Elizabeth Edwards identifies with how Sandra Bullock “reclaimed” her life


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.

[From Us Weekly, The Enquirer, and NYDN]

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.

LONG BEACH, CA - OCTOBER 27: Elizabeth Edwards participates in a panel discussion at the 2009 Women's Conference held at Long Beach Convention Center on October 27, 2009 in Long Beach, California. (Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images)

Header: Elizabeth on May 20, 2009. Credit: WENN.

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27 Responses to “Elizabeth Edwards identifies with how Sandra Bullock “reclaimed” her life”

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  1. Canucklehead says:

    This is a woman who uses her family’s money an influence like a hammer and looks down her nose at “the little people”.

    She humiliates her friends and those close to her like a wicked witch.

    Karma rocks.

  2. bite me says:

    hope everyone involve in this mess can find some peace at the end of the day

  3. mimi says:

    Sandra B handled it much better..imho. She released a couple of sentences about the whole sordid thing and basically is moving on. Granted there’s much more history, kids with Elizabeth but she is virtually going on a nonstop tour plus writing a book about her mess of a marriage. Who does that???

  4. ses says:

    After all this, why are they not divorced? If we’re making Sandra Bullock comparisons, it took her roughly three months to finalize her divorce, and Elizabeth “will likely divorce [John] next year”? Likely??

    I understand this probably has much to do with cancer and her young children, but it’s strange she’s still going on these media tours while still technically married to him.

  5. LOVE ANGELINA says:

    I feel for both women. Especally for Elizabeth. She is sick and she has to live with the fact that when she passes her children will be stuck with John and that questionable woman he had sex with. I really feel bad for her. She is sick and alone. I would be pissed if a man left me high and dry with kids, but to be sick, have kids and then be left…oh goodness…hell hath no fury. I also understand why Elizabeth covered for him. I imagine every choice she made was for her children.

  6. bite me says:

    they live in north carolina i believe, and you have to be legally separated for a least one year before you can file for divorce

  7. lucy2 says:

    I agree Sandra handled it better.
    Given her health, you’d think Elizabeth would spend more time with her kids and just enjoying herself, rather than doing these media tours and bashing. I don’t blame her for being angry and bitter, but look at the bigger picture, and find some peace and happiness for herself and kids.

  8. YeaRight!!! says:

    One thing different, Sandra has class..she isn’t about to go and bash her ex husband. She filed for divorce, quietly and has refused to mention of the mistress at all.

    Maybe Elizabeth should take the same high road, and just STFU.

    However, I think Elizabeth likes the limelight, and this is now how she can get her time and mug on tv.

  9. Riley says:

    I am from a very small southern town of only a few hundred people. When Edwards was running for President, before all of the Rielle Hunter stuff was known, he came to speak to the people of my town— you know, we are the hardworking, blue collar folks he thought he thought would make him president. I am a steadfast democrat but I could not bother to walk to the end of the street to hear him speak. Even then, he seemed so wormy. However, I liked Elizabeth, thought she was extremely smart, and very well spoken. I admired how she seemed to show so much courage when faced with tragedy. But after all the Rielle Hunter stuff came to light, and we learned more about Elizabeth Edwards, I lost a lot of respect for her. I feel for their children, especially their oldest daughter who is well aware of all that has gone on in her parents lives and how they have reacted. Elizabeth seems to be as power hungry as John Edwards, and I think she is equally as deceitful. Sandra Bullock, however, seems to be a very genuine, classy lady and I admire her tremendously.

  10. Ashley says:

    I feel for her, to be going through an illness, and then to have a husband with a wandering eye, and wandering penis on top of it. She is dying and deserves better than what she got. If John wants to hop aboard the Rielle crazy train that’s his business but have the decency and respect to divorce your wife first, you piece of shit.

  11. mln says:

    Obviously Sandra handled it better. Elizabeth is a political wife pure and simple if John hadn’t been exposed in the media she would still be standing at his side smiling even if she knew everything. She wanted more than anything to be the woman behind the man with all the power in the world.

    However I wish her well and I hope that she can have some peace now that she is living on her own.

  12. LindaR says:

    She went from believing she would be First Lady to this. What a comedown. She must be mighty pissed at the way things have turned out. I agree with everything you said, Kaiser. Well put!

  13. Sudini says:

    I don’t think it’s fair to compare or at all judge who handled their husband’s betrayals “better”. Sandra and Elizabeth each had VERY different variables at play (plus Sandra has a top-notch PR machine on her side, good health, positive public opinion, and didn’t have nearly such a long history of marriage to contend with).

    But I totally understand Elizabeth drawing comparison’s in terms of the pain they both suffered at the hands of their husbands and their need to reclaim themselves from that level of betrayal. And I applaud both women for confronting that pain and leaving those incredibly destructive men.

    I hope anyone out there spewing garbage like “Elizabeth is getting what she deserves, Karma, etc” comes to realize what hateful idiots they sound like and truly learn to be more sensitive. May you never find yourself in her shoes because you probably wouldn’t last a minute.

    I wish only the best things for Elizabeth and her children as she continues her life.

  14. Oenix says:

    It’s time to go beyond identifying with Sandra and learn a lesson or two from her about how to move on with dignity!

  15. guesty says:

    her ‘tude is just way too much. could not believe how pretty she was in their wedding pic tho.

