Andrew Young Exclusive: Rielle Hunter Lied to Oprah Winfrey

Cheri Young speculates John Edwards' mistress had plastic surgery.

April 29, 2010, 10:27 AM

April 30, 2010— -- Rielle Hunter's explosive interview with Oprah Winfrey was laden with lies and a blatant attempt to blame everyone but herself for the sex scandal that has apparently ended one-time presidential candidate John Edwards' marriage, former Edwards aide Andrew Young said today.

Young and his wife, Cheri Young, said they were struck by Hunter's lack of remorse and, maybe, something a little different about her appearance.

"I think she's had plastic surgery," Cheri Young said.

Andrew Young said he watched the interview twice.

"She is deflecting the blame and wants to make everybody the villain," Young told "Good Morning America" in an exclusive interview.

In the interview with Winfrey, Hunter denied being a "home wrecker" and said her illicit affair with John Edwards did not break up his marriage with his cancer-stricken wife.

"Absolutely not," Hunter told Winfrey when asked if she was a home-wrecker. "It's not my experience that a third party wrecks a home."

"You can't steal someone else's husband," she said. "[People are] not property."

Elizabeth Edwards was out shopping for her daughter while her estranged husband's mistress was telling Oprah Winfrey that they never used birth control and that the affair was a learning experience.

"It is a blessing that this woman is not part of my life," Edwards told ABC News after Rielle Hunter's interview aired Thursday. "I was shopping for Cate while it was on, and I did not watch it."

Andrew Young said Hunter's accounts to Winfrey about the sex tape she made with Edwards and how it wound up in the Youngs' hands were completely untrue.

Hunter told Winfrey that left it at her own house. But the Youngs said they can prove in court that the tape was left at their house for more than a year.

"She abandoned it," he said. "She left it there."

Hunter said she still loves Edwards, who she repeatedly referred to as "Johnny." When asked if Edwards loves her, she said, "It's my experience that he loves me."

But she rebuffed Winfrey's questions about the status of their relationship. "That's private," she said with a slight laugh.

But Andrew Young said he thinks the two are "definitely" still seeing each other and that their relationship may be bolstered by more than romantic feelings.

"I think there's some kind of contractual relationship," Andrew Young said, pointing to the half-million-dollar house the Edwards bought for Hunter and her young daughter that has yet to be lived in. "I think there's some type of restriction on what she can and cannot do."

Andrew Young: John Edwards 'Sold Me a Bill of Goods'

Andrew and Cheri Young again vehemently denied Hunter's account of how he came to claim paternity for her and Edwards' child before she gave birth.

Hunter told Winfrey that she was forced to go along with the plan and that Young volunteered. But the Youngs stuck to the story outlined in Andrew Young's book, "The Politician," that they got the call from Edwards asking for Young to take the fall for him while shopping in Petsmart.

"She's a grown woman. If she didn't want to do it, she could have said no," he said.

"John Edwards called me at the Petsmart and sold me a bill of goods," he said. "We were wrong and we did something very stupid."

Young said he believes that the recent investigation into whether he committed perjury with regard to the scandal was sparked by an anonymous complaint to the district attorney by a member of Hunter's heavily financed legal team.

"Any mistakes we made was because they started the civil lawsuit the day before my book came out," he said.

After the affair became public, Edwards' presidential ambitions were destroyed.

Hunter told Winfrey that she considered her affair with Edwards a learning experience.

"I don't regret it. I wouldn't repeat it, but I learned a lot," she said.

But what she does regret is the photo spread in GQ magazine, which accompanied her first-ever interview since the scandal broke. The photos showed her posing provactively and without pants next to her daughter's stuffed animals.

Hunter added, "I'm not sure I want to get married ever. I don't need marriage to define who I am."

One thing Hunter claims she doesn't know is whether she hurt Elizabeth Edwards, telling Winfrey, "I don't know."

Hunter said she knew Edwards was married when she told the Democratic contender that he was "hot," and went to his New York City hotel room later that same night.

"I did know that he was married, but I didn't know what their marriage was like," she said.

Hunter suggested that the state of Edwards' marriage to his wife Elizabeth shares much of the blame for her affair and the breakdown of the Edwards marriage.

"People bought into the myth of the marriage," Hunter said. "[There is an idea that their marriage] was a storybook and is so perfect and so wonderful and I destroyed it."

Rielle Hunter on Her Affair With John Edwards

Elizabeth Edwards, Hunters said, first learned of the affair when Edwards' wife called the number on a phone he used only to speak to Hunter.

"I said, 'Hey, baby,' and she hung up," Hunter said.

Hunter, who has since given birth to a baby girl named Frances Quinn, also told Winfrey that neither of them used birth control during their torrid affair.

When Edwards found out she was pregnant he never asked her to get an abortion and was "gracious," but when he feared the pregnancy might become public he became angry and agreed to a plan to have his close aide Andrew Young claim to be the baby's father.

"I wouldn't say he was fully supportive," she said of Edwards who called her up to yell at her after a tabloid photographer snapped her looking pregnant. "He had a lot of issues with the timing. He was married, he's running for the presidency."

Hunter said agreeing to the Young paternity claim was, "My biggest regret. My biggest mistake."

Under often skeptical questioning by Winfrey, Hunter said she had doubts at times whether they should continue the affair, but said their love was overpowering.

At one point Hunter said, "The power of love does override," and later said, "Our hearts were louder than the mind."

But Edwards did not fully come clean to his wife until after 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.

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