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Rielle Hunter.

That name alone evoked anger and misery from Elizabeth Edwards until she passed away last week. Surprising? No. But the extent of the toll John Edwards’ affair and illegitimate child took on his ailing wife is being revealed for the first time.

Interviewer Daphne Barak has kept this information secret until now, as Elizabeth requested. But now, in the wake of Eiizabeth’s tragic death last week, she reveals specifically what happened when the scorned wife learned of John’s cheating.

In March, Rielle Hunter posed half-dressed, with her baby daughter, in GQ, attacking Elizabeth and sending messages that she and John were still an item.

After years of being lied to, Elizabeth couldn’t take it anymore.

 
“Elizabeth collapsed and had to be hospitalized immediately after that article was published,” Daphne says, adding that she was asked to keep quiet about it.

Elizabeth’s reasons for keeping her collapse from the public were both obvious and more subtle. She wanted to remain a bastion of strength for her children.

Also, there was pride and not wanting to show weakness.

“This isn’t the only time Rielle Hunter’s presence silently hung in the air,” Barak said. “On March 8 when I picked up the telephone to Elizabeth, I told her that I was at the Regency hotel in New York for dinner. But suddenly the line went off.”

“I called again, apologizing for us getting cut off, and repeated that I was at the Regency hotel in New York. Bubbly Elizabeth went all of sudden silent.”

“Only minutes later, it hit me – the Regency hotel! For Elizabeth, the Regency Hotel was ‘the crime scene.’ This is where her husband had drinks at the Library (the name of the bar in the Regency) and locked eyes with Rielle Hunter.”

John Edwards’ affair had begun.

“Then she waited for him outside the hotel at the next light,” she explains of the night Rielle told John he was so hot. “Where everybody’s life changed.”