In an explosive new tell-all, Rielle Hunter recounts intimate details of her relationship with John Edwards, including the revelation that the former presidential hopeful had a "hidden life" and had carried on affairs with several women through the years despite his 32-year marriage to Elizabeth.
Hunter's new memoir What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me is excerpted exclusively in the upcoming issue of People magazine that will be available on newsstands this Friday. Hunter opens up in the book about Elizabeth's wrath after she discovered her husband's affair and reveals what kind of father Edwards has been to their four-year-old daughter Quinn.
"He told me that he had an entire hidden life that had gone on for decades and that he was currently involved with three different women," Hunter writes. "One lived in Los Angeles, one in Florida and one in Chicago. Clearly this behavior of his was not going to change overnight."
Hunter said when her affair with Edwards began the two were like "a pair of teenagers" who were "completely attached." She says she never viewed Elizabeth as an "innocent victim" and describes how Edwards' wife grew increasingly suspicious as Hunter followed the candidate on the campaign trail.
Referring to Edwards as "Johnny," she writes: "I really don't believe his lying about women was malicious. He used it as a defense to keep real feelings at bay."
Hunter -- who now lives about two hours away from Edwards in North Carolina as both co-parent their daughter Quinn.-- says their relationship has changed over the years. "It's better and more complicated at the same time. I have a deeper understanding of him as a dad and as person who puts his children first. And I believe he has more respect and deeper appreciation of me now."