London, June 27: Rielle Hunter announced on National TV on Tuesday that she and the former US presidential hopeful John Edwards have separated.
Hunter declared that her six-year relationship with Edwards had collapsed after the publication of excerpts from her memoirs, in which she describes the late Elizabeth Edwards, who died of cancer, as a “witch on wheels”.
“We are a family, but as of the end of last week, John Edwards and I are no longer a couple. Not at all,” the Telegraph quoted her as saying on ‘Good Morning America’ programme.
Hunter, who has a four-year-old daughter with the former North Carolina senator, refused to be drawn on whether the book was to blame for the split, and suggested instead that she was frustrated with Edwards as he did not want to be seen with her in public.
“For me, for my part in it, it’s because I’m no longer interested in hiding – hiding our relationship. Hiding. Not living out,” she said.
“We decided together to end it. It’s hard. It’s painful,” she said.
The 59-year-old, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination in 2004 and 2008, was accused of using about 1million dollars in political donations to hide his affair with Hunter, 48, after she became pregnant.
The charges of misusing campaign funds were dropped earlier this month.
After Edwards was cleared, Hunter disclosed that she was writing a book about their relationship.
She was widely criticised after the excerpts from ‘What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me’ were published by US news organisations last week.
In the book, Hunter has complained that when Elizabeth discovered the affair, which began in 2006 after Hunter approached Edwards in a New York hotel, the scorned wife repeatedly phoned her husband’s mistress “for the next two days at all hours of the day and night from various numbers” in an attempt to intimidate her.
Hunter, an actress and film producer who was hired by Edwards’s campaign team as a filmographer, goes on to describe Elizabeth, who died in December 2010, as “crazy” and given to fits of “rage”.
On being asked directly about the decision to attack Elizabeth, who was seen by the American public as an innocent victim of her husband’s philandering, Hunter was unrepentant.
“There were three people in this relationship and in order for me to describe what I went through I realised that I had to tell the truth,” she said.
“The public persona of John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards and me, for that matter, are so wrong and I think that it helps see it that … we are real humans and we all are not perfect.
“I don’t think it serves the kids, including my own daughter, to have people believe her father is a demon when he’s not and that Elizabeth was a saint because she wasn’t and that I’m a home wrecker. It doesn’t serve anybody,” she said.
However, Hunter insisted that she still loved Edwards.
“Many things in the relationship were a mistake but I don’t regret loving him,” she said.
Asked if Mr Edwards still loved her, she said: “You’d have to ask him that, but I think he does and I feel that he does.”
She further said that she was unsure of her future.
“We’ll see what happens. I have no plans,” she added.
Edwards was charged with six counts of using hundreds of thousands of dollars of campaign donations to hide the fact that he was having an affair with Hunter and had secretly fathered their daughter, Quinn, while his wife fought cancer.
Earlier this month, a jury in North Carolina dropped all the charges against him. (ANI)