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. martin

    i'm usually a pretty good judge of people but edwards and his wife completely fooled me. i thought they had a great marriage. but it was a case of dumb and dumber with edwards and his lover; did they really, really think nobody was gonna find this out! she sabotaged his presidential bid but unconsciously he probably wanted it that way. otherwise, there's not explaining the stupidity of it all.

    June 23, 2012 03:11 pm at 3:11 pm |
  2. Beam48

    King David had no regrets either until Nathan busted him...

    When you put something out in the public realm...of course people are going to judge you. The sad thing is I was ready to vote for him...it makes me shutter to think what would have happened if he became President with morals like this. Doesn't matter if the 'marriage is over'...until the divorce papers are served...its not really over. I actually feel sorry for this lady. I do wish her and her daughter well and I hope she has learned from this...and never ever makes this mistake again. Sin never just between two people..it always affects others.

    June 23, 2012 03:20 pm at 3:20 pm |
  3. tsa

    Our culture has a very skewed idea of what love is. Love wants what is best for the other person. Love does not want others involved in a tawdry scandal. Love does not destroy others. If Rielle found herself "falling in love" with John, and he propositioned her, she would have told him to seek the marriage counseling necessary to repair his marriage and then run in the opposite direction. What happened was not love, it was lust. Love can last. Lust does not.

    June 23, 2012 04:02 pm at 4:02 pm |
  4. annebeth

    DISGUSTING!!. Ms Hunter may think that she did nothing wrong, but she was a grown woman, who had an affair with a married man, who had a wife and children. The kids did not sign up to be a part of this disgusting mess; they had to accept it because their father & Ms. Hunter wanted to fool around. What goes around, comes around and I hope that Edwards & Hunter get theirs ten-fold.

    June 23, 2012 04:07 pm at 4:07 pm |
  5. Martin

    A decent woman will never hit on a man who is married.
    That also goes both ways.

    Hunter is an opportunist. She saw the opportunity to satisfy her not so happy life by hitting on a man who can provide her with Wealth and possible Power (which never occurred). And now this woman sees an opportunity to gain fame by granting these TV interviews and the possibility of fame that may sell (and it seem to be so) that would land her in Reality Contract show or book deals.....

    June 23, 2012 04:39 pm at 4:39 pm |
  6. Mary James

    Watching the Rielle Hunter Interview last night made me sick. She seems to think that what she did was not wrong that it happens all the time. She knew that Edwards was married and she should have not got involved. He pretended that he had a good marriage if he did why did he get involved with this stupid woman who has made a real fool of herself. I hope that they both get the help that they need because they are both crazy with no moral compus.

    June 23, 2012 04:52 pm at 4:52 pm |
  7. Dan

    She made lots of money for her assets.

    June 23, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  8. Greg

    Where do you all get off judging between right and wrong?? This is the postmodern era! Everything is a thick haze and morality is evolutionary...or...something.

    June 23, 2012 09:03 pm at 9:03 pm |
  9. Zander

    I don't think she did anything wrong. Edwards was tired of his marriage, wanted something new in life, and happened to meet someone he liked. It was two adults making the decisions they wanted. There's no blame here, just media hype.

    June 24, 2012 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
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