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. Linda

    How sad that morals have gone down the drain. I guess you can have an affair with a married man, get pregnant, and write a tell all book and not have a one concern for his children, parents and especially his dying wife. You need to just slither away!

    June 22, 2012 08:09 pm at 8:09 pm |
  2. Anonymous

    Please make her go away. Fifteen minutes are over.

    June 22, 2012 08:35 pm at 8:35 pm |
  3. Pam

    Some people have no decency!

    June 22, 2012 08:50 pm at 8:50 pm |
  4. LH

    I was born in NC and have live here all my life. John Edwards has become an embarrassment to the entire state. Most North Carolinians that I hear speak of this wish Mr. Edwards and his mistress would move to another state. ***It is terrible when a husband cheats on a wife that is well. He was cheating on his wife as she was in the fight of her life against cancer. What a low life he is! There are also names a woman is known by that knowingly transgresses with a married man. Shame on both of them!

    June 22, 2012 08:53 pm at 8:53 pm |
  5. mcduff

    I can't believe the nerve of this person.How dare you diss Elizabeth when you go out of your way to
    make sure you have a connection with this low life person.Your Johnny would be nothing without
    Elizabeth and her family Just wondering how interested you would be if he didn't have money?????

    June 22, 2012 08:54 pm at 8:54 pm |
  6. CTL

    one can only hope that perhaps CPS will gain control of all 3 of the minor children – they deserve normal homes and real parents 🙁

    June 22, 2012 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  7. Marie MD

    @chillout – I can't imagine anyone being without some sin but not only was he having an affair. He was planning a wedding just waiting for Elizabeth to drop dead. That's worse than just a plain affair.

    June 22, 2012 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  8. Thatguy371

    Oh brother, here come the hypocrites. So many shocked and appalled people, who of course never have done anything remotely as 'sordid' as this. Ha. What a joke.

    June 22, 2012 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  9. dee

    I am gagging right NOW!

    June 22, 2012 09:49 pm at 9:49 pm |
  10. scmaize

    And WHY does any of this, much less all of it, need to be in the "public domain"? I'm offended that ABC is extending her 15 minutes of fame, and we certainly didn't watch the interview around here. I'm also not interested in her self-serving book.

    June 22, 2012 09:56 pm at 9:56 pm |
  11. pssttcmere

    Another harlot heard from...and why give her any press at all???

    June 22, 2012 10:22 pm at 10:22 pm |
  12. DanW

    No regrets? What a predator.

    June 22, 2012 11:00 pm at 11:00 pm |
  13. abbydelabbey

    An adulterer is an adulterer is an adulterer.

    Hunter knew he was married and didn't care. She knew that there was money to made - ka-ching! And that's the real reason for the book.

    Edwards knew he was married and didn't care. His wife had cancer and didn't care.

    I pity the child - when she gets older she's going to hear from other children her mother was having an affair with a married man whose wife had cancer and who subsequently died of cancer and her mother profited very well from that affair.... Now how do you think that child will feel? Hopefully, she'll have better morals than her mother and father have.

    June 22, 2012 11:03 pm at 11:03 pm |
  14. Anonymous

    This woman is evil. Shame on her and on behalf of all the breast cancer survivors, how dare she say Elizabeth used her breast cancer against her husband. I am a breast cancer survivor, mother,wife and I feel repulsed by this woman who calls herself a mother. She is pure evil, selfish and just pure bad.

    June 22, 2012 11:11 pm at 11:11 pm |
  15. Steve

    Just go away, both of you. I'm tired of hearing about your tawdry affair.

    June 22, 2012 11:16 pm at 11:16 pm |
  16. Former Republican, now an Independent

    Definately a woman who can't get her face in front of TV cameras enough to suit her. If she had any sense of morals, she would be ashamed of having an affair with the husband of a woman with a terminal disease!

    June 22, 2012 11:51 pm at 11:51 pm |
  17. Mom of Two

    Perhaps Edwards' marriage was already "in shambles". Maybe you "can't help who you fall in love with", but you sure has heck can control what you actually do! Bottom line, the man was married. He was wrong to engage in the affair and so was Hunter. I can't decide which is worse, the slimeball Edwards or the sleazebag Hunter.

    June 23, 2012 12:10 am at 12:10 am |
  18. Anonymous

    They deserve each other!!

    June 23, 2012 12:18 am at 12:18 am |
  19. Laurence Ringo

    O.K."Chill Out"-You need to take a deep breath and take a long,hard look at the situation as a whole.By stating the obvious vis-a vis normal human behaviour,you add nothing to the conversation,and reveal a singular lack of analytical thinking skills.The issue is Ms.Hunter's deeply frayed moral fiber,and her defiant bravado in parading the reeking ends of these fibers in the public's eye;indeed,poking us in the eye with the pointy ends of her vile,amoral attempts to justify her actions in the name of"love".As she herself said,she's not the first woman to fall in love with a married man,and she won't be the last(Ditto men),which to the innocent parties is less than meaningless,a tired,putrid cliche that simply cements the vileness of her excuses.Her attacks upon a woman who is dead and can't defend herself was the very height of self-serving gall,and I for one don't expect Elizabeth Edwards'gutless,weak-kneed,souless husband to say a word in defense of his late wife,no;that would take far too much heart and moral fiber than John Edwards can muster.In the end,one can only hope that their innocent child Quinn will somehow survive having two such loathsome people as parents.God help her.

    June 23, 2012 12:44 am at 12:44 am |
  20. Anonymous

    He could have done better...

    June 23, 2012 01:18 am at 1:18 am |
  21. Kosenrufu

    I agree. This woman has no reason to be proud of herself and she will most likely pass that on to her child as a rule of life. John Edwards is no saint by any means but this woman still has some measure of culpability.

    June 23, 2012 01:35 am at 1:35 am |
  22. IR

    Chill Out – You're seriously happy that up to half on this board have probably been cheated on? I agree – go back to the sewage pipe from which you emerged. Stay away from married men and then you won't have to worry about falling "in love" with them.

    June 23, 2012 01:49 am at 1:49 am |
  23. Terry D

    "I'm sure all of you who are ripping this woman to shreds are clean and pure and never have done anything wrong, right? "

    Not and talked about it proudly on national TV, no.

    June 23, 2012 03:30 am at 3:30 am |
  24. bob

    none of this is anyone's business, nor does it impact whether someone should be elected or not. Our founding fathers (jefferson, franklin for example) were fathering children with slaves, having tons of affairs and children with different women, etc. get over it.

    June 23, 2012 05:56 am at 5:56 am |
  25. Sue

    Ladies, there is 1 sacred rule of dating as far as I am concerned... Don't date married men! Period. Get a DIVORCE. Yes, I realize that it takes 2, but EACH has a choice. And who is this one trying to kid? She loved him... really... did I miss their wedding announcement somewhere? It was LUST... use some self control.

    June 23, 2012 07:04 am at 7:04 am |
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