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updated 6/1/2012 5:06:00 PM ET 2012-06-01T21:06:00

Rielle Hunter, John Edwards' former mistress and the mother of his 4-year-old daughter, has written a tell-all memoir revealing the "truth" behind his downfall, People magazine reports.

The book, which will be released June 26 and is titled “What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me,” will include details about the couple’s relationship, which began when Edwards was still married to his wife Elizabeth, who was then battling breast cancer. Hunter was a videographer for his campaign.

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“A lot has been said. But no one has heard the truth of what really happened until now," Glenn Yeffeth, publisher of BenBella Books, told People.

Story: John Edwards trial jurors: ‘The evidence wasn’t there’

The book announcement comes on the heels of a legal victory for Edwards. The jury found the former vice presidential candidate not guilty Thursday of one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions and was deadlocked on the remaining five charges.

The National Enquirer revealed Hunter’s affair with Edwards October 2007. In 2008, Edwards confirmed that he had a relationship with Hunter, but denied that he had fathered a child with her. He publicly admitted in January 2010 that he was the father of Quinn, who was then 2 years old.  

Video: Edwards’ former mistress breaks silence (on this page)

Hunter, now 48, spoke out about the affair for the first time two months later. “I know (John) loves me. I have never had any doubt at all about that," she told GQ magazine. "We love each other very much. And that hasn’t changed, and I believe that will be till death do us part.”

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Photos: John Edwards' public life

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  1. Early family portrait

    In an undated photograph, future Sen. John Edwards, bottom right, sits with his sister, Kathy Edwards, left, and parents Bobbie and Wallace. He was born on June 10, 1953, in Seneca, S.C. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  2. Gridiron pose

    In 1970, Edwards was a member of the North Moore High School Mustangs varsity football team during his senior year. (Edwards Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  3. I thee wed

    Elizabeth and John Edwards on their wedding day July 30, 1977. (Edwards Family / Zuma via Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  4. A son's legacy

    Edwards stands with his late son, Wade, on Mount Kilimanjaro in 1995. Less than a year after the Kilimanjaro trek, Wade was swept away with the high winds that pushed his Jeep off a highway in April 1996. (Edwards Family via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  5. Visiting the White House

    Left to right, John Edwards, Cate Edwards, Hillary Clinton, Wade Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards in the Oval Office at the White House in Washington, D.C., on March 13, 1996. Wade Edwards was invited to a reception honoring the American National Endowment for the Humanities National Essay Winners. (Courtesy, Williiam J. Clinton Pr) Back to slideshow navigation
  6. Order in the court

    A successful trial attorney, on Sept. 5, 1997, Edwards, right, sits with clients Sandy and David Lakey as they await what turned out to be the largest personal injury verdict in North Carolina history, $25 million in compensatory damages for injuries suffered by their daughter in a swimming pool. (The News Observer / ZUMA Press) Back to slideshow navigation
  7. Political victory

    Edwards, the Democratic Senate candidate, celebrates his victory with his six-month-old daughter, Emma Claire, on Nov. 3, 1998, at the North Raleigh Hilton in Raleigh, N.C. Edwards defeated GOP incumbent Lauch Faircloth, 51 percent to 47 percent. (Patrick Schneider / THE Charlotte Observer via KRT ) Back to slideshow navigation
  8. Presidential impeachment

    On Feb. 3, 1999, Edwards is surrounded, from the left, by fellow senators, Mike DeWine, R-Ohio, Arlen Specter, R-Pa., Patrick Leahy, D-Vt., and Christopher Dodd, D-Conn., as they meet reporters to discuss the impeachment trial of President Bill Clinton. (Tim Sloan / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  9. Hat in the ring

    On Sept. 16, 2003, Edwards, along with his family, from left, daughter Catherine, son Jack, daughter Emma Claire and his wife Elizabeth, wave to supporters at the old Milliken Mill in Robbins, N.C., where he officially announced his candidacy for the Democratic nomination for the presidency of the United States. (Ellen Ozier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  10. Book barnstorming

    Now a presidential candidate, Edwards smiles while signing copies of his book, "Four Trials," at a bookstore in Concord, N.H., on Dec. 22, 2003. (Brian Snyder / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  11. Opening day

    A day before Iowa's electoral caucus on Jan. 19, 2004, Edwards pauses during a campaign stop in Davenport. Sen. John Kerry won in Iowa, with Edwards finishing second. (John Gress / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  12. On the road again

