Elizabeth Edwards gave an interview to Today that’s being billed as her “first interview” since she formally split with John Edwards. But to my memory, that’s not right. She’s given shorter statements to various outlets, and she also participated in a few People articles since the split. So, whatever. This is the first extensive interview she’s done before a camera since the split. I was thinking that Elizabeth would make the cover of People Magazine again, because she gave them an exclusive statement, but Sandra Bullock’s divorce made this week’s cover. Elizabeth’s statement to People is just this: “John’s conduct through this whole thing was terrible and it makes people want him to pay for it. On a personal level, he’s paid a lot.” She also confirmed to People that her cancer has advanced, and that she has tumors in her legs, spine and skull: “It’s less frightening than you think; it can’t migrate to your brain.” In the interview with Today, Elizabeth spoke of identifying with Sandra Bullock:
Elizabeth Edwards feels a special kinship with Sandra Bullock.
“I’m not just a cuckolded wife,” the cancer-stricken ex of politician John Edwards tells The Today Show’s Matt Lauer in a new interview. Elizabeth and John legally separated in January after over 30 years together; the former North Carolina senator had recently admitted that he’d fathered a baby girl, Quinn, with mistress Rielle Hunter.
“I think about Sandra Bullock — who I don’t know at all — what an incredible year she’s had,” Edwards, 60, says of Bullock, whose divorce from Jesse James was finalized on Monday. “She won the Academy Award for an incredible performance, and more than that, she took that story and integrated that into her own life in this healthy happy way.”
(The Blind Side’s Bullock, 45, had secretly adopted her son Louis back in January.)
“And yet, the stories you hear are not about all those great successes, but about the failure of her marriage,” Edwards continues. “That’s not who she is…I assume she wants to reclaim who she is in the same way I want to reclaim who I am.”
Edwards also admits to Lauer that she watched at least “some of” Rielle Hunter’s sit-down interview on The Oprah Winfrey Show. Her blunt take on her husband and his videographer mistress: “I think I did marry a marvelous man. I think he changed over time. He’s no longer the person who I married. I still think this person is so completely unlike me that it’s hard to imagine the same person could marry me and be attracted to that — to that woman, as well.”
“Did I waste my time in these years? Have I thrown this part of my life away? I decided that I didn’t, that maybe I didn’t get the same things out of it I expected to, or that I thought I was at the time. But when I look back, there’s really lots of blessings that I’ve had.”
Of John — whom she will likely divorce next year — she says, “I think I did marry a marvelous man…he changed over time. He’s no longer the person who I married. I still admire an enormous number of things about him.” She and the politician had four children together (their eldest son, Wade, died in a 1996 car crash).
Fighting metastatic, stage-four breast cancer, she says she can’t think about her younger kids (Emma, 12, and Jack, 10) growing up without a mom. “I don’t let my head go that place…I want to live at a normal cadence with my children.”
Her new book Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities hits bookstores June 29.
Who had it worse, Elizabeth or Sandra? I could see how Elizabeth would identify with Sandra, honestly (and vice versa), but it still feels like Elizabeth is cheapening both her experience and Sandra’s. Sandra was on top of the world, having just won her Oscar, and she was publicly humiliated by her husband’s infidelity with a series of totally gross women. Bullock went on to reveal her adopted son, and behave with complete and total class, never even mentioning the other women. Elizabeth was a second-tier political wife who actively participated in the cover up of her husband’s affair for years until the truth was revealed, after which Elizabeth spent significant time bashing Rielle Hunter publicly while still defending her husband. Ugh.
Header: Elizabeth on May 20, 2009. Credit: WENN.