Rielle Hunter showed up on Oprah to collect another 60 –48 with commercials removed–minutes of fame. The interview, as with all Hunter utterances, was amusing. Viewers tuning in to learn something new were disappointed however.

[ABOVE: “Now that we’re comfy..”]




Rielle Hunter’s Mistress Media Rehabilitation Tour booked a daytime TV powerhouse: Oprah. Oprah booked a solid sweeps week draw. So, both of the heavies involved got what they wanted.However, viewers tuning in to Oprah in hopes of learning anything new when the TV talk diva interviewed John Edwards Scandal mama were sorely disappointed.

Oprah asked many questions and Rielle Hunter stuck to her same familiar script (“I’m not a home-wrecker. I didn’t cause the Edwards’ marriage to break up”).

At times, Oprah acted incredulous at the answers she got from the former mistress, but didn’t dig deeper–although several times Ms. Winfrey reacted to Hunter with skepticism.

“Are you telling me that…?” and repeating the question again, the second time in disbelief. That was about the extent of the “grilling” that some reports characterized the face-to-face. The Washington Post, in particular, called the interview a “grilling.”

Of course, compared to the questions the paper of Woodward and Bernstein asked while the affair–and Edwards’ campaign–was active (zero), the Oprah sweeps week episode probably did seem like a turn under a bright police light. The writer, Lisa de Moraes, does get major style points for labeling Hunter “the Queen of Denial” and “High Priestess of Having It Both Ways.”

Lisa de Moraes did record one of the best Hunter Howlers of the day.

Rielle insisted she did think about Edwards’s wife and his three children while conducting her affair with Edwards.

“I mean, it was very hard — very, very hard,” Rielle said, in re herself.

After Rielle had explained to Oprah about a gajillion times that she was a person who was deeply committed to the truth and being authentic, Oprah was finally driven to ask: “So you are a person who is on a spiritual path. You’ve mentioned truth here several times. What part of you could make that okay, then, to be with this married man with children?”

“Because he was available,” Rielle said simply.

Hunter has previously displayed a singular talent for disassembling and mendacity, so this nugget of truth stood out. “Because he was available.”

The girl’s should take up stand-up.

Oprah’s menu most of the day, however, consisted mainly of grilled creampuffs.

Oprah shrewdly scheduled the interview for sweeps week: interest in the mistress and all things John Edwards Scandal is still high: Google processes over 250 milllion search queries a day and the term “Rielle Hunter, Oprah” bounced around all day in the top 10 search results according to the search giant.

So what exactly did Oprah ask? Nothing that hasn’t been asked before, but let’s take a look.

[“According to my script, it wasn’t my fault…”]


As we said, it was mostly ‘same old, same old’ but for those readers new to the story, we’ll hit the high spots anyway.

OPRAH–on why Reille Hunter agreed to the cover-up involving former Edwards aide Andrew Young claiming he was the father of her baby: “Why did you, Miss Spirituality in Alignment With the Truth . . . go along with it?”

Hunter then trotted out her GQ line which used Frances Quinn as a human shield, saying she did not want her then-unborn daughter growing up blaming herself for Edwards dropping out of the race.

Oprah passed on the chance to then ask Hunter how she’s supported herself during the last four years–the amount of time the former mistress has been on the Edwards/Baron/Mellon dole.

Hunter insisted several times that she was “committed to the truth.” Presumably, this included the times she made statements–one through a Fred Baron-arranged lawyer–that she was not involved with Edwards, that anyone who suggested that was a liar and that her conduct, while working for the Edwards’ campaign was completely “professional.”

Which begs the question, did her “professional” conduct involve the on-going affair with Edwards, or her claim that she fathered a child with the very-married Andrew Young? Which was it? Oprah missed a chance for clarification.

Oprah never asked about Hunter’s previous statements of 2007-2008, which were as phony as the ones Edwards made on the subject. This might have been a good line of questioning when Hunter was discussing why John Edwards repeatedly lied: to Elizabeth, the nation, his staff. Rielle would have viewers believe she was a spectator during that entire time.

[“After Elizabeth found out, Johnny and I LOLed–sorta.”]

When Oprah asked Rielle whether she slept with Edwards hours after first meeting him, she feigned coyness–“Fade to black”–but it was much too late: she’d already informed GQ readers that they met in his room, then slept with him that night. She also left out the GQ charade about Edwards calling her back on her cell phone because the hotel had ‘caller ID’–which upon checking it was discovered the Regency rooms never have had that service.

Is this “projecting”?


Hunter pleaded GUILTY to the “power of love overcoming her judgment” when asked about Edwards’ wife and kids. She also said that “he was available” and that “their (the Edwards) marriage was in trouble.”

Okay then. If Hunter hasn’t considered playing the part of the mistress in a possible movie about the Scandal, she’s not the opportunist many have given her credit for. No amount of thespian training can match the complete lack of irony she musters when saying these things.

There was the usual psycho-babble about “truth” and “living a life of integrity” and “being authentic”–this used to describe the months when Hunter flew around the country, meeting secretly with Edwards on the campaign trail, where she was stashed in a hotel room under a fake name. It was also about this same time period that Rielle Hunter, who burns to stand up for the truth, took the name Jaya James as another ruse to fool anyone who was trying to get to another, non-Rielle version of the truth.

In the end, Oprah did the best she could with what she had to work with; which is to say, Hunter herself.

Score one for Hunter’s media coaches–whoever they may be–she avoided repeating most of her worst GQ moments. But in the end, Oprah sounded unconvinced about most of what Hunter was selling. It was clear that Oprah was giving the former Lisa Jo Druck a big benefit of the doubt.

Which most anyone else who’s followed the scandal finds hard to do.

Regardless of how many TV shows Rielle Hunter appears on in an attempt to portray herself as something she’s not.

When asked what Johnny thought of her GQ piece, Hunter stated that Edwards had asked her, “Where was your pants? What happened to your pants?”

If only Edwards had asked that question back in 2007, he might be Attorney General today.

by Mondo Frazier
images: DBKP file

Related links:
* Rielle Hunter on Oprah: Something Old, Nothing New
* Rielle Hunter on Oprah: The Latest Spin, Media Coaches and Creampuffs
* * Rielle Hunter GQ Interview: The Many Versions of the Rielle Truth
* Over 200 DBKP articles and videos on the John Edwards Love Child Scandal from December 2007: John Edwards Love Child Scandal DBKP Library of Stories

Mondoreb blogs at Death By 1000 Papercuts. Interested readers can e-mail him at
mondoreb@gmail.com. All DBKP stories are filed under Mondoreb at BNN.

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