But Edwards did not fully come clean to his wife until a 2008 interview with ABC News, when Edwards admitted to the affair, but denied he had fathered a child with Hunter. Earlier this year, Edwards admitted that Hunter's daughter was his.
"Everyone who was close to, well, who knew all the facts and knew the truth said, 'Please, don't do that interview. Please don't do that interview,'" Hunter told Winfrey about Edwards' revelatory sit-down with ABC News' Bob Woodruff.
"[Elizabeth Edwards] really wanted him to do that interview," said Hunter, a one-time videographer for Edwards' presidential campaign. "She wanted him to say, 'You know, you've got to get out in front of it. You've got to, you know, say the truth and speak the truth,'" Hunter said.
But at the time Elizabeth did not really know what the truth was, Hunter said.
"And she didn't know the truth. So it's like you can't do the interview and not speak the whole truth," Hunter told Winfrey.
"She didn't know until after the interview. He came clean with her after that interview."
Winfrey said Hunter decided to be interviewed because she felt she had been portrayed poorly and wanted to tell her side of the story.
Hunter admitted to making a sex tape with Edwards, but said she believed she had destroyed it by cutting the tape and hiding it with her personal possessions.
"I don't think there was a lot of thought going on I the heat of the moment behind closed doors. It was private and I believe it should remain private," she said. "I took an action to destroy the tape and kept it in my personal belongings. I cut it and pulled it out of the casing... I didn't think people were going to go through my personal belongings."
Hunter has since gone to court to get a restraining order against Young from distributing the tape, she claims he stole.
In her first interview, Hunter posed for pictures in GQ magazine wearing only a man's button-down, white shirt, a string of pearls and panties. She posed on a bed with stuffed animals piled around her in some of the photos. Her panties are exposed in one frame.
Edwards' mistress said that she thought the photo spread in GQ would include headshots as well and not just sexy, body-baring photos.
Following the magazine's publication, Hunter denied knowing that the photos would be used in the spread, but she told Winfrey she wanted at least one shot that was "sexy" where she "wasn't' looking like the wicked witch of the west."
She said it was a mistake she won't repeat. Even Edwards was surprised when he saw the pictures, Hunter said. She told Winfrey his reaction when he saw the photo spread was, "Where are your pants?"