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. Mollybee

    Of course she has no regret....narcissists rarely do. What a woman. NOT.

    June 23, 2012 08:00 am at 8:00 am |
  2. Hap

    I'm with Chill Out,and I'll add anyone who dissagrees with him better be a perfect saint. Also your "morals" may not be my morals and since this America you should just shut up and mind your own business, unless a law is broken you get no say in what anyone else does.

    June 23, 2012 08:05 am at 8:05 am |
  3. Hustles

    She is disgusting both buy her book which will be rewarding to her..she takes no responsibility for her sleazy lifestyle. Wonder what kind of parenting advice she can offer..blame the victim uh!

    June 23, 2012 08:14 am at 8:14 am |
  4. aurora

    Guess she is missing the lime light and has a need to think people even care about her, her kid or her lover......yawn......

    June 23, 2012 09:20 am at 9:20 am |
  5. pork&beans

    Considering the divorce rate here is over 60%, and infidelity ranks as one of the top reasons, I find it amusing that most people posting here are condemning the two of them.

    June 23, 2012 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  6. thomas

    No regrets – really – you helped destroy the lives of many people, including innocent children and you have no regrets. yes, I know it is just as much John's fault as yours but you could have always said NO. Or is NO not in your vocabulary. It speaks a great deal to what type of person she is when she says that she has no regrets. I'm not even sure that can be classified as a normal human. Sick, twisted and perverted.

    June 23, 2012 10:22 am at 10:22 am |
  7. Russ

    I believe her when she said that Edward's wife controlled him and "she" always won. She looked like a control freak, contrary to being the saint that everyone thought she was. That can make a guy nuts, and rebel in one way or another. They then, for their own reasons, pursued their affair, which evidently turned into something like a drug for both of them. I believe that both of them loved each other. She said they used to talk on the phone for four hours and neither could hang up. Once involved, and in love, that started a chain of events where lies had to be told to try to keep it hush hush. However, when it did become public, Edwards tried to fess up with his wife and make that good. However, when the baby became public, that was the straw that broke it. The moral of the story is, never cheat on your wife, and go to a marriage counselor. If that doesn't work, file for separation and pursue the other relationship. Do it legally and with sensitivity for the other person.

    June 23, 2012 10:33 am at 10:33 am |
  8. Elizabeth

    Wow! She needs to go away (as does John Edwards) along with Jerry Sandusky per the majority of today's media coverage.

    June 23, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Another autobiography book on my do NOT read list.

    June 23, 2012 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
  10. Outdoor Girl

    Why must the media give people like Rielle Hunter any publicity at all? Her romanticized view of her and Edwards sleazy affair is not news, she should be talking to a shrink instead. As for Edwards, if he was dissatisfied with his marriage he should have gotten a divorce. It would have been the honorable thing to do. They deserve each other and she should keep in mind that a serial cheater doesn't change his ways.

    June 23, 2012 10:36 am at 10:36 am |
  11. Michael

    I can figure which is more of a lowlife?
    Her or Edwards?
    Either way a very close race.

    June 23, 2012 10:45 am at 10:45 am |
  12. Peter Kane

    If I were invited to be interviewed on Good Morning America, hopefully the topic would be how I rescued a puppy from a burning building or some rant on a political or religious issue I know nothing about. I just don't think I'd want to go on national T.V. and talk about having slept with an aspiring presidential candidate while his wife was dying. I mean, do I really want the world to know that I have virtually no control over my gonads – which is basically what Miss Hunter is saying here?

    It's really not the affair itself, that happens all the time – bid deal. It is likely true that Ms. Edwards was an unpleasant and emotionally disturbed person whose marriage had previously ended in all but name. But that doesn't excuse the infantile behavior and illegal contributions made by Fred Baron and Bunny Mellon; both of whom should have been indicted.

    June 23, 2012 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  13. maeve123

    Should we use "Reille's" stage name or her real name? I guess "working girls" like to use pretend names so their family isn't embarrassed about their real profession. John Edwards is getting what he deserves. Now it is Rielle's turn. Women Reille's age should remember how stupid it is to have an illegitimate child. She also should remember that the child will be descriminated against in certain social circles. But her Mommy grab a couple of dollars. Talk of "LOVE"? you're kidding...right? Or is it Love for profit?

