Rielle Hunter has broken her years-long silence on the details of her campaign affair with former would-be presidential candidate John Edwards, telling GQ in a candid interview–complete with a bizarre photo shoot featuring Hunter, wearing only pearls and a man’s white oxford shirt, atop a bed strewn with her love child’s stuffed animals–that she will love Edwards “till death do us part.”
Dashing all hopes of a political resurrection after two failed presidential bids, the affair embroiled Edwards, resulting in the dissolution of his marriage with cancer-stricken Elizabeth, with whom he campaigned all the while during the tryst, and made many a GOP political hands wish they gave then-Senator Hillary Clinton an easier ride in 2008. Through it all–from Edwards’ denial of the affair, to his public apology for it, to his denial of fathering a child with her, to his later admission of paternity–Hunter has maintained her silence, though she said she’s now free to tell her story with a clean conscious, without “emasculat[ing]” her former lover.
“I feel comfortable talking now,” she told the magazine, “because Johnny went public and made a statement admitting paternity. I didn’t feel like I could ever speak until he did that. Because had I spoke, I would have emasculated him. And I could not emasculate him.”
Unlike other actors in sordid story, Rielle never sold her story, and sat for the interview with GQ without “making a penny,” she said.
On keeping quiet, Hunter said it was “very difficult” at times. “It’s been four years. It’s hard to know that people are out there speaking over and over and over again untruths. Lies. Consciously going out there and spinning the truth. Using me and Johnny and our relationship to make themselves look better, to play victim, or to get money,” she said, alluding to former Edwards aide Andrew Young, who recently penned The Politician, a bestselling tell-all memoir on his involvement in the affair and it’s cover-up. “That rubs me wrong in every way possible.”
Though John and Elizabeth Edwards renewed the wedding vows in 2007, at which point John was allegedly aware of the pregnancy, the couple have now separated. Though ‘Johnny’ and Hunter’s relationship have since “evolved into something different” after her “stint as a mistress ended in 2008,” the two “have not spoken about wedding plans.”
Read the entire interview for more on Elizabeth, who Hunter contends enabled the secret relationship by ‘tragically’ ignoring her own shortcomings, and Young, whose decision to claim paternity for the child was due, in large, part, to his “love” for the one-time rising Democratic star.
In other Edwards-Hunter news, The Daily Beast Monday reported graphic details of a sex tape the couple filmed in 2007, for which Hunter is now suing Young to regain possession.