According to friends of Hunter, Edwards met her at a New York city bar in 2006. His political action committee later paid her $114,000 to produce campaign website documentaries despite her lack of experience. Edwards said the affair began during the campaign after she was hired. Hunter traveled with Edwards around the country and to Africa.
When the National Enquirer first reported the alleged Edwards-Hunter affair last October 11, Edwards, his campaign staff and Hunter vociferously denounced the report.
"The story is false, it's completely untrue, it's ridiculous," Edwards told reporters then.
He repeated his denials just two weeks ago.
Edwards today admitted the National Enquirer was correct when it reported he had visited Hunter at the Beverly Hills Hilton last month.
Edwards made a point of telling Woodruff that his wife's cancer was in remission when he began the affair with Hunter. Elizabeth Edwards has since been diagnosed with an incurable form of the disease.
Edwards was asked whether he loved Hunter.
"I'm in love with one woman," he responded. "I've been in love with one woman for 31 years. She is the finest human being I have ever known."
The former senator was asked why his wife was not by his side as he made the admissions about his affair to ABC News.
"I have seen these public figures who bring their wives along when they say they've done something wrong; confessing some wrong and the wife -- they bring their wives to stand beside them I guess, to show support…Elizabeth didn't do anything wrong. I…didn't ask for her to be here. I asked for her not to be here. Uh, this is my responsibility; my alone. I have to be the man and take responsibility."
Earlier in the interview, Edwards described his experiences in personal, visceral terms.
"I am imperfect," he said. "And anybody, anybody watching this broadcast or who hears about this who wants to beat me up for this, they should have at it. The truth is -- you can't possibly beat me up more than I have already beaten myself up."