ryan owens found that anger room rg big business and tonight a sign of the times. >> reporter: you are not watching a crime in progress. quite the contrary. this dallas man says you are
watching his therapy. and it's all very legal. >> i can't afford going to the psychiatrist but i can afford this. >> reporter: he paid $45 to go in the anger room. he says to worth every penny. outside the anger room, he is a wild mannered retail salsman. inside it, we could ask that big screen tv. or that vcr if he could. this is about just a guy this. take this soccer room who blew off steam as her family watched through that bullet proof glass. >> women came in with their
relationship problems and say, of course, always ask for a mannequin and they are male and they beat the crap out of them. >> reporter: the expert is donna alex ender. >> we let you go about your day. >> reporter: she opened the first anger room in 2008 in her garage. >> strangered started to come to my house. and that is where i figured to find a real place. >> reporter: she found a home in this dallas strip mall. she started advertising online. and before long, customered were lining up to sane the waiver, put on the safety gear and choose a sound track. >> we don't pull out of the wires out of the ceiling. and then -- lash out. >> reporter: who takes advantage of this? >> normal 9:00 to 5:00-ers.
>> reporter: in fact, she says they are purely professional. like this broker who pretends his co-worker is on the phone. $50 a share. you get to be kidding me! >> reporter: donna doesn't pretend it's a health treatment. for her, it's just a business. >> all the crap that is in your garage, we go around and pick up of that stuff. >> reporter: this red room is green. >> we recycle it. >> reporter: still, critics say it glorifies violence. >> you can't tell me that never in your life, that you didn't want to break something. maybe you are the person that may be crazy. i'm just saying. >> reporter: her customers agree, this business is all the rage. i'm ryan owens for "nightline" in dallas.