    June 23, 2012 11:29 am at 11:29 am |
  14. Sagebrush Shorty


    June 23, 2012 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  15. Obama 2012

    It amuses me that people are so judgmental in a country with a divorce rate of 60%. Yes its wrong to lie and cheat – clearly they have no moral compass, but its done now. Elizabeth is dead...none of us have any idea what went on behind closed doors between John and Elizabeth so we are not in a position to judge. However, we know the man lied through his teeth – sleaze ball. If he lied to America, and to Elizabeth, he probably lied to Rielle. I somehow have a bigger problem with his endless lying the actual affair. Physical attraction happens, cheating clearly happens, but then man up and be honest with all involved.

    June 23, 2012 11:58 am at 11:58 am |
  16. Thomas

    Celebrity can be very powerful form of denial !

    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."

    June 23, 2012 12:26 pm at 12:26 pm |
  17. Karllinen

    I think I'll turn this over to Rush Limbaugh to label Rielle Hunter. He is not flattering of promiscuous women.

    I never liked John Edwards, and the whole trial was a fabrication to create publicity for books in the works. Taxpayers, we've been had by the Feds, and we paid for the circus on Market Street in Greensboro, the "derelict Southern town".

    June 23, 2012 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  18. JanieB

    Wonder what she is going to teach her daughter that it's okay to break someone's marriage up?? Her time will come.
    I hope Edwards gave his family and Elizabeth's family an apology. Church member...another creek who uses religion to
    push his career. He's a joke. Another sick want to be politician.

    June 23, 2012 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  19. miranda

    She should have been charged with fraud too, or blackmail and be in jail. The Youngs also – did they report the money they got for their silence to the IRS? Maybe the way to get these fraudsters is through the IRS, like the Mafia. I am deeply disappointed in the Democratic bosses that supposedly vetted this idiot and nauseated that I might have actually voted for him. We need some good candidates, not more crooks.

    June 23, 2012 12:43 pm at 12:43 pm |
  20. Micahel Wheeler

    And I don't regret that you will spend eternity in Hell with John Edwards... Hopefully your daughter won't be scared for life.

    June 23, 2012 12:53 pm at 12:53 pm |
  21. Juana

    His marriage was in shambles? And she knew this how? She looked at him and said "you're hot" and he said "thank you, my marriage is in shambles, let's do the nasty" and that was love? Maybe his marriage was in "shambles" because he didn't give a crap about his vows, he didn't have any self-control, and he is a womanizer. Of course he would tell her his marriage was in shambles.....she thought he was hot and had her legs wide open just waiting. She made it easy as she is.

    June 23, 2012 01:18 pm at 1:18 pm |
  22. emma

    So, the marriage was ruined and it was his wife's fault so our affair was justified. How telling! What conversations they must have had about the terrible partner.

    June 23, 2012 01:46 pm at 1:46 pm |
  23. jv

    "Intensity like a rock concert." The man was running for President of the United States. Of course it was going to be exhilarating.

    Women for you!!! Money and power works as an aphrodisiac for them

    June 23, 2012 01:47 pm at 1:47 pm |
  24. Fish

    The divorce rate is so high and infidelity is the number one reason – that's the point!! It is people like John and Rielle who are destroying their marriages and families with their lack of self-control. I'm quite sure that Elizabeth would have preferred marriage counseling or a divorce over this. Counseling would have given her the opportunity to see her contributions to a bad marriage and John to see his part. But in no way does this justify John's response to his difficulties with the affair because his issues made the marriage bad as well. Just a lot of rationalization going on here.

    You don't have to be a saint to know to keep your legs closed around married men, Rielle. You also don't have to be a saint to know that repeated lying and cheating is wrong, whether it happens in an affair, a business situation, a friendship, etc. It cannot be justified.

    June 23, 2012 02:04 pm at 2:04 pm |
  25. enuff

    My ex brother in law had a preditory female go after him while his wife was in the hospital. He went for it on the first night too. They told everyone it was his wife's fault because she wasn't meeting "his needs". She was in the hospital and had been ill for several months! Sounds like the same kind of story... but then Gingrich did the same thing. Maybe the ex-bro should go into politics!

    June 23, 2012 02:25 pm at 2:25 pm |
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