Rielle Hunter on night with Edwards: 'Intensity like a rock concert'
June 22nd, 2012
11:19 AM ET
2 years ago

Rielle Hunter on night with Edwards: 'Intensity like a rock concert'

(CNN) – The woman at the center of one of the 21st century's most salacious political sex scandals said in an interview airing Friday she has no regrets about falling in love with a married presidential candidate.

Rielle Hunter, who carried out an affair with former Democratic Sen. John Edwards while acting as a campaign videographer, made the comments in an interview with ABC News.

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"I don't regret falling in love, and I don't regret loving him, nor do I regret our daughter," Hunter said in the interview, portions of which aired on "Good Morning America" Friday.

In August 2008, Edwards admitted to an affair with Hunter, a onetime videographer for his presidential bid. At the time, the former North Carolina senator denied paternity of the daughter she had given birth to six months earlier.

The Justice Department had accused Edwards of using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign contributions to keep his pregnant mistress under wraps as he mounted a second presidential bid in 2008. But after more than 50 hours of deliberation, a North Carolina jury acquitted him in May on one of the six counts against him and deadlocked on the other five.

Edwards eventually acknowledged paternity of the daughter he fathered with Hunter, and after the May 31 mistrial, he talked about "my precious Quinn, who I love more than any of you can ever imagine."

In the interview Friday, Hunter describes the first time she encountered Edwards.

"He rounded the street corner, and it came out of my mouth: 'You're so hot,'" Hunter said.

She said she accompanied Edwards to his hotel room because she thought, "I could help him."

"What a joke, for the outside world looking in. 'Boy did you sure help him,'" she said mockingly.

The pair's first evening together, Hunter said, was unlike anything she had ever experienced.

"Something internally happened with me," she said. "I responded. I have never seen that before. I had not experienced or felt what was happening before. Intensity like a rock concert."

Edwards' marriage with wife Elizabeth, who died of cancer in 2010, was in shambles before she entered the picture, Hunter alleged in the interview.

"Their marriage was ruined years before I got there," she said, adding that before his relationship with her, he had carried out other extramarital affairs.

"I was not the first," she said.

Elizabeth was not the saintly figure the media portrayed her to be, Hunter claimed, saying the former political wife had another side that was rarely revealed. Elizabeth and John Edwards separated in 2010.

"The full truth needs to be in the public domain," Hunter said. "Their father's not a demon and their mother's not a saint, and I'm not a home-wrecker. We're real human beings, and there is a real dynamic that was going on, good and bad, and we all made mistakes."

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Filed under: John Edwards • North Carolina
soundoff (184 Responses)
  1. lyn

    She got what she went after, a lifetime of financial support for herself and the baby that was needed for her purposes.

    June 22, 2012 11:25 am at 11:25 am |
  2. Ann

    "Their father's not a demon and their mother's not a saint, and I'm not a home-wrecker."

    Shame on you! trying to make more money with your pathetic stories?

    June 22, 2012 11:30 am at 11:30 am |
  3. Thomas

    In the interview Friday, Hunter describes the first time she encountered Edwards.

    "He rounded the street corner, and it came out of my mouth: 'You're so hot,'" Hunter said.

    She said she accompanied Edwards to his hotel room because she thought, "I could help him."

    I Know That We Are Young And I Know You May Love Me But I Just Can T Be With You Like This Anymore Alejandro !

    June 22, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  4. sonny chapman

    "Tell me more, tell me more"-Grease.

    June 22, 2012 11:38 am at 11:38 am |
  5. Andrea

    Why does the full truth need to be in public domain. Do you think Elizabeth's children want to hear that about their mothr. I know I wouldn't. You had an affair with a married man, had his child and now you write a book about it. I hope that people turn away from buying it.

    June 22, 2012 11:40 am at 11:40 am |
  6. craig

    Oh ick....

    June 22, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  7. Tim

    "i don't regret" yadda yadda yadda, and i don't doubt that's John Edwards' answer, too. IS THERE ANYBODY LEFT IN AMERICA WHO HAS A CONSCIENCE????

    June 22, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  8. tez07

    Rielle........nothing screams character more than sucker punching the memory of the passed

    June 22, 2012 11:47 am at 11:47 am |
  9. scarf

    Her behavior behind closed doors was bad enough. Now she wants everyone to know just how bad.

    June 22, 2012 11:49 am at 11:49 am |
  10. Angel

    "Intensity like a rock concert". Have this woman no shame?

