NEW YORK (AFP)
Former US presidential hopeful John Edwards and his mistress have
split up just days after charges were dropped against him for
misuse of campaign funds to hide their affair.
Rielle Hunter, 48, who has published an autobiography of the
liaison which buried forever Edwards's White House dreams, told
ABC they had separated.
"As of the end of last week John Edwards and I are no longer a
couple. Not at all," Hunter, who has a four-year-old daughter,
Quinn, by the former Democratic political star, told ABC
She said she was "no longer interested in hiding, hiding our
"I don't know if you've noticed, but we've had a lot of media
scrutiny. It's complicated and it's hard. It wears you down after
a while," Hunter added.
During the six-week trial of the 59-year-old Edwards, prosecutors
and defense attorneys laid bare his extramarital affair with
Edwards hired Hunter to assist his presidential campaign, and
then lied about their affair to his wife Elizabeth, as she fought
an ultimately fatal battle against cancer.
Edwards had faced up to 30 years in prison and $1.5 million in
fines if convicted of intentionally using funds from two wealthy
donors to hide his affair for political reasons. He has
maintained his innocence.
But the North Carolina jury deadlocked on five campaign finance
fraud charges, leading the judge to declare a mistrial, and
acquitted Edwards on another. The Justice Department has now
dropped the charges.
Hunter said that if she had to do it all over again, she would
"Would I do that again? No way. Absolutely not," she said.
In her book "What really happened, John Edwards, Our daughter and
Me" which was published Tuesday, Hunter said she wanted "to tell
The two began their affair in 2006 just months before Edwards --
with his wife by his side -- announced his bid to run for the
White House in 2008. But Hunter claims she was not his first
mistress, and that he had had at least two other lovers before
Edwards had desperately tried to hide the affair, and even once
it was public denied Quinn was his daughter, getting one of his
aides to claim paternity of the child.
Elizabeth Edwards, who had a devoted following of fans and was
much loved by the US public, had known about the affair with
Hunter but thought it was over.
Despite her reputation for poise and elegance, Hunter described
Elizabeth Edwards as "crazy, venomous" in her book.
"The public persona of John Edwards and Elizabeth Edwards -- and
me, for that matter -- are so wrong," Hunter writes in her book.