Rielle Hunter says she's sorry for John Edwards affair in memoir

Rielle Hunter is sorry — really, really sorry — about the affair she had with John Edwards.

The woman who had a child in secret with the former Democratic presidential candidate is so sorry, in fact, that on Tuesday she re-released her June 2012 memoir “What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me.” The updated version, titled “In Hindsight, What Really Happened,” is thoroughly annotated with Hunter’s regrets and mistakes.

“I behaved badly,” Hunter writes in a cathartic blog post about her new memoir for The Huffington Post. “That may seem obvious to you but it's taken me a long time to admit that, even to myself. For years I was so viciously attacked by the media and the world that I felt like a victim. I now realize that the attacks are actually beside the point. The point is: I behaved badly.”

Hunter, who was a videographer for Edwards as he campaigned for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination, acknowledges how much she hurt Edwards’ wife, Elizabeth, and their children.

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    Image: John Edwards

    Edwards' public life

    Former Democratic presidential candidate, John Edwards, has faced public and private challenges throughout his life and career.

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    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.

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    Gridiron pose -

    In 1970, Edwards was a member of the North Moore High School Mustangs varsity football team during his senior year.

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    I thee wed -

    Elizabeth and John Edwards on their wedding day July 30, 1977.

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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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
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    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.

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    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.

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    Family ties -

    Edwards is introduced by daughter Emma Claire during a March 13, 2007, rally at Bennett College in Greensboro, N.C.

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    A new challenge -

    Edwards and his wife discuss her cancer reoccurrence at a March 22, 2007 news conference in Chapel Hill, N.C.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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.

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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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

“I am very sorry for my wrong, selfish behavior,” Hunter continues in her blog post. “Back in 2006, I did not think about the scope of my actions, how my falling in love with John Edwards, and acting on that love, could hurt so many people. I hurt Elizabeth and her kids. I hurt her family. I hurt John's family. I hurt people that knew Elizabeth. I hurt people who didn't know Elizabeth but loved her from afar. I hurt people who gave their hard earned dollars to a campaign — a cause they believed in...

John Edwards' campaign-finance trial jurors: 'The evidence wasn't there'

“Unfortunately, I was not thinking about anyone but myself. I was selfish. I fell in love with John Edwards and wanted to be with him and that desire trumped everything else.”

Hunter describes herself as a “product of infidelity” because both of her parents cheated on each other. “Infidelity is wrong,” she writes. “It hurts people. It hurt me and then I in turn also hurt people. It is a chain of pain.”

Built to spill: 16 shocking book confessions

As John Edwards became embroiled in scandal over his affair with Hunter, his wife Elizabeth was battling breast cancer. Elizabeth wrote two books, “Saving Graces” and “Resilience,” before her death on Dec. 7, 2010.

In March of this year, the Edwards’ eldest daughter Cate Edwards appeared on TODAY and talked about her family, her late mother’s legacy and Rielle Hunter. Cate said she maintains a relationship with Frances Quinn, her father’s daughter with Hunter, who is now 5 years old.

“She’s my sister, and she’s just a really sweet, innocent little girl,” Cate Edwards told TODAY. “I certainly think of her as part of our family.”

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