Carl Edwards responds to memoir

FORT WORTH, Tex. -- Carl Edwards took the high road Friday when asked about the critical comments former girlfriend Amanda Beard wrote about him in her new book.

"I'm not going to bash her or say bad things about her," Edwards said in the Texas Motor Speedway media center. "She's a mother, she's a wife and someone I cared about."

Beard, a former Olympic gold medal swimmer, describes Edwards as self-absorbed, insanely jealous and controlling in their two-year relationship from 2005 and 2006. Sixteen pages of the 256-page book titled, "In the Water, They Can't See You Cry," are devoted to their times together.

The book also details Beard's previous problems with drug use and bulimia.

"I considered us friends and I didn't realize she had all those problems," Edwards said. "I would have done anything in the world to help her with those. Regardless of what she writes in a book, if she ever needs something from me, I'd be there to help her out."

But Edwards said he's still dumbfounded by some of the things Beard wrote in her book.

"I don't know where to start," he said, "whether it's the psychology of feelings about a relationship that doesn't work out or the strategy to sell book. To be honest, it's just weird. I don't know how to address things that I don't remember happening."

In one passage, Beard wrote of Edwards: "He never asked me what I might like to do, because he only wanted to be on Carl time. He couldn't imagine any other kind of time."

Edwards admitted he has considered what he should say in response to the book.

"I've thought about that a lot," he said. "I couldn't come up with a good explanation. I didn't know what to think about it. It was pretty far out of left field for me. It really caught me off guard. It's sad for me to read that and sad that Amanda was going though all that."

Edwards married Dr. Kate Downey in 2009. They have two children; two-year-old Anne and Michael, 11 months.

Edwards said he knew Beard was writing a memoir.

"I was told a long time ago she was writing a book," he said. "I thought, 'Good for her. That's awesome.' All the correspondence we've had since 2006 has been good."