Hello, America, My Name Is Rielle Hunter
We've heard from former senator John Edwards, we've heard from his soon-to-be-ex-wife, Saint Elizabeth, and we've heard (bleh) from Andrew Young, the former Edwards aide and faux father. But through it all—the affair and the cancer-stricken spouse, the doomed campaign and the love child, the sex tape, all of it—we've never heard from the woman at the heart of the story. Now, after years of silence, the other woman speaks
By Lisa DePaulo Photographs by Mark Seliger
i met rielle hunter for the first time the day of our first interview, at her home in Charlotte, North Carolina, though we'd already spoken for some months on the phone. And would continue to, as more developments were reported. (Are she and John Edwards engaged? "I am not engaged.") There were no conditions, no ground rules, no topics or questions that were off-limits. Just a request that her words be her words, unfiltered and unspun. While everyone else in the Edwards drama has said their piece, in books and/or television interviews, the mistress and campaign videographer and mother of his child has, in her own words, "kept my mouth shut." Until now (as they say in the tabloids).
My first impression of Hunter, when she opened the back door of the screened porch filled with toys and strollers in the three-bedroom house she is renting (for $1,500 a month), her hair pulled up in a scrunchy, was that she was much prettier, and a whole lot softer, than all those National Enquirer spy photos suggest. She was wearing size 2 jeans, a Ralph Lauren turtleneck, and Uggs. No makeup. And she was laughing. Because Quinn, her 2-year-old daughter, had just done something particularly adorable. The child is gorgeous and, yes, looks exactly like John Edwards, but she also has her mother's spirit. Which is to say, a combination of serenity and spunk.
Hunter had fluffed up the tiny guest room upstairs—carefully placing a Zen-sayings paperback beside the twin bed—and invited me to stay overnight, with a warning that the three of us (she, Quinn, and I) would have to share the one bathroom, where the tub is filled with her daughter's rubber duckies. I accepted.
During the day and night and into the next morning, our talks were sometimes interrupted by the presence of a creepy guy exiting a dark blue van and setting up a tripod and camera on the sidewalk by her house, the lens focused into her living room or bedroom. She would handle this with practiced ease, closing any shutters that weren't already closed ("I love sunlight, but this is the reality"), at night dimming the lights and, with Quinn on her hip, dialing up her pals in the local police department, who are used to this (and are fiercely protective of her and Quinn). The cops would do their thing, the paparazzi would scatter—then return an hour or so later and the whole exercise would start again.
Throughout the day, news flashes and fresh rumors about her and Edwards popped up on my BlackBerry and her laptop. (The TV was on constantly, but it was tuned to Nick Jr., Quinn's favorite channel, not CNN.) At one point, while Hunter was feeding her daughter sushi-style avocado rolls in her high chair, the news broke that John and Elizabeth Edwards were officially separated. "Shocking," she said.
You haven't uttered a word so far. Why now?
I feel comfortable talking now, because Johnny went public and made a statement admitting paternity. I didn't feel like I could ever speak until he did that. Because had I spoken, I would have emasculated him. And I could not emasculate him. Also, it is not my desire to teach my daughter that when Mommy's upset with Daddy, you take matters into your own hands and fix Daddy's mistakes. Which I view as one of the biggest problems in all female-and-male relationships.
We'll get to that. But first, we should make it clear: You're not making a penny from this interview.
[laughs] I am not making a penny from this interview!
I would imagine you could have sold out a hundred times.
I could have cashed out big. But that's not what I'm about. I love Johnny and I love my daughter more than anything in the world, and I don't want to ever do anything to hurt them or hurt their relationship.( Collapse )SOURCE GQ OnlineSOURCE GQ Photo Slideshow
Note: I'm no fan of this woman, but I guess this is news, if only for her version of the events. Looks like the reporter is pretty sympathetic to her, just FYI. Also, since the number one comment seems to be about how creepy the pic is, I linked the slideshow of the two other pictures. The other two are also creepy and weirdly sexually suggestive, even the one with her daughter. It seems like she can't help but try and flaunt her sexuality. Ew.
Addendum: Miss CrazyNoPants is apparently the inspiration for the character "Allison Poole" in both Jay McInerney and Brett Easton Ellis's books: http://nymag.com/daily/intel/2008/08/allow_bret_easton_ellis_to_int.html