At the legendary celebrity-filled nightclub Nell's, Druck met McInerny, who was so "intrigued and appalled" by the force of her hard-partying personality that his third novel, "Story of My Life," was based on the time he spent in nightclubs with Druck and her circle of friends. He even named a character, Alison Poole, after her, which he described as "ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious."
"For me you're a little bit frozen in time, a little bit Alison Poole, the 21-year-old party girl in that book who runs around New York going to nightclubs, doing drugs and abusing credit cards," McInerny told her in a discussion transcribed for Breathe magazine in 2005. "And I'm sure that your life wasn't that simple or that extreme or that wasteable."
Hunter told him that she did a lot of drugs but that she was struck by the character's "need for truth," adding that it was a theme in her life.
To get away from the scene in New York, she told McInerny that she moved to California to become an actress.
According to Newsweek writer Jonathan Darman, Hunter told him in 2007 that she and McInerny were plotting an idea for a TV show about women who have affairs with men to rescue them from their failing marriages, saying that she hoped to pitch it to "Sex and the City" creator Darren Star. McInerny and Star's agents did not return calls for comment.
In 1991, she married Alexander M. Hunter III, the son of Alex Hunter, the Boulder, Colo., district attorney who prosecuted the Jon Benet Ramsey murder. Hunter and her former husband could not be reached for comment. Rielle Hunter's current attorney, Robert Gordon, declined to answer questions or to verify accounts of her life.
Writing scripts for TV and movie projects, with titles ranging from "So Very Virgo" to "It's All About Uranus," Hunter legally changed her name to Rielle Hunter in 1994. But she didn't seem to have much success in love or in Hollywood, divorcing Hunter in 1999 and is credited with acting, producing and writing a 20-minute comedy short, "Billy Bob and Them," in 2000.
Hunter told McInerny that she fell into despair and spent a lot of money on spiritual retreats before starting a foundation, Being Is Free, dedicated to "higher consciousness."
On the Web site, she writes:
"And, for as long as I can remember, I had a relentless desire for truth. This turned out to be a helpful combo. I was never comfortable, never felt enough love, never satisfied, never fulfilled and I would not stop until that ended. Point being, if I can wake up anyone can, what it takes is the desire and the commitment to do so."
Less than a month after meeting Edwards at a restaurant in New York City in 2006, Hunter set up her own video production company, Midline Groove Productions, to create a series of video "Webisodes" of the candidate on the campaign trail, for which she was paid $100,000 in a six-month contract.
The Webisodes were never used by the campaign but they have found a second life on YouTube and some of their messages seem ironic in hindsight.
In the first video, titled "Plane Truths," Edwards says, "I've come to the conclusion that I want the country to see who I am, who I really am. But I don't know what the result of that will be."