May 7th, 2009
06:28 PM ET
9 years ago

John Edwards breaks silence on wife's book

WASHINGTON (CNN) - John Edwards supported his wife writing about their marital problems in the wake of his affair with a campaign staffer, the former presidential candidate said in a rare on-camera interview airing Thursday.

In the brief television interview with talk-show host Oprah Winfrey, Edwards said he never suggested his wife, Elizabeth, change any part of the book, even chapters that described the most personal details of her reaction to his infidelity.

"I think it's how she feels, it's what's inside of her," Edwards said. It was his first television interview since publicly acknowledging the affair nine months ago.

Among the revelations in her book out this week, Mrs. Edwards said she became nauseous when her husband told her of an affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006, who was hired to make Web videos about Edwards as he geared up for his second presidential run.

“I cried and screamed,” Mrs. Edwards writes in the book. “I went to the bathroom and threw up." Mrs. Edwards added that she urged her husband not to run for president in order to protect the family if the affair became public.

In the interview with Oprah, John Edwards said he wasn't sure whether his wife would leave him after he admitted to the affair.

"I didn't know, I think the honest truth is that I didn't know what she would do," he said.
“I don't think anybody knows when they go through something like this."

Edwards also said he and his wife are "are getting to a good place." But he added, "It's not over."

John Edwards currently faces a federal investigation over the $114,000 in payments to Hunter's production company. Edwards denies any wrongdoing in how Hunter was compensated.

Filed under: Elizabeth Edwards • John Edwards • Popular Posts
soundoff (127 Responses)
  1. Jewel - Hallsboro NC

    Not the first and will be the last. The devil is really busy 24/7 and then some.

    May 7, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  2. Lance Coardill

    Why even bother interviewing John Edwards? How can anybody trust anything emanating from the guy's mouth? Are we really to believe that he encouraged his wife to prostrate herself about his affair, especially in light of her health status and how it will affect him going forward?

    This guy is one of the biggest frauds we'll likely see in a long , long time.

    May 7, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  3. Mike in MS

    I am truely sorry for Mrs. Edwards and for that matter anyone who has been or who is going through a divorce or has a cheating spouse.

    Having an affair is wrong no matter if you are a Republican or Democrate. To many lives have been destroyed because of this.

    It is time for members of both parties to lead by example and display good morals for the betterment of everyone in the country.

    May 7, 2009 04:15 pm at 4:15 pm |
  4. James B

    This guy is just plain worhtless... Imagine if he was President, winnin the votes of the countless people that just couldn't seperate this politician's BS from fact. John "Anything to get press" Edwards is a real politician and a friend to scandal. Not a fan.

    May 7, 2009 04:16 pm at 4:16 pm |
  5. Lucy

    I thought John was the last GOOD man worthy to be president. I was wrong. Point is, each of us has a time when we are not so proud of our actions. If we have a partner, what happened in the relationship that caused the weak one to stray. It's never entirely one person's fault. Before I ever would get so righteous as Elizabeth, I would ask the question "how did I contribute to this?" And....we DID get the right President.

    May 7, 2009 04:18 pm at 4:18 pm |
  6. Big Al

    I dont think John is wrong in this situation. Elizabeth was sick, stricken with cancer. Its an awful situation she went through. However, she was not able to perform her sexual duties. John was careful and discreet while he was taking care of his stress. Unfortunately, it did leak out. We are all animals and sexual satisfaction is necessary. We all need to lighten up on John. I hope he runs for president again.

    May 7, 2009 04:19 pm at 4:19 pm |
  7. Amanda in Colorado

    My heart ache for Mrs Edwards, she and her husband has been married for years. I believe they have three livin children and one child who died at a very young age. If I was in her shoes I don't believe that I could just walk away from all that pass. I am a very liberal woman and I give her really big numbers for staying.

    May 7, 2009 04:20 pm at 4:20 pm |
  8. Mike

    John Edwards is like any politician, they would screw their own mother if they thought they could get away with it. They are all cut from the same cloth....they are dirt bags.

    May 7, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  9. Dimslie

    Elizabeth Edwards became "nauseous"? You said it not me. "Nauseous" means that she became sickening. I think you meant "nauseated". On the other hand, I do think that she's nauseous.

    May 7, 2009 04:22 pm at 4:22 pm |
  10. J.P.

    Just think... if the media had actually DONE ITS JOB, this clown would have been knocked from the Dem Primary in Iowa and very likely Hillary Clinton would have gone on to knock the wheels off the Change-Mobile.

