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John Edwards’ wife: I had ‘begged’ for fidelity

New details have emerged from Elizabeth Edwards’ forthcoming memoir, “Resilience.” In the book, she writes that she had “begged” for fidelity when she married John Edwards, and that the affair left her “thoroughly and publicly humiliated.”
/ Source: TODAY staff and wire

Elizabeth Edwards writes in a new memoir to be published in May that she had "begged" John Edwards for fidelity when they married, reports

Contents of the forthcoming book, "Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities" initially leaked on on Thursday, but the celebrity news Web site today reported new details.

In "Resilience," Edwards, 59, writes: “How had I failed as a wife?” and declares “I now felt thoroughly and publicly humiliated.”

After she heard his partial confession of the affair, she says, “I spent months learning to live with a single incidence of infidelity. And I would like to say that a single incidence is easy to overcome, but it is not. I am who I am. I am imperfect in a million ways, but I always thought I was the kind of woman, the kind of wife to whom a husband would be faithful. I had asked for fidelity, begged for it, really, when we married.

“Leave me, if you must, but be faithful to me if you are with me.”

An advance copy of the book was obtained by the New York Daily News, which revealed Thursday that news of her husband's affair made Edwards vomit in a bathroom.

"I cried and screamed, I went to the bathroom and threw up," she writes in her book.

Edwards, who is terminally ill with cancer, said her husband, John, admitted to the betrayal just days after declaring his run for president in 2006. She said she wanted him to drop out of the race to protect the family from media scrutiny, but stood by his side anyway.

"He should not have run," she wrote.

John Edwards went public with the affair in August after the National Enquirer reported he was the father of videographer Rielle Hunter's daughter. He has denied paternity, but his wife of more than 30 years doesn't address the issue in her book.

Edwards writes that Hunter's pickup line was "you are so hot" and that when her husband first confessed, he lied and said he only had sex with Hunter once.

The original confession "left most of the truth out," she writes.

Elizabeth Edwards never identifies Hunter by name. But she says that while her life may be tragic, Hunter's is "pathetic."

John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, was laying the groundwork for a presidential campaign when he hired Hunter to shoot videos of him. Edwards said the affair with Hunter began and ended that year, although Hunter was seen on the campaign trail until the final days of 2006.

David Drake, the publicity director at Broadway Books, said her book would serve as a sort of sequel to her previous memoir, "Saving Graces," that was first published in 2006 and updated in 2007.

Edwards' initial memoir mostly focused on how she coped with the 1996 death of the couple's son Wade in a car accident at age 16 and her ongoing battle with breast cancer.

Since the affair was announced, Edwards has continued to advocate for health care reform by visiting Congress and making policy speeches.

The Edwardses have three children — Cate, Jack and Emma Claire.

-The Associated Press contributed to this report.