RALEIGH, N.C. — John Edwards’ mistress Rielle Hunter said in an interview released Monday they are still in love, even if their relationship turned into something “different” around the time he acknowledged the affair in 2008.
Hunter told GQ magazine that the two immediately had a connection when they met at a New York City hotel in 2006. She didn’t describe the details of their relationship but said he is a great father who wants to be there full-time for their daughter, now 2.
“We love each other very much. And that hasn’t changed, and I believe that will be till death do us part,” she said. She added that “our connection is profound.”
Hunter recalled the first night she met Edwards in New York, saying she knew 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.”
John and Elizabeth Edwards are now separated. Hunter said the affair ended in July 2008 and that the relationship is now something “different.”
Edwards hired Hunter to work as a campaign videographer in 2006 as he plotted his second run for president. The former North Carolina senator’s political action committee paid her video production firm more than $100,000.
Federal investigators have been looking into Edwards’ campaign finances, with former aide Andrew Young saying a grand jury questioned him for hours about the large sums of money that changed hands during the period that he helped cover up the affair.
Hunter said they questioned her about Young and about her relationship with Edwards, who she refers to as “Johnny.”
“They asked a lot of questions about the sex tape,” she said. Hunter has sued Young for invasion of privacy, seeking the return of a videotape that he describes as Edwards and Hunter in a sexual encounter. Young said in a statement that he has a lot of empathy for what Hunter is going through.
“I hope she and Johnny and Elizabeth and their families can find happiness so that we all can move on with our lives,” he said.
An attorney for Hunter and a spokeswoman for John Edwards declined to comment. An attorney for Elizabeth Edwards did not immediately return a call seeking comment.