US Federal prosecutors dropped all charges against John Edwards, triggering criticism that the year-long prosecution of the former US presidential candidate was a waste of time and money.
After a six-week trial in North Carolina, jurors acquitted Edwards on one count of accepting illegal campaign donations and deadlocked on five other felony counts. The judge declared a mistrial.
The US Justice Department will not seek to retry Edwards.
Edwards was accused of masterminding a scheme to use about $1m (e795,000) in secret payments to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.