Elizabeth Edwards calls husband’s affair ‘one mistake’ even after he lied

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Elizabeth Edwards was on The Today Show this morning promoting her new book Resilience. She spoke candidly about preparing for the end of her life from cancer, about the tragic loss of her son, Wade, at the age of 16 in a car accident, and about her reasons for staying with her husband, former Presidential Candidate John Edwards, despite the fact that he cheated on her and ultimately admitted it to the media. Elizabeth came across as determined to keep her marriage and family together no matter what, and you can tell she chooses what to believe when it comes to her husband’s infidelity. She called his affair, which resulted in a child, “one mistake,” and said that he’s otherwise a wonderful husband.

When asked if her book was about revenge or an attempt to rake her husband over the coals, Elizabeth said that she had planned it well before she learned about the affair. As for whether Edwards illegally funneled campaign money to Rielle, who Elizabeth asked not to be referred to by name, she said that it’s not possible because campaign finances are public record. She also claims to have stood by her husband during the campaign because she believed at that point that the affair was just a one night fling. Doesn’t that mean that John made more than one mistake? You would think that lying to her about the affair would count as another separate mistake or at least a compounded one. Add a baby to the mix and that’s three strikes:

“This sounds odd, but except for this very big thing that he had done that was bad, I thought I was married — I believe [I am] now — to a magnificent man, someone who truly cared about other people,” the wife of former North Carolina senator and Democratic presidential candidate John Edwards told TODAY’s Matt Lauer Monday in New York. It was her first live television interview since the publication of her book, “Resilience: Reflections on the Burdens and Gifts of Facing Life’s Adversities”

Edwards has had her share of adversities. She is living with stage 4 breast cancer that has metastasized to her bones and other organs. And she had to deal with the revelation last year that the one-night stand her husband confessed to her was actually an extended affair with a younger woman that may have resulted in his fathering an illegitimate daughter.

Love despite all
During an hour-long prerecorded interview with Oprah Winfrey last week, Edwards had appeared to vacillate when answering a question about whether she still loves her husband. She told Lauer that her answer was misinterpreted in media reports.

She talked about how, when she knew she had incurable cancer and was lying in bed with her sparse hair going in every direction, her husband looked at her as if she was the prettiest girl in the world. “I see in the way that he looks at me and cares for me that this relationship is the essential relationship of his life as it is for my life,” Edwards told Lauer.

“He’s been a marvelous father,” she said, adding that John Edwards is genuinely dedicated to battling poverty around the world and helping others. “He made this one mistake, so do I throw out all the good stuff and say, ‘That doesn’t matter, only this matters?’ ” she asked.

So, in answer to Lauer’s question of whether she loves her husband, Edwards replied: “I do love him. I wouldn’t be making all this effort and undergoing all this scrutiny if I didn’t love him. I need him and I really believe he needs me.”

In the wake of the highly publicized affair with freelance videographer Rielle Hunter that was originally exposed by the National Enquirer, John Edwards is under investigation for possible felonies connected to payments made to Hunter through his campaign committee. But Elizabeth Edwards said she is confident her husband broke no laws.

“Not possible” that husband funneled money to Hunter
“The way campaign funds are distributed are all a matter of record,” she said. “It’s just not possible” that her husband is guilty of criminal behavior with the funds, she added.

Airing dirty laundry?
Edwards has been harshly criticized by columnists Maureen Dowd of The New York Times and Sally Quinn of The Washington Post for airing her family’s laundry in public. Dowd accused Edwards of “flogging” her husband in public. Quinn excoriated her for letting Edwards run in the Democratic presidential primaries last year while knowing that he had had an affair.

Edwards told Lauer that at the time, she thought that her husband had been guilty of a one-night indiscretion, as he originally had assured her. Had she known that it was much more than that, she said, “I probably would have been more adamant about his not running than I was.”

In her book, Edwards says she hopes that her children will tell their own children that she “stood in the storm.”

Edwards also denied accusations that she wrote the book to gain revenge against Hunter. During the TODAY interview as well as other interviews Edwards has given about the book, Hunter’s name was never mentioned on the air.

“That was never my purpose,” she said.

[From MSNBC]

This lady is dying and I don’t blame her for trying to do what she can to keep her family together and leave a legacy for her children. You can tell that she pins the whole thing on the mistress, though, and doesn’t think her husband is capable of the level of deception required to carry out an affair for months, father a child, and arrange a home, money and decoy boyfriend for the other woman. Yes he might have stood by Elizabeth when she was sick, but was John sneaking out from his wife’s bedside to meet Rielle in hotels? He told her it was just one night and then was caught out in a huge elaborate lie, just like he lied to the media when he claimed Rielle’s baby wasn’t his. Elizabeth kind of faltered when asked what she would do when the DNA test was ordered, and you can tell she hadn’t really considered the possibility or was trying not to think about it. We’ll soon be hearing that the baby is indeed John’s, but given the way Elizabeth is acting it probably won’t cause her much additional pain. She refuses to believe that her husband is at all culpable for the affair and sees it as a blemish on his record rather than the major betrayal that it was.

