The public has skewered the former senator for cheating on his cancer-stricken wife and then denying his mistress' child, but Hunter insisted he is the epitome of truthfulness and humility.
"Everyone talks about how Johnny has fallen from grace," Hunter, 45, told the magazine. "In reality, he's fallen to grace."
Months into the couple's passionate affair, Hunter said that when she told Edwards she was pregnant with his child, he seemed to want her to have an abortion.
"He ... always said that he would support whatever decision I made," Hunter told GQ. "But I believe on some level he was hoping that I would get an abortion. Because he didn't -- he wasn't happy about the timing. Which is understandable. He was married and running for president."
Representatives for both John and Elizabeth Edwards told ABC News that they declined to comment on the GQ article.
The 10-page article, done at the rental home where Hunter lives with her and Edwards' 2-year-old daughter, Quinn, touches on her early days with Edwards, the frustration of watching him deny their child and what she says are gargantuan untruths told by Young.
"To me, it kind of confirms what a lot of people thought of Rielle," Young said of the GQ article. When pushed to clarify, he hedged. "That she's a little bit of a different type of person."
Young said it Hunter has taken liberties with the truth and that he has the voicemails and e-mails to corroborate his story. Among the claims at which Young took offense: Hunter's insistence that she had no idea that the amount of money being funneled to her through the Youngs by private benefactors topped $700,000.
"It's patently ridiculous for Rielle to say that she didn't know that money was coming in or this or that. We were living in a $20,000 a month house right down the road from Oprah Winfrey," Young said. "I mean, come 'on."
He also blasted her version of events that led to Young's claiming paternity of Quinn. Young has maintained that the request came from John Edwards. But in the GQ article, Hunter claimed it was Young's suggestion, made while Hunter was on the phone with Edwards, who was livid about his visibly pregnant mistress being photographed by the National Enquirer.
"Yeah, I want to be the baby daddy," Young said sarcastically. "No, that's ridiculous."
Young also questioned the photo spread that accompanied the GQ article, something Hunter herself was said to be upset about.
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Hunter told GQ that she was not a mistress by nature, only a woman in love.
"It's a role that I took on because I fell in love with him," she said. "And that was the role that was available to me."
And unlike Edwards' relationship with his now-estranged wife, Elizabeth, "he's not afraid of me," Hunter said, classifying their marriage as toxic and "very abusive."
"It's interesting, though, that he allowed himself to be abused. You know, he's no victim," Hunter told GQ. "But I think it had to do with having the guilt of the double life, it allowed him to accept the abuse."
Edwards' fear of his wife was "huge," Hunter said.
"He could not go to his wife and say, 'We have an issue.' Because he would be pummeled," she said.