March 15th, 2010
03:21 PM ET
12 years ago

Edwards' mistress details affair to GQ

(CNN) – John Edwards' mistress tells GQ that she slept with the former Democratic vice presidential nominee only hours after first meeting him in 2006, and that she still loves the father of their child.

"You're so hot," Rielle Hunter tells the magazine she said to the former North Carolina senator when she met him at a New York hotel.

Hunter said Edwards promptly provided her with his hotel room telephone number imploring that she call him immediately. When Hunter called a short time later, Edwards asked that she come to his room. Hunter tells the magazine that she "terrified" and told herself she would not sleep with him.

"I had never experienced anything like what was flowing between us," Hunter said in the interview. "I sat on the other side of the room. I wouldn't go near him. "And he kept saying 'What are you doin' over there? Come over here. I can't even see you. Come closer. I won't bite you."

"I was just-there was sooo much attraction and sooo much… I want to say love, but it wasn't love at that point. You know, it was just this, this magnetic force field like I had never experienced. It terrified me," Hunter said. "Absolutely terrified me. And, um, I eventually walked over to his side of the room. He was pretty relentless. And that's all I'm gonna say on that! Now fade to black!"

But Hunter said Edwards quickly realized the potential ramifications of the tryst, telling her that "Falling in love with you could really f- up my plans for becoming president."

"If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans," Hunter said she told Edwards in response. Hunter was soon hired to work as a videographer for Edwards.

Hunter also told the magazine Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, learned of the affair in late December of 2006, days after Edwards announced he was running for president. She said Edwards' wife found a cell phone her husband used only to call Hunter.

She "picked up the phone and called me, because it was the last number dialed," Hunter said. "And I answered the phone and said 'Hey, baby.' And, click."

But Hunter says the two continued their affair, even after Elizabeth Edwards' cancer returned the following March. According to Hunter, the two conceived their daughter that May and Hunter discovered she was pregnant in July.

Edwards took the news well, Hunter said.

"He was always very gracious about it," she said. "And always said that he would support whatever decision I made. But I believe on some level he was hoping I would get an abortion. Because he didn't-he wasn't happy about the timing. Which is understandable. He was married and running for president."

As for the cover up, once the National Enquirer got wind of the story, Hunter says Andrew Young, the former top Edwards aide who recently wrote a tell-all book, volunteered to claim paternity.

"I was on the couch pregnant, and I just felt like I… it was devastating for me, because it went against all of my belief systems. And to go along with this insane plan… but I eventually made the choice to do it," she said.

Filed under: John Edwards • Popular Posts • Rielle Hunter
soundoff (415 Responses)
  1. brooks

    So sleeping with a married man and getting pregnant out of wedlock are okay, but lying about the daddy is where she draws the line? You've gone one scary belief system there, lady.

    Why do these mistresses think they have to tell their story? They slept with a married man. BFD. They're not the first, and won't be the last, unfortunately. But they certainly aren't saints and don't do anything for their image by telling all the sordid details. Go crawl back under a rock. You give real women a bad name.

    March 15, 2010 01:19 pm at 1:19 pm |
  2. Claudia, Houston, Tx

    A persons moral compass tells them whether something is right or wrong and both Edwards and Hunter ignored that because as it's been said many times "the flesh is weak".

    March 15, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  3. Tom2007

    Edwards actions are despicable. His infidelity is due to human nature not a political party. It was wrong and he has to pay for the consequences. There are no excuses, but McCain, Gingrich, Clinton etc all had their moments. It is human weakness. Given the power of these people, I am sure they are tempted more than the average person. Unfortunately these men failed and are responsible for the consequences. To read more into this, blaming the democratic or republican party is a convenient childish logic that ignores the real problems we need to resolve for America. How much money did we spend on lawyers to investigate Clinton. The upper class lawyers laughed all the way to the bank while American tax payers paid the bill. for what? I wish we had that money now, for schools, healthcare etc. Unfortunately it only contributed to making more millionaires and less middle class Americans.

    March 15, 2010 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  4. geoff

    I love how she tries to make herself look better: " -it went against all my belief systems"...well yeah, duh! You had sex with a married man who already had a family of his own. Guess you have to feel better any way you can. How about some personal responsibility?

    March 15, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  5. Ridiculous

    She was told Barbara Walters that she was distraught because she thought that GQ would take "tastefule" pictures of her. posed in a man's shirt and no pants, how tasteful do you think you can get?

    Neither she nor Edwards can make excuses for themselves, they acted with poor character and morals.

    March 15, 2010 01:21 pm at 1:21 pm |
  6. eli

    I agree w/ others.... they deserve each other, and scorn.

    March 15, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  7. dorothy

    For all who have mentioned this as being a particularly 'Democratic' failing...shall we begin to list the number of sleazy Republicans...or is there enough room on this page???

    It actually goes much deeper than politics and goes to basic human trust and integrity and the glaring lack of it in today's world; no matter who the person or what the party. It is a reflection of a country who has lost its moral way, and that is the saddest part of it all. Just plain depressing to imagine that there is no honor left...even among thieves.

    It is written anywhere that the moral fall of a society precedes its fiery end? If yes, then we should be very worried.

    March 15, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  8. Jack

    All you high & mighty, might what to remember what Jesus said to Mary

    March 15, 2010 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  9. d1120

    They are BOTH trash.

