Elizabeth Edwards Opens Up to Oprah About Her Husband's Affair

Elizabeth Edwards opens up to Oprah about her reaction to husband's infidelity.

ByABC News
May 6, 2009, 7:26 AM

May 6, 2009 — -- She didn't have a career in politics like her husband, but the spotlight is now on Elizabeth Edwards, who discusses private details about her reaction to her husband's affair in her new book to be released this month and bears her soul on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" scheduled to air Thursday.

Edwards told Winfrey she believed John Edwards when he told her the affair was a one night stand. "You know I believed John," she said. "I believe that. I want to believe that, you know."

But whether she is still in love with the former presidential candidate -- who admitted publicly after his run for the White House ended last summer to having an affair -- is another question.

"Are you still in love with him?" Winfrey asked.

"You know, that's a complicated question," Edwards said.

On the status of their marriage, Edwards said, "Neither one of us is out the door, so I guess it's day by day, but maybe it's month by month."

The interview, taped at the Edwards' 28,000-square-foot home in Chapel Hill, N.C., coincides with the release of Edwards book, "Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts Facing Life's Adversities." Edwards talks about her new memoir, her husband's infidelity, her marriage and how she handled her bout with breast cancer.

In her memoir, Elizabeth Edwards lashed out at Rielle Hunter, the woman with whom her husband had an affair. She called Hunter's life "pathetic," and also said that her husband, a former North Carolina senator, should not have entered the 2008 presidential race.

Edwards suggested that Hunter, a video producer who worked for her husband's campaign seduced John Edwards with the pickup line "You're so hot."

"What John said is that this woman spotted him in the hotel in which he was staying," she said. "He was meeting someone in the restaurant bar area, and she verified with someone who he worked with that it was John. John went to dinner at a nearby restaurant, and when he walked back to the hotel, she was standing in front of the hotel. She said to him, 'You are so hot.'

"I can't deliver it because I don't know how you deliver such a line as that," Edwards added, laughing.

Hunter was paid $114,000 for producing a batch of short films for the campaign, and federal investigators are looking into whether some of that money was paid to keep the affair under the radar.

A Harpo spokeswoman told The Associated Press that the only caveat to the interview was that Winfrey could not mention John Edwards' mistress by name. Winfrey also spoke with John Edwards but excerpts of his interview were not provided.

In an accompanying article in "O" magazine, Edwards opened up about Hunter and how she was different from her own family.

"This person is very different from me, and really very different from him," she said. "We're basically old-fashioned people. So, this was a pretty big leap for him. Maybe it's being so different is what was attractive."

Edwards, who has three children from her 31-year marriage, told Winfrey she had no idea whether John Edwards was the father of Hunter's baby. John Edwards has said he and his wife believe he is not the father. However, his wife does not state that explicitly in the interview with Winfrey.

"And there is great speculation that your husband John Edwards is the father of that baby," Winfrey said.

"That's what I understand. I've seen a picture of the baby. I have no idea. It doesn't look like my children, but I don't have any idea," Edwards said.

Edwards told Oprah she only asked John Edwards for one gift before they got married 31 years ago. "I wanted him to be faithful to me," she said. "It was enormously important to me."