  16. Jo 'Mama' Besser says:


    I was thinking that too. Granted, I’ve never even been to the States before, so I don’t see nearly the coverage amounts as do Americans. I don’t really understand the ‘who is most deserving of our hallowed sympathy’ stance. They’ve both been betrayed horribly and in public, but come on with the ‘Sandra Bullock is Probably God’ cheerleading. She strikes me as a fine, fine woman, but I’m not in her world, therefore, she doesn’t give a shit about whether I’m sporting a ‘Team Sandy’ or ‘Team Lizzie’ T-shirt.

    No one should have to go through what she did, but did re-start a stalling career with that Proposal movie, got a whack of awards, re-established herself as ‘America’s Sweetheart’ whatever that non-title even means, and a baby–to say nothing of the huge PR boost that she got. And well she should, but there are people whose professions are devoted to that goal, and she doesn’t have a lot of the same worries. God hope that never changes.

    Again, not being in America, I may be ignorant about some of her behaviour, so I simply don’t know if there’s something dubious there. However, I’m not going to crash her funeral and piss on her grave. She really did spend half of her life with him, that’s not something you can just shake off. 30 years, a dead son, three remaining children who still need a family and care as her heath deteriorates, batshit mistress with your husband’s lovechild who won’t go away, the resignation of knowing that when she passes, he’ll mourn for a nanosecond before going right back to it, the stress, pain and fear of the effects on this on their kids (who are just children still), and an understandable need to reach out to something familiar when these things occur.

    And if they had an understanding, it’s embarassing for it to go international. You want REAL marital hatred, look of John and Cindy McCain. They’d make Caroline of Brunswick and regency-era George IV look like a surfeit of nuptual bliss. I’m not waving one flag over the other, but vis-a-vis Elizabeth (I’m being entirely sincere), what do you really want from her? Is this a can’t win for losing situation, or did I just show up for the Superbowl in May?

  17. Cinderella says:

    Sadly, she’ll be carrying her hatred to the grave. Too bad she couldn’t back away from the media and enjoy this precious time with her kids.

    If she’s Stage 4 and has developed tumors all over, time is running out. Not sure about her comment “it can’t migrate to your brain.” She hasn’t reached her end stage to know what the illness can do to her brain.

  18. Lydia says:

    I think it is terrible that anyone should say that this is karma because she was power hungry, deceitful, etc. Be careful what you say or that same karma will cleave to you.

    She had ambitions that included being first lady. What’s the problem with that? Maybe she is power hungry, so what? It wouldn’t be a problem with a man. So she aspires for something more that being a housewife (nothing wrong with being a housewife) and there is nothing wrong with that.

    That being said, it is unfortunate that she placed her hope in a faithless man and has to hear about and from his strange woman.

    If she had all the time in the world, I would understand why she should continue to be bitter and angry and keep his and her name in her mouth, but she has terminal cancer. It’s time to let it go and spend whatever time she has left without the negativity and forget about her estranged husband and his mistress.

    The reason that I respect Sandra’s response to her husband’s faithlessness is that she showed that bad things that you have no control over will happen to you but you can still handle it with class. She did not speak badly about her step children’s father (and I thinks Jesse’s betrayals were a million times worse than John’s).

  19. Tia C says:

    So sick of her!! I wish she would STFU and just go privately enjoy what’s left of her life.

  20. Sincerity says:


    You absolutely rock! I could not have said it better.

    Elizabeth Edwards was not “the front man” in her marriage, her husband John was and she like many women in similar situations had very high hopes that they could accomplish great things together and they have. Her husband became a very successful lawyer, self-made millionaire and politician. Unfortunately, his priorities changed and he’s paying the price for his very poor judgment. With her cancer advancing, Elizabeth Edwards knows her chances of survival are limited and she is trying “to soften” the harsh picture she’s painted of her husband while she still has the strength and clarity to do so. May peace be with her and her family.

  21. Tara says:

    Elizabeth is NO hero in my book. She conspired to defraud the American people into putting that lying sack of gas in the White House. And then she denied, denied, denied. She should have been like Hil and stayed married and kept her mouth shut. Or like Sandra and FILE FOR DIVORCE ASAP and move on with things. I am sorry that her cancer is terminal. But that doesn’t make her a role model for other women.

  22. jc126 says:

    Sudini, what an awesome post. I totally agree.

  23. jc126 says:

    I also agree that it’s pointless to try to compare wronged spouses, the variables are so different. And any attempt to say “who suffered more” usually ends up being insulting, too, because there will always be someone else who apparently has it worse off.

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  25. Alexa says:

    Mama Besser – you took the words right outta my mouth. It breaks my heart to think about all the cruel twists Elizabeth’s had to deal with on her journey. I don’t understand the hate for her on here either. Again Elizabeth Haters – what info are we missing?

  26. Wresa says:

    “Who had it worse?” No offense, but I think this question is silly. It sucked for both of them, period. It goes to show that Elizabeth’s book and media crusade hurt the public’s opinion of her!

  27. Susan says:

    You’re missing the whole point. Elizabeth has and is going public for the sake of other women who have gone through or will go through similar situations. If you were at all informed, you would have known this. She has sacrificed herself by reaching out to others and as a result she has been an incredible comfort and help to others because of what she herself has gone through. As far as Sandra Bullock being “classy” by remaining quiet regarding her divorce…everyone reaches out to others in different ways and that has absolutely nothing to do with class….try studying human behavior and personality differences. What IS classy is those who use there brains, and not just there emotions, by gaining knowledge be getting informed before making rash nonsense judgments. And further more, you have no idea of her personal life in regards to the amount and quality of time she spends with them. Before judging anyone…it’s logical to learn the facts first.