August 11, 2008 -- A one-time close friend of John Edwards' ex-mistress says the former Senator is still not telling the whole truth about how his affair with Rielle Hunter began.
Edwards told ABC News' Bob Woodruff last week (STORY | VIDEO) that he and Hunter began their affair only after Hunter was hired for the campaign to produce a series of films for the internet and she began traveling with him.
"She was hired to come in and produce films and that's the reason she was hired," said Edwards.
But that version of events is now being challenged by a one time close friend of Hunter's, Pidgeon O'Brien.
"The affair began long, long, long before she was hired to work for the campaign almost half a year before she was hired to work on those videos," O'Brien said in an exclusive interview with ABC News.
O'Brien says Hunter told her that in late February, early March 2006 she met an amazing man from North Carolina named John at a New York City hotel bar. She referred to her new man as 'Love Lips', whom she said was married with small children and a wife who had been ill.
Some say Hunter, a devotee of new age spirituality, is given to exaggeration.
O'Brien said she later realized this man was John Edwards.
With no previous filmmaking experience, Hunter was paid $114,000 by Edwards' political action committee to produce a series of internet videos that included many scenes of the two on flirtatious banter.
Campaign finance records show the payments to Hunter's newly-formed film company did not begin until July, 2006. Edwards now insists that he told the truth that the affair did not begin until after she joined the campaign.
It would not necessarily be illegal to use campaign money to pay a mistress, but hardly in keeping with the high moral tone Edwards set during his run for President.
Former Edwards campaign manager David Bonior, to whom Edwards also lied, is outraged.
"People put their heart and soul into the John Edwards campaign for President of the United States," said Bonior. "They put their energy, they put their time, the put their resources in, they gave them their confidence and in the end, he wasn't there for them."
There's been no public reaction from Hunter. She had been living, under an assumed name in a $3 million Santa Barbara, California home arranged by Edwards' national finance campaign chairman.
Edwards has denied paternity and a campaign aide has come forward to say he, not Edwards, is the father.
Hunter's younger sister Melissa told ABC News many lies are being told about her sister.
"My sister, she obviously made a mistake. That doesn't mean she's a bad person. To the contrary, she's a great person. I love her very much. As a mother, she just wanted privacy and a safe environment for her child. And nobody should be judging her unless they walked in her shoes," said Hunter's sister.