    Edwards and his children, Jack, 3, Emma Claire, 5, lean out of a window on the campaign bus outside a polling place in Columbia, S.C., on Feb. 3, 2004. (Corbis) Back to slideshow navigation
  13. Facing facts

    Edwards pauses during a speech at Broughton High School, in his hometown of Raleigh, N.C., on March 3, 2004, before formally announcing the end of his underdog campaign and praising John Kerry as the right man to challenge President Bush for the presidency. (Ellen Ozier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  14. Kerry/Edwards 2004

    Supporters of Democratic presidential candidate Sen. John Kerry display their support at an event in Market Square in Pittsburgh on July 6, 2004, where Kerry formally announced that his former rival, Edwards, would be his vice presidential running mate. (Hector Mata / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  15. Vice presidential debaters

    Vice President Dick Cheney, left, listens to Edwards answer a question during their campaign debate on Oct. 5, 2004, at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland. (Tony Dejak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  16. Conceding defeat

    Edwards and Kerry stand together at Faneuil Hall in Boston on Nov. 3, 2004, as the pair conceded defeat to President Bush in the presidential election. (Jeff Haynes / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  17. Breast cancer diagnosis

    Edwards, with his wife, Elizabeth, right, and their daughter Cate, look to supporters following Sen. John Kerry's concession speech in Boston on Nov. 3, 2004. That same day it was reported that Elizabeth Edwards was diagnosed with breast cancer. (Amy Sancetta / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  18. Katrina comments

    At the formal opening of his new poverty center in Chapel Hill, N.C., on Sept. 7, 2005, Edwards joins critics who panned the Bush administration's response to Hurricane Katrina, saying the president was slow and indecisive in making decisions about the disaster. (Jeffrey A. Camarati / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  19. Lending support

    On Aug. 17, 2006, Edwards waits to speak at a rally for Senate nominee Ned Lamont, D-Conn., at Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut. Lamont went on to beat Sen. Joe Lieberman in the Democratic primary, but lost to Lieberman, who ran as an independent, in the general election. (Darren Mccollester / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  20. Back in the race

    Edwards walks past a cordon of student volunteers as he arrives to announce his candidacy for president, Dec. 28, 2006, at a house affected by Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans. (Charles Dharapak / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  21. Family ties

    Edwards is introduced by daughter Emma Claire during a March 13, 2007, rally at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C. (Gerry Broome / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  22. A new challenge

    Edwards and his wife discuss her cancer reoccurrence at a March 22, 2007 news conference in Chapel Hill, N.C. (Ellen Ozier / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  23. Leaving the race

    John Edwards speaks on January 30, 2008. He is watched by his wife and children on Bartholomew Street in the Upper Ninth Ward in New Orleans, where the Habitat for Humanity project Musician’s Village is being built. Edwards pulled out of the White House race, leaving the fight for the Democratic nomination to bitter rivals Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama. (Matthew Hinton / AFP - Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  24. Obama endorsement

    Sen. Barack Obama and Edwards wave during a rally at Van Andel Arena on May 14, 2008 in Grand Rapids, Mich., following Edwards' endorsement of Obama after Sen. Hillary Clinton won the West Virginia primary. (Mark Wilson / Getty Images) Back to slideshow navigation
  25. The other woman

    In this Aug. 6, 2009 file photo, Rielle Hunter leaves the Terry Sanford Federal Building and Courthouse in Raleigh, N.C., with her daughter, Frances Quinn Hunter. On Jan. 21, 2010, publicly admitted that he fathered the child with Hunter, a campaign videographer. (Jim R. Bounds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  26. Admitting an affair

    Bob Woodruff interviews John Edwards on ABC News Friday, Aug. 8, 2008 in Chapel Hill, N.C. The former North Carolina senator, who was the Democratic vice presidential nominee in 2004, confessed to ABC News that he had lied repeatedly about the affair with 42-year-old Rielle Hunter. (AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  27. Funeral for Elizabeth

    John Edwards and his children, Emma Claire, left, Jack and Cate, far right, leave the funeral service for Elizabeth Edwards at Edenton Street United Methodist Church in Raleigh, N.C., on Saturday, Dec. 11, 2010. Elizabeth died Tuesday, Dec. 7 of cancer at the age of 61. (Jim R. Bounds / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  28. Facing indictment

