August 13th, 2008
01:40 PM ET
14 years ago

Book sales based on Edwards' mistress continue to soar

[cnn-photo-caption image= caption="A book based on Edwards' mistress is soaring in book sales."](CNN) - Author Jay McInerney may have John Edwards to thank for a likely influx of book royalties.

His twenty-year old novel, based on the life of Edwards' mistress when she was a young adult, is soaring in sales rankings - so much so that the book's publisher has commissioned an additional 2,500 copies for print on Monday.

McInerney has said the book's main character, described as an "ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year old," was inspired by Rielle Hunter - the film producer who Edwards recently acknowledged having an affair with in 2006.

The book, about the New York singles scene amidst the excess of the 1980s, is now 299 on and 393 on Barnes& - moves of a couple hundred places in only a handful of days. Before news of the affair broke, the book was thousands of spots lower.

Edwards, the former presidential candidate and 2004 vice presidential candidate, said he had a brief affair with Rielle Hunter in 2006 when she was employed by his political action committee to make "webisodes" about his campaign.

Despite breathing new life into one of his novels, McInerney said earlier this week he is no fan of the former North Carolina senator.

"To say that he slept with her but he wasn't in love with her - that's not very chivalrous," the author told the New York Daily News. "He's trying to distance himself from her."

"I don't feel my questions have been answered with regard to Edwards," he also said. "It was a half-assed confession."

Filed under: John Edwards • Rielle Hunter
soundoff (213 Responses)
  1. Celia Cipriani

    Why did they have to come out with this nonsense about Edwards. I know what he did was wrong, but at least have the common decency to have his wife spend whatever days she has left on this earth and I hope a lot to have them spent in peace and without scandal. Anything to sell newspapers.

    August 13, 2008 12:15 pm at 12:15 pm |
  2. rev israel akinadewo

    whatever, so many people have done worse things yet unknown and still castigating Edwards. Let the righteous cast the first stone. atleast he confessed to the relationship. americans should just leave him alone. we are all infallible. lets focus on how Americans can get away from the hatred Bush administration has created for over years. God bless America

    August 13, 2008 12:18 pm at 12:18 pm |
  3. Phil in KC

    The fact that sales of the book have picked up, once it became public that it was based on Hunter, is no surprise. People are naturally curious – particularly when it titillates their prurient interests.
    The fact that the author is no great fan of Edwards is really neither here nor there as far as I'm concerned. Should he be? Should he not be? Who cares?
    As for being chivalrous, has the author not heard? Chivalry is dead.
    What did interest me is the timeline. He was a VP candidate in 2004. It alludes to the fact that she was his photographer or camera person, or whatever her title was, in 2006. That would have been a Congressional campaign and I was unaware that Edwards ran for Congress – either House or Senate – in 2006. Also, he is being much maligned for having an affair while his wife was diagnosed with cancer. Yet, the photo of John and Elizabeth accompanying another article on this website indicates that it was taken in May of 2007, 2 weeks after she was diagnosed with cancer. Even if it was 2 months, those timelines don't jibe. So, perhaps CNN can get the timeline straight for us. Or, maybe they could let the story drop because it's not really significant. He didn't get the nomination. You guys didn't pick up on it when it was relevant. So who cares?
    In the end, it's their personal business and none of ours. Give them their privacy. You're doing Elizabeth no good by continuing to plaster this all over the airwaves.

    August 13, 2008 12:19 pm at 12:19 pm |
  4. Mr. M

    I just want to make sure that some of you are paying attention. You did read the entire article, right? This book was written 20 years ago.

    August 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  5. Sally Ann

    I couldn't care any less about who had an affair with who. I personally don't think that having an affair with someone makes you incapable of doing your job. We elect these people to be politicians, not religious leaders. Please, enough is enough.

    August 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  6. Marty Pacino Chicago Il

    It's amazing how the liberal left defends its Lying and Dishonest leaders even as the flames surround them. You claim to be open minded yet you cling to liars and thiefs even when the facts show that they have failed you. Are you really open minded? Who cares? We care. When you can't even be honest with your wife that shows you are a low down scum with no morals. How can you expect these people to lead us? Elliot Spritzer, John Edwards, McGreevy, these are the people you believe in? You people need to wake up and realize your icons are nothing but low life dirty liars. The deomocrats blew the only chance at the white house they will get this millenium. Obama is going to get blown out. Teh Bradley effect for teh landslide!

    Mccain/Romney 08
    Jeb Bush/Romney/ 12

    August 13, 2008 12:20 pm at 12:20 pm |
  7. Tyler in Raleigh


    Everyone is condeming this book as a way to make money and not appropriate... THE BOOK IS NOT ABOUT THE AFFAIR.

    READ WITH ME: The novel was written 20 years ago (1988) about NY in the 1980s. Edward's affair happened in 2006!

    The book was written in the 1980s about the woman in the 1980s. It is NOT about the affair, it is about her as she was then, it just turns out that 20 years later she ended up with Edwards. Although I sense a new chapter or introduction in the works, as all the tabloids show people love this gossip.

