Raleigh, N.C. The mistress of former presidential candidate John Edwards says she is helping him live “a life of truth” and the two remain in love even after their affair helped trigger his downfall from the pinnacle of U.S. politics.
“Everyone talks about how Johnny has fallen from grace,” Rielle Hunter told GQ magazine in an interview released Monday. “In reality, he’s fallen to grace.”
In her first public comments since she became known as Edwards’ other woman in 2008, Hunter didn’t provide any details of their status but said Edwards is a great father who wants to be there full-time for their daughter, now 2.
“I know he loves me. I have never had any doubt at all about that,” Hunter said. “We love each other very much. And that hasn’t changed, and I believe that will be till death do us part.”
Hunter also posed for photos for GQ that show her on a bed, barelegged in a man’s white dress shirt and a pearl necklace. In another shot, she’s lying on her back holding her daughter in her arms.
She said she and Edwards had an immediate connection when they met at a New York City hotel in 2006, and she said she knew then that she was a special person to him.
“He in fact did say to me the first night, ‘Falling in love with you could really (expletive) up my plans for becoming president,’” she said.
Hunter said she told him he shouldn’t run for the White House and suggested he at least wait until April 2007 because her intuition and astrology suggested he would have a difficult first three months of the year. Elizabeth Edwards’ cancer returned in March of that year. Hunter said John Edwards wanted to exit the race but that Elizabeth Edwards wanted him to stay in.
“And my surprise was that they stayed in the race,” Hunter said. “I was shocked. I really viewed it as reckless.”
Hunter said Edwards’ marriage was already in shambles before their romance, declaring, “I was not the home wrecker.” She said people were wrong to believe Edwards had fallen because of the affair and its revelation.
Instead, “I think that he thinks that he is a much wiser and a much better and a more truthful and a more integrated human being,” she said.
John and Elizabeth Edwards are now separated. Hunter said the affair ended in July 2008 and that the relationship is now something “different.”