[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/POLITICS/09/22/rielle.hunter.profile/art.reille.hunter.jpg caption="A video image shows Rielle Hunter arriving at the federal courthouse in Raleigh, North Carolina, on August 6."]
(CNN) - Rielle Hunter, the woman at the center of the John Edwards sex scandal, has been known variously as a spiritual seeker, an aspiring actress, a party girl and a political operative, according to media reports.
Last year, after months of denials, Edwards admitted having an affair with Hunter while he was campaigning for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2006.
Edwards' campaign paid Hunter $114,000 to make a series of short webisode videos about his presidential campaign, and she traveled extensively with the candidate's entourage.
Edwards denies that he is the father of a baby Hunter bore in February 2008, saying the affair was over before she became pregnant.
Former Edwards aide Andrew Young claimed the baby was his. But Young later said that the former senator is the father and that his paternity claim had been made at Edwards' request. Hunter has not said who the father is.
"Rielle is the black sheep of the family. We were all raised the same way. She chose a different path," Hunter's sister, Roxanne Marshall, told People magazine in August 2008.