    August 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |


    Close the comment section about the Georgian President calling out McCain. When it starts to get negative CNN needs to protect its favorite guy McClueless.

    August 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  9. ben

    Why would anyone in his or her right mind ever want to be a politician?
    The bible says" let he who has not sinned cast the first stone" I am not a religous man, but belueve me in this crazy hypocritical world, the sinners would have to pick a number to stand in a long line waiting to cast a stone. Why have we sunk so low moraly we bask in ruthless filth these muck rakers sell? What happened to decency and respect for our fellow man? Greed is the answer. Write a bunch of lurid crap and the public will eat it up! John Edwards is a good man and still is. What he did was something about 90% of married men do. This includes those holier than thou telivision preachers. However, these same bible thumping morons love to speal and squeal their hypocritical garbage knowing all their TV audiance will shout Amen!!!!!!!!

    August 13, 2008 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  10. Jim-Saint Paul Minnesota

    This book has alot to say about America. This is not a book about someone over coming their odds, but about someone who could be called a home wrecker. Maybe she could be considered a hero by some for having goals to sleep with a known married man, and having little scrupples herself.

    August 13, 2008 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  11. demwit

    Wow! I bet all you Edward supporters really feel stupid now!!

    August 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  12. Rave

    I would say more than 75% of married men in American have atleast visited a Strip club (or) Flirted with a women (or) mastrubated thinking about some other women... This is also Cheating. I dont see any difference between what Edwards did and what other married men are doing without the knowledge of their wife.
    I also believe the most perverted people are those who claim to be conservatives. They are conservatives at home and something else outside (or) on the internet.
    Edwards did a mistake , he lied and then admitted to it.. This women was born to ruin the career of a rising star like Edwards and he should have not done it. I feel sorry for him and I wish things would settle down in his family life.
    My rating in a scale of 1 – 10 about Conservatives (who claim to be) being 100% honest in their married life is 2 and Liberals would be around the same.
    So Dont act like you the the Family man..everyone knows what's going on in our country. Just Stop attacking this poor guy

    August 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  13. Rick

    How can judgement over experience defend what edwards did?

    August 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  14. Nick

    P, CA
    August 13th, 2008 11:33 am ET

    Way to make money on someone else's misfortunates.

    The book was written twenty years ago. It has nothing to do with Edwards. Idiot

    August 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  15. Bob

    All the stinking liberal hypocrites saying leave the Edwards' alone. If it were a Republican, you'd be all over it.

    August 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  16. John Hussein Karsten

    I could care less who Edwards laid the pipe to. I did it, we all have done it..jezz let it go. It would be a story to me if the guy held public office, but he does WHO CARES. We have bigger things to worry about!!!

    August 13, 2008 12:23 pm at 12:23 pm |
  17. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    I would love to see Elizabeth Edwards "mop Edwards up off the floor" with a divorce and everything he owns, has earned, even his boxer shorts!

    August 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  18. CS in PA

    Hey, how about a little credit to Edwards – at least the escapade was with the opposite sex!

    August 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  19. Tony

    JM from SC:

    Americans are the most apathetic, lazy, whiny, uneducated people on the planet. The vast majority live for gossip, as is evident by the ratings of reality and trash t.v.

    The American people put millions & millions of dollars into the pockets of the producers of these shows.

    Americans have been dumbed down by corporate America for decades and most people either can't see it or can't get enough. Anyone for a Kool-Aid refill??

    August 13, 2008 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  20. Kathryn Irby - Metairie, LA

    Luis, you need to go back to Mexico, where you came from. It is strongly evident that you have no knowledge of the English language!

    August 13, 2008 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  21. EMJ

    All traitor Democrats planning along with the Clintons to ruin the convention, you will be repaid with the same thing next time. HRC did not get the nomination this time, and thanks to her and her sore loser supporters she is sealing her own fate and will never ever get the nomination. If BO loses because of the Clintons she will never get the nomination in 4 years or ever.

    August 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  22. carolflowery

    wow, it's definitely out selling Nancy Pelosi's says nothing book

    August 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  23. anonymous

    Name a politician that HASN'T had some sort of fling with the opposite sex! I certainly don't condone what he did as my husband's infidelity caused our marriage to breakup, but the American people are not only forgiving but "forgetting" people. So, why all the crap now? It sells and the good ol press will keep it going as long as they can to SELL SELL SELL. The people who work for the press are, in my opinion, lower than people that cheat! When all you people quit buying the products, books, magazine, tabloids, etc. that make them so much money, then they won't have that to write about and it won't be new any more!

    August 13, 2008 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  24. Harry

    Some of you people are so dumb. The book was written long before this happened. Jesus Christ.

    August 13, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  25. Mike H.

    To me the real issue here is the financial payoffs to Hunter and Edward's former aide, Andrew Young. I'll bet this was hush money whose payoff was authorized personaly by John Edwards. The question is: whose money was it? Were these campaign contributions made by ordinarly Americans blinded by this great, populist fraud.

    August 13, 2008 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
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