    Hillary Clinton could have very likely been elected president.

    Thanks to Edwards' arrogance, lack of self control, and sense of entitlement, the next five generations of Americans get to pay for Obama's spending.

    As a libertarian, I'd take a thousand years of Bill and Hillary Clinton over Obama's Change We Can't Afford. It's got nothing to do with race, but everything to do with color... the color of green... (tax) money... as in what my descendents will work "for" but won't be able to keep much "of."

    May 7, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  11. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    There she goes again......she urged him not to run, to protect the family..........what about the Democratic Party and the country? What about not running to protect all of us if the affair became known (which was inevitable)?

    May 7, 2009 04:23 pm at 4:23 pm |
  12. Jim Smith

    I'm sure Mr. Edwards is doing EXACTLY what his Image Consultant is telling him to do. I don't doubt for a moment that this is all a carefully planned move to get him back in a position of power before it's all over.
    The media will play right into his hands on this also, as I'm sure that soon it will all blow over.
    We as a nation are so stupid to allow these people to be in charge!

    May 7, 2009 04:24 pm at 4:24 pm |
  13. Hector Jenkins

    He that is free of sin,let him cast the first stone.

    However,do not be surprised when the return as rocks on your own head.

    May 7, 2009 04:25 pm at 4:25 pm |
  14. Shari, NY

    Oh, no! I think that some things should be privy, especially when it includes a visit the toilet.

    May 7, 2009 04:26 pm at 4:26 pm |
  15. Rob

    What a scumbag how do you cheat on your wife who is dying. I hope Edwards get put in jail. No one should feel sorry for this guy he deserves everything he gets.

    May 7, 2009 04:28 pm at 4:28 pm |
  16. snowdancer

    So Mrs. Edwards wanted her husband to withdraw from running to protect the about withdrawing because if he became a candidate and the affair became public democrats would LOOSE THE ELECTION! Did she ever think of her country?

    May 7, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  17. JDQ

    I imagine they can use the funds this book will bring in – why else would she write it and he talk about it?

    May 7, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  18. MD

    I am watching Elizabeth Edwards on Oprah right now and if she refers to the child that may be John Edwards child as IT one more time, I am going to scream. The child is a HE or a SHE not an IT... I've quickly lost respect for her. She also said that the affair started with 4 litlle words. "You are so hot." Really? Really? That's all it took???

    May 7, 2009 04:29 pm at 4:29 pm |
  19. Joe

    I always figured John Edwards for a phony. The thing that amazes me is how many people he managed to fool. Thank God he never got elected.

    May 7, 2009 04:30 pm at 4:30 pm |
  20. Joe

    Who really cares about these people? I mean really let's all move on. I'm so sick of hearing about the Edwards. They are old news! Mr. and Mrs. Edwards PLEASE.....leave us all alone. We have more important things to worry about then how he cheated on her and how she threw up after she found out. The baby is his, pay the mistress her child support and let's end all this drama!

    May 7, 2009 04:31 pm at 4:31 pm |
  21. Sue

    John Edwards is STILL lying to his wife. He is STILL lying to the public!!! When will he have his DNA test? When he goes AWAY the country will be safer from this man who LIES about EVERYTHING!!!When will he pay back the monies he stole from his campaign for his MISTRESS???

    May 7, 2009 04:32 pm at 4:32 pm |
  22. SKYLAR

    Come on Eddie....take the DNA test....inquiring minds want to know!

    May 7, 2009 04:33 pm at 4:33 pm |
  23. George Arlington, TX.

    I think Edwards affair is something he will have to digest. His wife will either forgive him , or move on.

    May 7, 2009 04:36 pm at 4:36 pm |
  24. SLM

    Go crawl back under the rock you came out from under. Why would anyone listen to anything this hypocrite has to say? Liar! Anyone who donated to his campaign (baby pay off fund) should be outraged.

    May 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
  25. drummajor66

    Who cares? I mean really, who cares. They both attempted to defraud the voting population. They knew this would hit the fan. She even presented him as better able & willing to deal with women's issues that Hillary Clinton whose record went back beyong her Bejing speech.
    She sat back & allowed him to do to Clinton verbally what he did to her via his betrayal to his vows. Forgive him? That is her choice & right as his wife. Forgive both of them for defrauding not only Americans in general but all those who supported him & believed the bs they tried to put forth...naw I don't think so.
    Come to think of it, she ridiculed Hillary for staying with Bill. How many ways can you spell hypocrite?

    May 7, 2009 04:38 pm at 4:38 pm |
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