Seven years after her affair with former presidential candidate John Edwards resulted in a love child, the end of his marriage and multiple federal trials for campaign misconduct, Rielle Hunter is finally issuing an official apology by way of a column for Huffington Post.
“I behaved badly. 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,” the 49-year-old single mother wrote. “I am very sorry for my wrong, selfish behavior. 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.”
Rielle specifically wrote about her regret for hurting Elizabeth Edwards, John’s wife. Sadly, Elizabeth died in 2010 after a long battle with breast cancer. She never heard Rielle’s apology, but did spend the final years of her life dealing with the fallout from her husband’s affair. (She filed for legal separation a few months before her death.)
“Unfortunately, I was not thinking about anyone but myself,” Rielle said. “I was selfish. I fell in love with John Edwards and wanted to be with him and that desire trumped everything else.”
Rielle said her selfishness continued until she published What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me last year. She explained she regrets this, but hopes to fix her past mistakes by re-releasing the book with annotated regrets and mistakes.
“I thought it was innovative and interesting,” she said of editing the memoir. “But of course the actual execution of that idea turned out to be excruciating.”
In concluding her column, Rielle linked to the sales site for the new book. Considering the book was less-than-coincidentally released today, some people find the timing of her revelation a bit suspicious.
“If she wants to apologize, perhaps offering up her apology and contemporaneously letting us know she’ll be donating the proceeds from her first book and this book to benefit someone other than herself,” one person wrote in an online review. “Perhaps donate all the monies to breast cancer in memory of Elizabeth Edwards. I’d believe her then.”
Meanwhile, John Edwards managed to get off the hook with his federal trials for improper use of campaign funds, which was dropped following an appeal in 2012. He is reportedly living a quiet life in North Carolina with his two youngest children from his marriage.