    June 22, 2012 11:50 am at 11:50 am |
  11. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    Hunter may feel she's demonized but she's proving herself to be classless with no compassion as well. There are children involved here and a mother has a responsibility of protecting the young and not continue to roll in the dirt due to her affair. Hunter could care less about anyone but herself and is treading on very dangerous ground, Elizabeth is dead but her spirit is still alive.

    June 22, 2012 11:53 am at 11:53 am |
  12. JMJ

    Why doesn't she just go away & spare the Edward's children & her own child further shame. She is a shameless with no heart or soul. A rock concert, OH PLEASE, I hope she enjoyed her rock concert whille her lover's wife was at home battling cancer. I trust she will get very few sales of her "rock concert."

    June 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  13. Donna

    Why is 20/20 giving a platform to a known home wrecker?? I also have no sympathy for John Edwards for continuing to put his children through more hell.

    June 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  14. nemo

    Agree with Andrea – No matter how much our salacious curiosity gets the best of us – the best thing we can all do is NOT buy the book. Do NOT give this woman the satisfaction, and do not give her your money!
    Anyway – no need to buy it – CNN and other sources will keep dishing out the good parts.

    June 22, 2012 11:55 am at 11:55 am |
  15. Toby

    She, along with John Edwards, ruined a family and continues to demean Elizabeth Edwards, who is not around to defend herself. Hunter is morally bankrupt. If she had any morals at all, she'd stop trying to make money off the affair by writing a book and prolonging her 15 min. of fame.

    June 22, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  16. Laurie in Spokane

    Sad sad situation. I agree – he's not a demon, just a liar and cheat; his deceased wife was not a saint – no one is; and Riele may not be a home wrecker, but she's sure seems out to make a buck, but she has a child to raise. . The losers in all this? the children of both of them.

    June 22, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  17. Donna

    P.S. I will "NOT" be wasting my time watching this this sick nonsense!!!

    June 22, 2012 11:59 am at 11:59 am |
  18. sue

    She's pathetic. Whether Elizabeth was crazy or not, to publish this and disparage a dead women who cannot defend herself is shameful. What is even more shameful, how her words are re-victimizing John and Elizabeths children again! I think had she kept her mouth shut, things (with his kids) could have been better, but dont think that is the case now. Also, why isn't Kate speaking up for your dead mother!!! She sits in court with her dad, then pics are published of John and Reihile, then Reihile slams her mother.

    June 22, 2012 12:11 pm at 12:11 pm |
  19. billy

    Just another groupie chasing the almighty dollar ;-)

    June 22, 2012 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  20. Karl Jonas

    Rationalization, all of it.

    1. Yes, you are a home wrecker.

    2. Yes, you are disgusting, demeaning the dead.

    3. Yes, you knowingly pursued and had an affair with a famous, rich man.

    4. Yes, you knowingly had an affair with a presidential candidate, and the good of the country be damned.

    5. Yes, you knowingly took hush money but now you want it all in the public domain and wrote a book for even more money.

    Go away Rielle Hunter, your name is dirt and will always be so.

    June 22, 2012 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  21. Toni

    Your not a "Lady" either.

    June 22, 2012 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  22. Pat F

    "Their marriage was ruined years before I got there," she said"

    Right – she fell for the "my wife doesn't understand me" routine. Here's some breaking news, brainiac: he just wanted to get you into the sack, and he absolutely regrets that you got knocked up. He'd sell you and your darling daughter Quinn to the Russian mafia in exchange for 10 minutes as president.

    June 22, 2012 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  23. donna rochester

    This woman is nothing but trash. She set out to entrap Edwards and has done so, although he certainly is not a saint. His punishment is having to put up with this woman in some form for the rest of his life. What a contrast this aging, teeny bopper who was never attractive and no amount of makeup or makeover will make her attractive, has never contributed in a positive way to society and never will, to Elizabeth who lived and died with grace and dignity, was an attorney, an author of inspiring books, a mother and social activist. Go away Ms Hunter you are an embarrassment to yourself and this country.

    June 22, 2012 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  24. Michael Kelly

    What a piece of trash!! She needs to just go away!!

    June 22, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  25. Valentina

    This woman has no shame, and he [Edwards] is disgusting for trying to cover up this whole thing while running for the Presidency. Just a thought of this man becoming a President (and he had a good chance, at least at the Vice Presidency) make me want to throw up.

    June 22, 2012 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
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