    John Edwards is accompanied by his daughter, Cate Edwards, left wearing red, as he departs the U.S. District Court after pleading not guilty to six federal charges in Winston-Salem, N.C., June 3, 2011. Edwards was indicted for using nearly $1 million in illegal campaign funds to help cover up an extramarital affair during his White House bid. (Davis Turner / Reuters) Back to slideshow navigation
  29. Difficult testimony

    Cate Upham glances at her father, former Sen. John Edwards as they leave the Federal Courthouse in Greensboro, N.C., May 2, 2012. Upham left the courtroom crying during testimony about a confrontation between her father and deceased mother. Edwards is charged with six criminal counts related to payments from wealthy donors that were used to conceal his mistress and the child they had. (Chuck Liddy / The News & Observer via AP) Back to slideshow navigation
  30. Not guilty

    John Edwards speaks outside a federal courthouse as his daughter Cate Upham, left, and his parents Wallace Edwards, second from right, and Bobbie Edwards, right, stand by his side after the jury's verdict in his trial on charges of campaign corruption in Greensboro, N.C., Thursday, May 31, 2012. The jury found Edwards 'not guilty' on one count of accepting illegal campaign contributions and a mistrial was declared on the remaining five charges because the jurors were deadlocked. Edwards said in a statement following the verdict, "While I don't believe I did anything illegal, I did an awful, awful lot that was wrong and there is no one else responsible for my sins." (Chuck Burton / AP) Back to slideshow navigation
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Video: Edwards’ former mistress breaks silence

  1. Closed captioning of: Edwards’ former mistress breaks silence

    >>> let's begin with rielle hunter, former mistress of john edwards . she is telling her side of the story to " gq ." lisa myers has more. good morning to you.

    >> good morning, matt. almost after four years of silence, rielle hunter has a great deal to say about the man she calls johnny and about elizabeth edwards . in fact, she claims that most of john edwards ' mistakes were because he feared the wrath of elizabeth . this is rielle hunter today. posing for " gq " magazines, at times provocative photo spread with children's toys and with her and john edwards ' daughter, 2-year-old frances quinn, telling the magazine i love johnny and i love my daughter more than anything in the world. she says john edwards was involved with other women outside his marriage before her, but their relationship, a special connection. i never hit on johnny , she says. i'm not a predator. i'm not a gold digger. i'm not the stalker. she adds that edwards told her the first night, falling in love with you could really expletive up my plans for becoming president. hunter says she bought john edwards a secret black cell phone that looked exactly like his campaign phone. so, he could call her without drawing attention. a suspicious elizabeth found this phone and called the last number dialed. and i answered the phone and said, hey, baby. and click. she says elizabeth then confronted her husband and he confessed.

    >> i only knew about a single night, a single moment of weakness.

    >> but hunter says john edwards never told his wife it was a one- night stand . who has a cell phone for a one- night stand ? hunter says she did not think john edwards should be running for president and was shocked when he decided to stay in the race after elizabeth 's breast cancer returned.

    >> the campaign goes on. the campaign goes on strongly.

    >> i really viewed it as reckless. and what's interesting is that she wanted to stay in. that's the key. he wanted to get out. and she wanted to stay in. in fact, while claiming to have compassion for elizabeth , hunter charges that she emasculated her husband. most of his mistakes or errors in judgment were because of his fear of the wrath of elizabeth . he's allowed himself to be pushed into a lot of things that he wouldn't normally do because of elizabeth 's story line , the wrath of elizabeth is a mighty wrath . not surprisingly, hunter vigorously disputes many of the claims of this man, edwards' former aide, andrew young . they're doing battle over who owns that infamous sex tape with hunter with john edwards . john and elizabeth edwards separated a couple of months ago. hunter deflected questions about whether she now hopes for a fairy tale ending. asked to describe her current relationship with john edwards , hunter replied, private. matt?

    >> lisa myers . lisa , thank you as always. lisa depalo interviewed hunter for the issue of " gq ."

    >> morning, matt.

    >> let me start with andrew young . you actually worked for andrew young as a writer for a short period of time.

    >> actually, not really. he approached me to write his book but never hired me.

    >> did you ever participate in the process at all?

    >> he never hired me.

    >> you had nothing to do with that?

    >> no, but i'm glad he put this out there because i'm bound by confidentiality.

