silence is golden

Rielle Hunter on Oprah: ‘It Is Not My Experience That a Third Party Can Wreck a Home’

A seemingly level-headed, self-possessed Rielle Hunter spoke with Oprah Winfrey in an interview aired today, and answered (sort of) a lot of the questions people had for her. Did she ever feel guilty about having an affair with a married man, one who was running for the presidency of the United States? How did John Edwards, the man she professes to still love, react when she told him she was pregnant in the midst of his presidential run? And why on earth did they make that sex tape?! We watched the whole hour so you don’t have to. Here are the highlights.

On why she was doing this interview with Oprah now:
“It felt more right after Johnny claimed paternity publicly.”

On home-wrecking:
“It is not my experience that a third party can wreck a home. I believe that problems exist before a third party comes into the picture.”

On people’s angry reactions:
“It hurts. It hurts because they don’t know you.”

On people seeing her negatively:
“Because of the affair. And also because a lot of people bought into the myth of the marriage. The fairybook marriage … and I destroyed it.”

On how they met.

“He lit up like a Christmas tree, just white lights, just like bright as can be. I turned to him and said, ‘You’re so hot.’ And he practically jumped in my arms.”

On Edwards when they met:
“He wanted help. He wanted to be more authentic. He wanted to live a life of truth.”

On whether she spent the night the first time they met:

“On that I say, ‘Fade to Black.’”

On the Edwards marriage:
“Being a person who is committed to truth and living a lot where you’re not hiding, it’s almost like a cosmic joke to fall in love with someone who is living a big lie.”

On guilt:
“What’s so hard about it is that the power of the love does override all the issues that come up, all the judgment … our hearts were louder than the minds.”

On when why Edwards announced his candidacy in the midst of the affair:
“He was in extreme conflict about it … He was, I believe, addicted to campaigning.”

On why she thought he shouldn’t run:
“I’m conservative that way, I believe in truth. I believe you need to get all your ducks in a row and live a life of integrity before you step out into the public.”

On watching Edwards renew his vows with Elizabeth:
“Someone who stands before God and makes a vow crushes me on the inside. That anyone can do that … I could never do that.”

On how he reacted to the news that Rielle was pregnant while he was still running for president of the United States:
“He was very gracious … I wouldn’t say he was supportive. I’d say he had a lot of issues with the timing.”

On birth control:
“We never used birth control.”

On why she agreed to the lie about the paternity of her daughter Frances Quinn:
“If he got out of the race because of her, or me being pregnant with her, and always had this thing in his head, ‘I could have been president, and some blame toward her at all; if she somehow flipped this inside her head, that it was her fault for coming into the world, that was too hard for me.”

On why she made a sex tape:
“I don’t think there was a lot of thought about what was going on in the heat of the moment … Afterward, we thought, ‘Well that was not a great idea.’”

On why she isn’t openly dating him:

“I’m a private person; it’s hard, I need boundaries. Right now I have boundaries around my personal life.”

On what she’s learned:
“I have become a better person through the process. More compassionate, more aware.”

On what Edwards thought of her doing this interview:
“He didn’t think it was a good idea.”

Rielle Hunter on Oprah: ‘It Is Not My Experience That a Third Party Can Wreck a Home’