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Published: Friday, 4/30/2010

Edwards' mistress denies being a home-wrecker


CHICAGO - John Edwards' mistress said on yesterday's episode of The Oprah Winfrey Show that she doesn't believe she destroyed the former presidential candidate's marriage.

"It is not my experience that a third party wrecks a home," Rielle Hunter told Winfrey. "I believe the problems exist before a third party comes into the picture."

Ms. Hunter's appearance on Winfrey's show is her first televised interview since the former North Carolina senator first admitted two years ago that he had an affair with her. In January, Mr. Edwards said he and Ms. Hunter have a 2-year-old daughter after initially denying it.

He and his wife, Elizabeth Edwards, are now separated.

Ms. Hunter told Winfrey she met Mr. Edwards at a hotel and she "just turned to him and said 'you're so hot' and he practically jumped in my arms." She said the two had four-hour-long phone conversations and she fell in love with him.

Ms. Hunter said Mr. Edwards was "very gracious" when he found out she was pregnant, but that it happened at the wrong time. She said the couple didn't use birth control.

"He was married to someone else," Ms. Hunter said. "He's in the middle of running for the presidency. It's not great timing."

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