(NEW YORK) — Although Rielle Hunter was John Edwards’ last mistress, she was not his first or only one, Hunter claims in a revealing tell-all memoir obtained by ABC News.
In her book, What Really Happened, set to hit stores on June 26, Hunter discloses that Edwards had affairs with at least two other women dating back 20 years, and did not reveal the truth until 2011, two years after Hunter appeared before a grand jury.
Ironically, when Edwards first met Hunter in 2006 he lied to her about having more mistresses — not fewer — and only revealed the truth about his relationships years later, when he was set to be tried for using donations from wealthy political supporters to cover up his illicit affair and the daughter he had with Hunter.
Edwards last month was acquitted on one count of violating campaign finance rules and a federal judge declared a mistrial on five other criminal counts after the jury came back deadlocked. The Justice Department will not retry the case.
In the book, Hunter is vague about the current status of her relationship with Edwards, but suggests that they remain romantically involved and he is a presence in daughter Frances Quinn Hunter’s life.
“I really have no idea what will happen with us. The jury is still out. But I can honestly say that the ending is of no concern to me anymore. The love is here. And as sappy as it may sound, I love living in love,” she writes.
Hunter says she was driven to write the book because she wants daughter Frances Quinn to “have one entirely truthful public account of how she came into the world. After all, this is her story too.”
The book is a primer on the life of a political mistress — long waits in hotel bars and furtive dinners over take-out, punctuated by short passionate trysts and the anxiety of being hounded by the paparazzi.
It is additionally both a full throated defense of Edwards’ innocence and at times a screed against Edwards’ wife Elizabeth, whom Hunter routinely describes as “crazy” and blames for driving Edwards into the arms of other women.
Tune in to 20/20 on Friday, June 22, to watch ABC News’ Chris Cuomo’s exclusive interview with Rielle Hunter.
Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio
Wayne Covil, WTVR
Jennifer Graham, Deseret News
Kathryn Vasel, CNN
Stephen Collinson, CNN