(Reuters) - Rielle Hunter, former mistress of two-time presidential candidate John Edwards, apologized on Tuesday for hurting his wife, kids and others by having the affair and then writing a tell-all book about it.
“I am very sorry for my wrong, selfish behavior,” Hunter wrote on the Huffington Post.
“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,” she said.
Hunter’s broad apology coincided with the release of her second book, “In Hindsight, What Really Happened: The Revised Edition: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me.”
In her earlier book, the 2012 memoir “What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me,” Hunter defended Edwards’ innocence in the criminal case, while detailing their love affair and revealing his relationships with at least two other women prior to 2004.
Edwards, a former U.S. senator from North Carolina, stood trial last year on federal charges accusing him of seeking nearly $1 million from two wealthy supporters to conceal the relationship with Hunter and her pregnancy with his child during his unsuccessful bid to win the Democratic nomination in the 2008 election.
His wife, Elizabeth, was battling cancer at the time; she died in December 2010.
Edwards’ trial ended with an acquittal on one campaign finance charge and a mistrial on five others after the jury deadlocked.
In her column on Tuesday, Hunter wrote: “My publisher came up with the idea of me going through my book and annotating all of my regrets and mistakes. I liked that idea. I thought it was innovative and interesting, but of course the actual execution of that idea turned out to be excruciating.”
She said that, as a child, she had been damaged by her parents’ infidelity, yet later caused more pain by having an affair with a married man herself.
“It is a chain of pain. One I do not wish to pass on to my own daughter,” Hunter said, referring to 5-year-old Frances Quinn, the child she has with Edwards.
Reporting by Colleen Jenkins; editing by Gunna Dickson