The mere mention of John Edwards' mistress elicits everything from eye-rolls to rage among the public. She is acknowledging this publicly, years later.
While hoping to move copies of her book, of course.
As the woman he cheated on and tried to cover up his affair with while running for the highest office in the world, she is the poster woman for infidelity.
Her lack of remorse - especially given that John's now-deceased wife Elizabeth Edwards was fighting cancer - did not exactly help her approval ratings.
She's aware of this, at long last, claiming she "behaved badly" and was "selfish" among other things in the "revised" edition of her book, which includes the mea culpa:
I behaved badly. That may seem obvious to you but it's taken me a long time to admit that, even to myself. For years I was so viciously attacked by the media and the world that I felt like a victim. I now realize that the attacks are actually beside the point. The point is: I behaved badly.
I am very sorry for my wrong, selfish behavior. Back in 2006, I did not think about the scope of my actions, how my falling in love with John Edwards, and acting on that love, could hurt so many people. I hurt Elizabeth and her kids. I hurt her family. I hurt John's family. I hurt people that knew Elizabeth. I hurt people who didn't know Elizabeth but loved her from afar. I hurt people who gave their hard earned dollars to a campaign - a cause they believed in. I hurt people who are married and believe in marriage. Many of these people have let me know that I hurt them.
Unfortunately, I was not thinking about anyone but myself. I was selfish. I fell in love with John Edwards and wanted to be with him and that desire trumped everything else.
And then instead of apologizing when I should have, I went on to hurt more people by writing a book. I truly did not realize at that time how damaged I was and because of that, when I wrote my book I made more mistakes, ones I feel horrible about.
My publisher came up with the idea of me going through my book and annotating all of my regrets and mistakes. I liked that idea. I thought it was innovative and interesting, but of course the actual execution of that idea turned out to be excruciating. Owning your past mistakes is no day at the beach but I do believe it is an important endeavor to undertake.
I am a product of infidelity. Both of my parents cheated on each other, and as a kid it damaged me. I then grew up, fell in love with a married man, and caused even more damage. I believe history often repeats itself if you do not take responsibility and change it. Infidelity is wrong. It hurts people. It hurt me and then I in turn also hurt people. It is a chain of pain. One I do not wish to pass on to my own daughter.
I am sincerely sorry for my bad behavior, and for hurting anyone. If I hurt you, I am sorry. It was not my intention, I was thoughtless and selfish, and I am sorry.
Do you forgive Rielle?