Just when the John Edwards sex scandal seemed to finally be receding from the public's collective conscious, his mistress, Rielle Hunter, decided to go on Oprah Thursday to tell her story once more.
It was Hunter's first televised interview since her affair with Edwards destroyed his political career and it covered familiar terrain, including many of the same topics Hunter addressed when she sat down for her first magazine interview with GQ.
Things, however, got genuinely interesting, uncomfortable and weird when the topic shifted to the sex-tape (which Hunter said she tried to destroy) featuring the former presidential candidate and his one-time videographer.
Oprah, naturally, wanted to understand why someone in the public spotlight would not recognize the potential embarrassments such a tape could bring.
"There is a sex tape," she said. "I don't think there was a lot of thought going on in the heat of the moment. It was a--you know, something behind closed doors that was private and I believe should remain private. So it was--it was meant for that. And then after the fact, though, of doing this, because of being a public person and because of it being taped, we said, 'Well, that was not a great idea. Let's do something to prevent anyone from seeing it, because we don't want anyone to see our private business."
"So I took an action to destroy the tape and kept it in my personal belongings so no one would get ahold of the tape," Hunter added.
Hunter described seeing Edwards for the first time at the Regency Hotel in New York City. "We noticed each other. There was a mutual staring going on. it was just a connection." At this point she did not know who Edwards was.
A friend told her who Edwards was, and later on that evening as she was leaving the hotel Edwards saw her on the street and "and he lit up. He was just so excited. Just lit up like a Christmas tree. Bright as can be. And I just turned to him and said, 'You're so hot.' And he practically jumped in my arms."
Hunter never doubted that Edwards is the father of her child because she was not seeing anyone else and they "never used birth control."
Elizabeth Edwards found out about the affair by discovering a cell phone that Hunter had bought for him that resembled his work phone so they could always be in contact. Mrs. Edwards called the phone and Rielle
picked up and said, 'Hey baby.' And she hung up on me... He calls me back a little later saying that it's over. We're done. I assumed that she was standing there when he said that and he was in a traumatic state. His worlds had just collided. And he hung up the phone. I didn't cry. I had the thought, 'What do you mean we're over? We're just getting started.
SUBSCRIBE AND FOLLOW
Get top stories and blog posts emailed to me each day. Newsletters may offer personalized content or advertisements.Learn more