Rielle Hunter was John Edwards' mistress, but not his only one, according to her new book, What Really Happened. Yes, Rielle Hunter has a book out.
In the book, to be released June 26, Hunter reveals that John Edwards, the disgraced former White House hopeful, carried on at least two other affairs.
Rielle Hunter says she wrote it "in an effort to explain her relationship with Edwards to their daughter." We're sure money had nothing to do with it.
Ironically, when Edwards first met Hunter in 2006 he lied to her about having more mistresses than he actually had, and only revealed the truth years later.
After he was set to be tried for using donations from wealthy political backers to cover up his illicit affair and the daughter he had with Hunter, he came clean.
Edwards was found not guilty this spring on one count of violating campaign finance rules and a federal judge declared a mistrial on five other criminal counts.
The Justice Department will not retry the case, leaving him in the clear ... legally. His reputation, astonishingly, continues to take on more and more damage.
Hunter is vague about their current relationship status, but suggests that they remain romantically involved and he is involved in daughter Frances Quinn's life.In an upcoming "20/20" interview, airing Friday night on ABC, Rielle Hunter says she will reveal the current status of her relationship with John Edwards.
"I really have no idea what will happen with us. The jury is still out. But I can honestly say that the ending is of no concern to me anymore," she said.
"The love is here. And as sappy as it may sound, I love living in love."
Hunter says she wants Frances Quinn to "have one entirely truthful public account of how she came into the world. After all, this is her story too."
The book is a primer on the life of a political mistress - furtive meetings, passionate trysts and the anxiety of being hounded by celebrity news tabloids.
It is additionally both a full-throated defense of Edwards' innocence on campaign finance fraud case and at times a screed against his wife Elizabeth.
Rielle Hunter routinely describes Elizabeth Edwards, now deceased, as "crazy" and blames her for driving Edwards into the arms of other women.
Hunter depicts Elizabeth as woman routinely angry at John, who "barks" demands at him, summarily fires staffers and vigilantly works to maintain a public persona as a "saint" when, Hunter writes, really she is a "witch on wheels."
Hunter and John met on February 21, 2006, at the New York Regency Hotel. She approached the former senator with the come-on, "You are so hot."
Moments later, he called to invite her up to his room.
On that first night, Edwards, then mulling a second run for the White House, said he was sexually involved with three other women simultaneously.
Throughout the first weeks of their relationship, Edwards would reference these women, even detailing trips to meet and break up with them.
But all three women, Edwards later confessed to Hunter, were fabricated.
Made up, he said, so Hunter and his other actual former mistresses, to whom he had told the same story, would not become too attached to him.
"Johnny went on to tell me that the three women he had told me about the first night I had met him were, in fact, not real and that he had made them up... My mind was racing... He had told me detail upon detail," she said.
"I remembered the ups and downs of emotion I had experienced the night he went to Chicago to supposedly break off his relationship there," she writes. "My reality in our relationship had been ripped out from under me."
Edwards, she said, later confessed to having additional affairs before 2004, but led her to believe she was his last extramarital conquest.
"Johnny didn't do anything out of character," she said. "He has a long history of lying about one thing only - women - and I thought I was different."
Following their first encounter, Edwards hired Hunter, then working as a life coach, as a videographer to join his campaign in its first few months.
Hunter travelled extensively with Edwards including on a trip to Uganda, where at his request she filmed a video of the couple having sex.
When staffers became suspicious of the affair, Rielle Hunter left the campaign and their trysts became increasingly furtive, she says.
On Dec. 31. 2006, Elizabeth uncovered the truth, calling Hunter from what she calls Edwards' "other woman" phone, a secondary cell he used.
"Hey, baby," Hunter answered assuming it was John. Elizabeth hung up.
Elizabeth, Hunter writes, repeatedly called her "for the next two days at all hours of the day and night from various numbers" to intimidate her.
John Edwards was also subjected to Elizabeth's wrath as she "physically attack[ed] him during all the screaming," according to Rielle.
Hunter has little sympathy for Elizabeth's behavior.
She writes that Edwards' wife of three decades "was bonkers because she had been in denial" about his cheating, and a "venomous" individual.
In July 2007, Rielle Hunter learns she is pregnant and reveals her pregnancy one week later to Edwards and his trusted aide Andrew Young.
Young and his wife Cheri had taken on the role of keeping Hunter hidden from his increasingly suspicious wife and the National Enquirer.
News of Hunter's pregnancy resulted in a bizarre arrangement in which Hunter lived with the Youngs and their small children, traveling across the country and ultimately settling in to a mansion in Santa Barbara, Calif.
When still in North Carolina, a pregnant Hunter was photographed by the Enquirer in a supermarket parking lot, leading to one of the strangest twists in the story - Andrew Young claimed paternity of her unborn child.
She claims it was Young's decision, but Edwards went along with it.
Hunter claims Edwards did not conspire to funnel money to her from donors, seeing as she never received it and he had no idea who paid her bills.