Some see her as Rielle the man-hunter, Rielle the marriage destroyer or Rielle, the woman who brought down former presidential candidate John Edwards.
But Hunter, who in 2008 gave birth to Edwards’ daughter Quinn, told “20/20′s” Chris Cuomo that she is something very different.
“First and foremost, I’m a mom,” she said in an exclusive interview Cuomo which will air this Friday. “And I’m also a woman who fell in love with a married man. I’m not the first woman who has done that and I’m not going to be the last.”
Hunter has penned a revealing memoir with many new revelations about her relationship with Edwards. “What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me,” to be published June 26, details how she got caught up in one of the biggest political scandals in recent history, the status of her relationship with Edwards and his involvement in the life of their now four-year-old daughter.
People Magazine obtained exclusive excerpts from the book, including Hunter’s description of how Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth Edwards, reacted after learning of the affair:
“Elizabeth requested all the tapes (I’d made of the campaign). She locked herself in a room to watch,” Hunter wrote. “On one tape she saw Johnny walking into a room and his reaction to seeing me. She apparently told him that he never once looked at her the way he looked at me. So she took that bit and put it on her computer as a screen saver in order to watch it over and over again.”
Last month Edwards was acquitted on charges of accepting illegal campaign contributions from a supporter. The Justice Department will not retry the case.
As for her and John Edwards?
“I’m still in love with John,” Hunter wrote. “That didn’t’ go away, shockingly enough. Marriage? I have no idea. I’m not a big fan of the institution, but never say never.”
In the end, Hunter says she has regrets, but not about following her heart because she has her daughter Quinn, whom she calls the love of her life.