It may have taken her seven years, but Rielle Hunter is finally apologizing. In a Tuesday, Oct. 15 column in The Huffington Post entitled "I, Rielle Hunter, Apologize," the 49-year-old former campaign videographer says she's sorry for having an affair with former Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards in 2006.
"I behaved badly. That may seem obvious to you but it's taken me a long time to admit that, even to myself," she wrote. "For years I was so viciously attacked by the media and the world that I felt like a victim. I now realize that the attacks are actually beside the point. The point is: I behaved badly."
Hunter became pregnant with Edwards' child in 2007 and gave birth to daughter Francis Quinn in February 2008, but the politician didn't admit the child was his until 2010. At the time of the affair, Edwards' wife Elizabeth, whom he married in 1977 and had four children with, was battling breast cancer. She legally separated from him in 2010, and died that same year on Dec. 7 at age 61.
"I am very sorry for my wrong, selfish behavior," Hunter said in her letter. "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. I hurt Elizabeth and her kids. I hurt her family. I hurt John's family. I hurt people that knew Elizabeth. I hurt people who didn't know Elizabeth but loved her from afar."
Hunter's belated apology coincides with the release of her new book, In Hindsight, What Really Happened: The Revised Edition: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me. "My publisher came up with the idea of me going through my book and annotating all of my regrets and mistakes," she explained of editing her 2012 memoir. "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."
The single mom to Francis, now 5, concluded her column by saying, "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."
In an interview with ABC News last year, Hunter said she and Edwards were no longer a couple because she was "no longer interested in hiding," but she still loved him.