05/02/2012 at 05:05 PM EDT
John Edwards's daughter Cate walked out of the courtroom crying Wednesday as a witness was about to describe an argument between her parents after a tabloid reported her father's extramarital affair.
The dramatic scene played out Wednesday during Edwards's trial
in Greensboro, N.C., on charges of illegally using campaign contributions to cover up his affair with Rielle Hunter while he was running for president.
Former Edwards aide Christina Reynolds testified about the day in 2007 when John and Elizabeth Edwards arrived at the airport in Raleigh, N.C., after the National Enquirer
"Elizabeth was very upset. ... She was very vocal," Reynolds said. "She stormed off and collapsed into a ball in the parking lot."
After aides helped Elizabeth get back to her feet and led her into a restroom, "She seemed a little calmer," said Reynolds, "and then stormed out of the bathroom and tried to engage Mr. Edwards. "
Elizabeth, she said, told her husband, "You don't see me any more," and tore off her shirt and bra.
John "didn't have much of a reaction," said Reynolds.
After a recess, Cate, 30, a lawyer, returned to the courtroom.
Edwards, 58, faces up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in fines if convicted.
Another former aide to Edwards previously testified that Edwards called Hunter a "crazy slut" when he learned that she was pregnant
with his child.
Elizabeth died in 2010
at age 61 after a long battle with breast cancer.