    March 15, 2010 01:23 pm at 1:23 pm |
  10. Beth

    This is really pretty disgusting. I blame GQ for promoting a story like this. It's like they are encouraging it!! Of course Edwards and Hunter are pretty awful too!!

    March 15, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  11. Janice Russo

    Thank you , Jack! Your comment was what needed to be said. Why do we as a society always blame the other woman? Maybe it has to do with Eve giving in to the snake in the garden of Eden. If a man is in a committed, loving relationship, he may look, but he walks on by! If my husband couldn't resist the charms of "you're so hot," I don't want him. But, knowing my husband, he would have grinned and come home and told me some chick hit on him, and we would have enjoyed a laugh big time. . . .

    March 15, 2010 01:24 pm at 1:24 pm |
  12. Kyle, Virginia

    I feel sorry for Elizabeth

    March 15, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  13. It happens

    All these holier-than-thou people think this story is so disgusting. It is only newsworthy because Edwards was running for President else it is simply a story that happens very often. Don't condemn if you haven't been in similar shoes.

    March 15, 2010 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  14. Jeff

    Seems like they are just right for each other. I say force them to stay together so they don't screw up the love lives of normal people.

    March 15, 2010 01:26 pm at 1:26 pm |
  15. CheriF

    There is something seriously wrong with women who feel compelled to chase after married men. This opinion comes – not from my own failures as the one commentator suggests – but from my core values as a woman. It is equally wrong for a man to respond, but for Ms. Hunter to now aggrandize what she did in the pages of GQ as though she has accomplished something great goes way over the top of poor taste. If she had class and values (as she seems to want to suggest), she would have turned down the GQ opportunity no matter how much it pays, and she would have certainly put her foot down against the sultry bedroom shots in her photograph session. This whole GQ experience proves that she is a tramp, a gold digger, and a fame junkie – certainly not worth of the price of a magazine.

    March 15, 2010 01:27 pm at 1:27 pm |
  16. Liz

    @Wilt. Yes, it's a classic democrat love story. As opposed to the classic republican one:

    Legislate against gay rights while cheating on your wife with a male prostitute in a public bathroom.

    March 15, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  17. Capt. Snarky

    Why is Edwards not in Jail? Oh, yeah, he's a democrat?????

    March 15, 2010 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  18. Lisa

    Geez, talk about putting lipstick on a pig....

    March 15, 2010 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  19. Yazoo

    That woman is just plain ugly.

    March 15, 2010 01:32 pm at 1:32 pm |
  20. jackie

    No one should be giving this woman a forum. Until we start publicly shaming these cheaters instead of giving them glossy photo shoots and stories that leave the possiblility of some bleeding heart to feel sorry for her, this society will continue to circle the drain.

    March 15, 2010 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  21. The Calabash Kid

    Edwards was dumb and I'm sure he's the first to admit it. I'm sure he regrets the affair. I can't praise him exactly, but I can't condemn him exactly either. So many of you women who cannot resist a piece of fudge seem peculiarly unable to understand someone's inability to resist that most tempting of all temptations: a lovely, intelligent, willing woman.

    Let us also consider the personality of those who want to hold high office in our democracy. These people, to say the least, are not saints even if they are very capable people. What do they want? Applause, status, income, approval, praise, and more applause. These folks are the most likely to say, like Oscar Wilde, that they can resist everything but temptation.

    Let me also point out that the women who dump these guys and write a tell-all book to cash in on their family misfortune are the same gals who promised to love the man forever and stick to him through thick and thin. We should modify the marriage vows to say, "as long as I want to" instead of "for better or worse."

    Male-female coupling is a very old human custom, but sexual fidelity has always been more of a goal than a minimum standard – sort of like never speeding on the freeway. Women report an average of six sexual partners during their lifetime and men about 20. 40% of men say that they wish their partner was more "adventurous." Two-thirds of women disapprove of premarital sex, but 75% of women say they've had sex with two or more men and 40% say they've done the horizontal tango with five or more men.

    Just a thought.

    March 15, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  22. Michelle

    I agree with the posters who point out that it takes two. Why is SHE any sleazier than Edwards? Was he exempt from responsibility? Is he blameless for the lack of control over his actions? He was married. She was the single woman. They were both wrong and made what ended up to be bad decisions. They were both attracted to each other and "fell in love". Bad situation, but you can't just blame one person.

    March 15, 2010 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
  23. elo

    Some uneducated reader writes:

    "Classic Democrat love story. Cheat & lie to get elected and satisfy any of your own selfish personal needs along the way"

    You can say that about Republicans too, not just Democrats. Cheat and lie for selfish needs...whether in business, sex, politics etc. etc. etc. A lot of politicians and those who follow them are narcissists, democrat or republicans. Its just a matter of time when their true nature gets exposed.

    March 15, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  24. Padraig

    This is pathetic. All three should be ashamed of themselves. The two "ladies" are righting books and he, well he is an idiot as well.

    March 15, 2010 01:36 pm at 1:36 pm |
  25. ginny from Canada

    Is anyone else being reminded of high school? Clearly neither one of them behaved as adults, yes it's disgusting, but I kind of feel sorry for them, they are two pathetic human beings with a lot of issues. Mostly feel for the children who are being dragged through this mud. She's a piece of work, but now we are all giving her what she wants, her fifteen minutes.

    March 15, 2010 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
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