Rielle Hunter, the other woman in the scandal that ended the political care of former Senator and presidential candidate John Edwards, has written a very public mea culpa, owning up for her actions. The apology, published on The Huffington Post on Tuesday, was spurred on by a re-issue of her a memoir, which has been re-edited to allow Hunter to "annotat[e] all of my regrets and mistakes. I liked that idea."
Hunter's affair with Edwards led to an out-of-wedlock daughter and Edwards' eventual divorce from his wife, Elizabeth, who later died of cancer. The details of their secret courtship were aired out over Edwards long trial for campaign finance violations. Edwards was accused of using campaign money to cover up his affair, charges Edwards was eventually acquitted of. But Hunter (who Edwards once called a "crazy slut") was there the whole way; a key player in the trial, and one who was not looked upon favorably by the general public.
In the unusual essay, Hunter owned up to her past mistakes. "Unfortunately, I was not thinking about anyone but myself," she says, after listing off the people who she's deeply sorry for hurting, including Elizabeth Edwards. "I was selfish. I fell in love with John Edwards and wanted to be with him and that desire trumped everything else." Hunter blamed her poor behavior to her troubled family life when she was a kid:
I am a product of infidelity. Both of my parents cheated on each other, and as a kid it damaged me. I then grew up, fell in love with a married man, and caused even more damage. I believe history often repeats itself if you do not take responsibility and change it. Infidelity is wrong. It hurts people. It hurt me and then I in turn also hurt people. It is a chain of pain. One I do not wish to pass on to my own daughter. I am sincerely sorry for my bad behavior, and for hurting anyone. If I hurt you, I am sorry. It was not my intention, I was thoughtless and selfish, and I am sorry.
This is likely the very last thing we will ever have to hear from anyone involved in this messy, drawn out affair. It's been over a year since Edwards was acquitted of his crime, and though he's made motions signalling a potential political comeback, the other failed redemption campaigns from disgraced politicians like Anthony Weiner and Eliot Spitzer should tell him everything he needs to know about his prospects.