Local/State

Rielle Hunter speaks in ABC11 exclusive

Thursday, June 28, 2012

Hunter sits down with Steve Daniels and talks about the breakup and her new book.

ABC11 was in the studio at Good Morning America this week when Rielle Hunter announced her big news.

"As of the end of last week John Edwards and I are no longer a couple," she said.

Hunter did the interview to promote her new memoir "What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me."

She also spoke with ABC11, and we asked her about the breakup.

"We've been through a lot you know. It's complicated. It's hard," she said. "The whole entire last six years, we've been through so much as a couple, you know more than most married couples for eighty years. We've been through a lot."

In her new book, Hunter writes about that relationship. In the beginning, she writes about hopscotching across the country to secretly join Edwards in his hotel rooms while trying to dodge his staff members.

Then, she joined his staff as a videographer which allowed them to carry on the affair while traveling together. She writes it was an affair that continued long after the job ended.

Hunter told us the book was her chance to tell her side of the story to the public.

"I hope that it helps them to reflect on their own lives and see that you can't believe everything that you read and see in the media," she said.

The book also speaks about the National Enquirer photo that blew the lid off the secret. Hunter writes she was ambushed in the Whole Foods parking lot in Cary after leaving a doctor's appointment across the street. It was December 12, 2007 and Hunter was pregnant and living in hiding in Chapel Hill. 

She calls it an ambush and "the worst picture of me ever taken in my life."

It was a picture that sent the Edwards campaign into crisis mode.

Hunter also writes about another Enquirer picture of John Edwards holding their baby in a room at the Beverly Hilton. Hunter admits in the book that she took that photo and she published a similar shot in the book.

"I don't know whether the National Enquirer stole it or if it bought the photo from someone who stole it," she explains.

"The whole thing was so weird. It's an insane story," she told ABC11.

In the book, Hunter says she was against the idea of having Edwards' aide Andrew Young publicly say that he was the father of Hunter's baby.

Hunter writes that she told Young: "Do you realize how stupid that is? No one is going to believe it." 

Andrew Young has said it was John Edwards' idea to live the life on the run but Hunter said that's not how it happened.

"Oh no. it was Andrew," she told ABC11.

Hunter claims the Youngs were motivated by money.

"It never occurred to me that there are people in this world who want to be rich above and beyond everything else," she writes in the book.

"I discovered in January 2010 that Andrew and Cheri had actually received nearly a million dollars from Bunny (Mellon) and claimed that they had used that money solely to pay my expenses! In reality, the money that they spent on me was closer to seventy thousand dollars than seven hundred thousand," she writes.

We asked about the perception that Hunter got a million dollars to cover up the affair.

"I did not get the million dollars. Andrew Young got that," Hunter told ABC11.

Hunter also writes throughout the book about the late Elizabeth Edwards.

"This marriage was a sad and sick relationship filled with issues that clearly Johnny nor Elizabeth wanted to address," she writes.

"Hiding Elizabeth's craziness from the world was something Johnny had a lot of practice in doing. Apparently late at night she would often go into what he would describe as the dark place; her voice would change and she would begin saying extremely vile things," she continued.

Hunter says that's an important part of understanding the scandal - and understanding her.

"First and foremost, I'm a mom and, um, I'm also someone who is very dedicated to truth - spiritual truth, factual truth. It's, it's part of who I am, it's a driving force within me," she told ABC11.

Hunter did not testify at Edwards' recent criminal trial, but she told us she was "blown away" by the campaign finance charges.

"What a waste of taxpayer dollars," she offered.

ABC11 contacted Andrew Young for comment. He did not want to speak about Hunter's book, but previously he's said he spent $260,000 on Hunter in the first few months of keeping her in hiding.

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rielle hunter, local/state, steve daniels
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