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

Oct. 15, 2013 at 7:11 PM ET

Video: With a new book, the woman involved in John Edwards’ extramarital affair is changing her tone toward the events that ended the senator’s political career, apologizing for her actions and her remarks toward Edwards’ wife. NBC News Lisa Myers reports.

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.

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

“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...

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“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.”

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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.”

Video: Cate Edwards, the eldest daughter of former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards, sat down with TODAY’s Savannah Guthrie to talk about her father’s infidelity, the loss of her mother, Elizabeth, and the future of her father’s career.


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