Rielle Hunter breaks her silence

Rielle Hunter at her home in Charlotte, N.C. (Photo by Mark Seliger / GQ)
March 15, 2010 9:20:05 PM PDT
John Edwards' former mistress, Rielle Hunter, is breaking her silence two years after the scandal of the couple's affair became public.

She's telling her side of the story to GQ magazine.

The interview includes several racy photos of Hunter in a white button down shirt and a string of pearls. Another picture shows Hunter and her daughter, the child Edwards fathered.

In the exclusive interview with GQ, Hunter says she fell head over heels in love with Johnny Edwards - as she calls him - within four days of meeting him in 2006 and says her heart still belongs to him. That she hasn't been with anyone else.

Hunter takes also several jabs at Elizabeth Edwards and says John Edwards feared the wrath of his wife.

"The break in the marriage happens before the infidelity and that break happened, you know, two and a half decades before I got there," Hunter said. "So the home was wrecked already. I was not the home wrecker."

Hunter says she bought Edwards a cell phone that looked exactly like the one he had so no one would know or would suspect anything until Elizabeth picked up the phone one day and hit send, and Hunter answered.

She says Elizabeth Edwards knew the relationship was not just a one night stand as John Edwards originally claimed in an interview with ABC News and Elizabeth later wrote about it in her own book.

Hunter says Elizabeth still pushed John Edwards to run for president.

Hunter also goes into detail about the money funneled to her by wealthy Edwards' campaign donors.

When she learned in a news report that Andrew Young, who was Edwards' former aide, was paid $700,000 by an Edwards supporter she says - "My jaw dropped. I never had any idea the kind of money that Andrew received from Bunny Mellon. He told me he received two checks from her, small checks totaling about $50,000 and that he never deposited them."

Young gave Hunter some money.

"Andrew Young would put $5,000 a month into my bank account," she said. "One month it was $6,000 and he told me it was on the up-and-up and it was a gift. I had no idea where it was coming from."

That's information that federal investigators are interested in as they try to figure out whether Edwards used campaign money as hush money or if it was properly reported gifts from those donors to either Young or Hunter.

Hunter testified last summer before a grand jury in Raleigh investigating John Edwards' campaign money.

Hunter also disputes Andrew Young's side of the story about Edwards' attempt to cover up paternity.

Young claims he was pushed by Edwards to falsely claim paternity of Hunter's baby. But Hunter tells GQ that Young suggested the cover up.

Meanwhile, Hunter and Young are in the middle of a legal dispute over an alleged sex tape. Hunter is suing to get it back.

The Young's claim they have handed it over to authorities.

Click here to read the entire article, "Hello America, my name is Rielle Hunter."

Hunter says she could've gotten a lot of money for the GQ interview, but did it for free. She says she just wants to tell her side of the story and wants to protect Johnny Edwards and their daughter and says they have a good relationship.

However, one PR expert says money could still be a motive in the end.

Patty Briguglio of MMI Public Relations in Raleigh says some sexy poses and questionable clothes to coincide with her exclusive interview was mistake number one.

"I tell my clients if you don't want to see it on the front page of the newspaper than I suggest you don't say it," she said. "Well, Rielle, here's a tip. If you want to be taken seriously and not perceived as the mistress or the other woman, it's a pretty good idea not to take your pants off for the photo shoot."

Briguglio says Hunter either doesn't have a PR agent or is getting horrible advice.

"She comes off as being the most woo-woo, odd person who has justified her behavior, but I think perhaps that what she's trying to do is send a message to John Edwards that she can give a nice interview but she makes mention in there that she needs money and she's going to have to work and this could be a shot over the bough to Johnny that I need more money or I might write my own book," Briguglio said.

It's unclear if Hunter will write a book, sell the story for a movie, or come up with her own reality TV show.

Briguglio says Hunter's interview will help Andrew Young sell more books. Though the two stories are conflicting, there's too much dirt to turn away.

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