    >> so, you didn't share anything with both sides in this?

    >> no.

    >> how does johnny , as she refers to him, rielle refers to john edwards , feels about her doing this interview?

    >> she said he was fine with it, that he thought she should talk if she wanted to and she also claims that he never told her not to talk to the press.

    >> why do you think she is sharing the story? she goes out of her way to say, look, i'm not getting paid for this. i didn't cash in on this, as some other people may have done. so, why is she talking now?

    >> i think, you know, it's been several years of people defining her. and what was interesting to me when we first started talking was rielle really wanted to put the whole story out there. she wanted an expansive interview. she kept saying she wanted her words to be her words, unspun, unfiltered. i think she cared very much about putting her truth out there.

    >> after talking to her, lisa , do you get the sense she truly grasps what this incident, whether it's ongoing or not, has meant to the lives of so many people?

    >> yes, but i think she is very forgiving of him in many ways. she believes that he was traumatized and that was why he handled things a certain way.

    >> traumatized by?

    >> by the situation he was in, that suddenly his life had been, you know, exposed, the reality of his life had been exposed.

    >> right.

    >> but it's interesting, because she talks about her unconditional love for him.

    >> she also talks about the relationship in the present.

    >> yeah. always.

    >> it's not like that relationship that occurred. it's the relationship that is, which raises the question, what is the relationship right now?

    >> i think the short answer is they're together, but i think it depends on how you define together. i don't know that it's a conventional together. but she talks about the fact that she loves him very much. they love each other very much.

    >> she says i do know that i love him and love is till death do us part . though when you ask her if there is going to be a fairy tale ending, be the response is, i want whatever life brings me.

    >> right, right. when i asked her, do you think you'll live happily ever after with him, she said i don't know. i don't think she does know.

    >> you mention this unconditional love that she seems to have for him. when you pressed her, and you did, and said but he lied to a lot of people.

    >> right.

    >> do you view him as a liar? how did she respond to that?

    >> she said he doesn't lie to me. she believes that he has never lied to her and never will.

    >> and even you said, but a lot of people in this country think he's one of the most untruthful people he is.

    >> correct.

    >> it didn't seem to faze her or her feelings to him.

    >> no. she said i know him and he doesn't lie to me.

    >> on the side of elizabeth edwards , this will get people pretty upset. she says the wrath of elizabeth is a mighty wrath . does she go on to say boy, i deserve it? i deserve a portion of that wrath ?

    >> no. one thing that's interesting about her, she didn't whitewash anything. what she said about elizabeth , that's what she believes. she had ample opportunity to spin that a little differently, but no, she is unapologetic.

    >> is there some remorse at all about the fact that this incident occurred during an enormously trying time in elizabeth 's life as well, with her health concerns?

    >> what she said was that infidelity was something that she had a lot of judgment about before this happened and that she fell madly in love with him and that overrode any of those feel i feelings she had.

    >> she talks about a toxic relationship, the marriage between john and elizabeth .

    >> right, and he's not the first married man that, you know, talked about his wife on the first night.

    >> john, she admits, is helping her financially.

    >> yes.

    >> we know that. that's been reported.

    >> it has been.

    >> that's for child support . she's going to have to work at some point.

    >> right.

    >> does she give you any indication what she plans on doing, what she would like to do?

    >> she loves documentaries. that's how this whole -- the videographer thing happened. she's been a writer, an actress. i think she could do a lot of different things. she has not made a decision about that, though.

    >> you met quinn.

    >> i did.

    >> the 2-year-old daughter. they've been living a kind of circus existence behind the cloak with paparazzi. is there anything normal about their lives right now?

    >> it was the strangest thing to be interview iing her with a tripod and a lens in the window, where you would constantly be closing the drapes, closing the shutters. i don't know how she lives that way and it's nonstop.

    >> is it possible by giving this interview she hopes to --

    >> yes.

    >> -- put a pin in the balloon and let some of the hot air out so her life can go back to normal?

    >> absolutely. i think she very much wants to get on with her life and wants -- that's one of the reasons she wanted to answer every question. there were no conditions or nothing off limits. and i think that's part of the reason why. now, will "the national enquirer " say thank you, rielle, now we're going to leave? probably not. but i think that is her wish.

    >> fascinating interview. lisa depaulo, thank you for sharing it with us.

    >> thank you.

    >> it hits stands nationwide next


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