Oprah Winfrey grills Rielle Hunter about her affair with John Edwards

In an interview with Oprah Winfrey, Rielle Hunter defends her relationship with John Edwards.
By Lisa de Moraes
Friday, April 30, 2010

Rielle Hunter, Queen of Denial, went on Oprah Winfrey's talk show Thursday to talk about Johnny Edwards's "life of integrity."

"This whole journey has been so hard for me. I am a really private person," explained the woman whose affair with Edwards polished off his political career.

"I am very much a person committed to truth," she informed Oprah, sitting pretty in the living room of her three-bedroom home in Charlotte.

Right off the bat, in what was her first TV interview, Rielle wanted to make it abundantly clear that she is not a home-wrecker because "it is not my experience that a third party wrecks a home."

"You can't steal someone else's husband, you can't steal someone's wife -- it's not property," she explained.

Other people's perception of her as, say, a home-wrecker "definitely hurts a lot," she said.

She is perceived negatively, she said "because a lot of people bought into the myth of the marriage . . . the Edwards marriage as being a storybook story and it was so perfect and so wonderful and I destroyed it. It fits into their two-dimensional story line."

Rielle walked Oprah through the salient, succulent facts thusly: The unsuspecting professional videographer first encountered Edwards in February 2006, at which time he "practically jumped into my arms."

Actually, they spotted each other across a crowded public room in the Regency hotel in Manhattan, and there was "mutual staring going on," but nothing more.

She did not realize who the former Democratic vice presidential candidate was because, she explained blondely, "I didn't pay a lot of attention to the Kerry-Edwards campaign -- I had a lot going on in my life at that time."

When she left the hotel, he sidled up to her. "He was just so excited -- just lit up like a Christmas tree -- white lights just as bright as can be. And I just turned to him and said, 'You're so hot.' "

At that point she said to him, in her retelling: "I can help you." His acquiescence: "I want your help. I need your help."

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