Rielle Hunter on night with Edwards: 'Intensity like a rock concert'
June 22nd, 2012
11:19 AM ET
11 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. Chelene stone

    As Dr.Phil says" if he will do it with you, he will do it to you." it is just very sad. Regardless of what kind of woman this crazy lady thinks Elizabeth Edwards was, she should remember that there are still three children in this world that she is only damaging further. Shame on Johnny boy, shame on Reille, karma is coming! I will NOT buy this trashy book!

    June 22, 2012 02:05 pm at 2:05 pm |
  2. So true

    "John Edwards will never again run for office unless he becomes a republican." LOL

    June 22, 2012 02:06 pm at 2:06 pm |
  3. RealityBites

    John and Rielle are a perfect couple.., how about we just leave them be..., FOREVER!

    June 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  4. Gina

    When she said" You are hot" I wish he said "YOU ARE NOT"!

    June 22, 2012 02:09 pm at 2:09 pm |
  5. Chipster

    John Edwards is the one who broke his vows. His behavior is disappointing but he is only human after all. He has and should pay for the pain he inflicted on those who love him. However, someone once said something about casting stones. I'm not perfect enough to judge. I only hope Elizabeth rests in peace and his family can heal.

    June 22, 2012 02:18 pm at 2:18 pm |
  6. cWarden

    The point is that if he was unhappy he should have divorced her rather than cheat on her. But he couldn't because he thought it would make him look awful given her diagnosis. So he cheated on her hoping to get away with it and ended up looking twice as bad, deceitful, hypocritical and more. Elizabeth may not have been perfect but she didn't cheat on her husband and I suspect that whatever was wrong with their marriage stemmed from his obvious insecurities. He was such a huge disappointment. A candidate who really seemed to care about poverty and had such a promising future. He threw it all away for an affair.

    June 22, 2012 02:21 pm at 2:21 pm |
  7. Dean

    If it was George Bush we would be reading comments in here about Republicans and their family values.

    June 22, 2012 02:22 pm at 2:22 pm |
  8. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    As they say, beauty sells and it goes both ways for men and women! But you just got to be strong and try to remain faithful to the one you're with! I always believe a man or a woman has the right to seek a new lover but personally I believe that if you're married or with someone and you're interested in another person, then you owe it to the person you're with to sever that relationship first before you go cheating! Its that simple!

    June 22, 2012 02:26 pm at 2:26 pm |
  9. C. Davis

    How would she know what type of person Elizabeth Edwards was? I suppose she believes everything John Edwards told her. Does she not know how that game is played? That men will say whatever to get what they want even if that means saying hateful things about their wives! Very unfair of her to say anything about Elizabeth Edwards when she did not know her and the fact that Elizabeth is not here to defend herself. And by the way, no kidding this women was not the first! I guess that makes this all okay for all!

    June 22, 2012 02:32 pm at 2:32 pm |
  10. lloyd roberts

    John Edwards personal life is like a lot of other politicians from both sides of the aisle. Both sides are mired in hypocrisy but his criminal trial was only payback by his enemies, pure and simple. I'm glad he won that one, the jury read through the political junk

    June 22, 2012 02:37 pm at 2:37 pm |
  11. MikeM

    So what's difference between this guy and Sanford and McGreevey, and Gingrich, and Clinton?

    The similarity is that they are all shameless. Especially the last two.

    June 22, 2012 02:47 pm at 2:47 pm |
  12. Korgri

    Jay McInerney and Bret Easton Ellis are chomping at the bit...their old chum Lisa Druck is at it again!!
    Alison Poole for President!!

    June 22, 2012 02:51 pm at 2:51 pm |
  13. Clyde

    "I was not the first," she said.
    And thats how one justifies sleeping with a married man? Pathetic. These are two very dishonorable and dishonest people that just don't seem to have a grasp of right and wrong. These two deserve eachother.

    June 22, 2012 02:55 pm at 2:55 pm |
  14. Chuk

    Why would she regret anything?! She has made lots of money from this and continues to make more money from this. And yet she would pass herself up for the "victim". The man's life and career have been ruined and yet she's the "victim"? This person strikes me as a real opportunist – she knew what she was doing in seducing that man and is now laughing all the way to the bank. Why would she regret anything? Afterall, it costs her nothing and she's making more money than she would have otherwise!

    June 22, 2012 03:01 pm at 3:01 pm |
  15. The Film Professor

    And of course, I was drawn in by this lurid headline to read this sordid trash - as was CNN, as were all of you.

    "You are hot." And we are all the bystanders in this steamy, sleazy story.

    June 22, 2012 03:02 pm at 3:02 pm |
  16. Anonymous

    "I don't regret falling in love, and I don't regret loving him, nor do I regret our daughter,"

    "We're real human beings, and there is a real dynamic that was going on, good and bad, and we all made mistakes."

    Now, why does she call her choices a mistake? Is it a mistake she doesn't regret? Then say that unambiguously!

    Anyways, it's none of my business. Hope you have a good life.

    June 22, 2012 03:08 pm at 3:08 pm |
  17. jane

    honestly i dont think anyone needs to hear her justifications for an affair. they are the same for anyone else who has had an affair. both liars and losers.

    June 22, 2012 03:12 pm at 3:12 pm |
  18. just askin

    bow wow... nuff said.

    June 22, 2012 03:13 pm at 3:13 pm |
  19. Dave

    She's hot. Edwards just got caught. By the way, Romney is the definition of all that is wrong in this world. I'm gonna vote for him just to show people that the GOP is out to crucify the hard working middle class american people.

    June 22, 2012 03:18 pm at 3:18 pm |
  20. cscheall

    Selfish, homewrecking, egotistical, narcissistic 'ho.

    June 22, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  21. Ramrod

    Evolution at work. Love children are the products of raw desires.

    June 22, 2012 03:25 pm at 3:25 pm |
  22. marctheduck

    I think Ms. Hunter has just a touch of a personality disorder.

    June 22, 2012 03:31 pm at 3:31 pm |
  23. Indie in VA

    "'I was not the first,' she said." Reminds me of "but they disrespected Bush long before we were disrespecting Obama, so it's okay." Maybe she really is a Republican, with that kind of logic?

    June 22, 2012 03:32 pm at 3:32 pm |
  24. anne

    it would be better for all if she would just stay out of the news.
    we have had enough of her and him and their drama.

    this keeps their kids in the news when i'm sure they'd like a rest from it all too.

    June 22, 2012 03:33 pm at 3:33 pm |
  25. bibi

    Well, when so many talking heads in popular culture these days, who have great influence over the public, say that marriage is just a piece of paper or that marriage is obsolete or that life-long monogamy is unreasonable, why would anyone be surprised by what Rielle or John Edwards did?

    June 22, 2012 03:34 pm at 3:34 pm |
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