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22 Responses to “Elizabeth Edwards calls husband’s affair ‘one mistake’ even after he lied”

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  1. Gigohead says:

    I applaud her courage but all this media is a little too “much”. Who cares at this point. I wish she would stop talking the same things over and over again. It’s not helping anyone.

  2. Tess says:

    she’s working to resurrect his political career…

    like most political couples, their ambition for power trumps all.

    Read John Kerry’s damning quotes: they lied about details surrounding their son’s death to give a false sense of urgency to why he wanted to be president.

    Kerry was appalled and never again fully trusted the Edwards.

  3. tasteT says:

    She is so in denial..men always get a pass for stuff like this..they are never held accountable..”he’s a man”..
    he’s been so good to me etc. wh have a family…

    I feel sorry for her..she has been sick and has to deal w/his damn garbage.

  4. kiki says:

    Ugh… whoever said humliating John was on her bucket list , you speak the truth.

  5. sarcra says:

    You know what? Her cancer is terminal, and if I were in her position, not knowing how long I have left, I would rather believe the best about my husband and try to enjoy my time with my family, rather than be angry, bitter, go through a divorce, or even try to make a list of everything he did wrong.

    She was wronged, but she loses nothing by blaming the other woman. She gets her anger out at someone who means nothing in her life. For her to be happy in her remaining months, years, whatever she has left, she needs to believe the best about her husband. I understand that!

    I think typically one should have more anger towards the person who betrayed you the most, the person you trusted, but I understand Elizabeth’s need to see the best in her husband right now.

  6. Leah says:

    Even if she is trying to humiliate John… can ya really blame her?
    The woman is DYING and SHE, for all we know, has been a strong, faithful wife… and her husband cheated on her and fathered another child while she is ON HER DEATHBED?

    Sure, it’s wrong to try and humiliate him… but I don’t necessarily BLAME her for doing so.

    I also don’t think she is trying to humiliate him, though. She seems like she just wants to live her last days in as much peace and – sure – denial as possible.

  7. Ned says:

    She is not the only party in this story, and the most important party is the child who should have received the full public recognition of John.

    No child should live without knowing and having an active and responsible father in her/his life.

    Why on earth didn’t John take the test.

    This is so sickening. John said he would take the paternity test months ago, and had done nothing but to send his wife, claiming he may not be the father.

    Well, if John doesn’t think it’s his child, why would he come play with the mother and child multiple times in hotel rooms?

    Why would he give her a house and pay her so much money?

    Having a mistress on the payroll for a year (of the public’s donations), is hardly “one” mistake and illegal.

    That’s plain old corruption.

    John Edwards was a very wealthy man. If he wanted to keep his mistress close for so long, he should of paid her out of his own pocket.

  8. Bodhi says:

    I think everyone needs to wait for the paternity test results before calling the child John’s.

    That being said, John is still a complete jackass.

    When did the Edwards supposedly lie about there son’s death?

  9. Iggles says:

    I think Elizabeth is a liar, a fraud, and not respectable. Just like her husband.

    I’m disgusted at the way she’s coming after Hunter. I understand she’s pissed about the affair, but JOHN was the one who betrayed her. I get she wants to live in denial land but the minute you start talking ish in public you are inviting criticism.

    This whole situation is disgusting and the children are an after thought.

    Go to anger management. Get a divorce. Keep yourself healthy. But DON’T dig you’re head in the ground and expect the public to take your side while doing all in your power to keep you husband away from HIS CHILD.

  10. Kate says:

    In an effort to show Kerry his loyalty/committment, Edwards supposedly told Kerry a story about how he laid down beside his son in the hospital morgue and promised his son to “make a difference.” He told Kerry, after Kerry named him as his running mate, that he’d never told anyone that story. In fact, he had told the same story to Kerry several years earlier.

    It is in Bob Shrum’s book.

    Edwards is what he is. I fail to see the “upside” for Elizabeth. If she wants her kids to know the story,from her point of view, she should tell them directly; not live it out in the media.

  11. morgs says:

    The fact that Elizabeth won’t refer to Rielle as Rielle, or allow anyone else (Today Show, GMA)to call Rielle by her name speaks volumes.

    Elizabeth is living in lala land and frankly, she sounds stupid. The ability of women to delude themselves makes me so angry sometimes. “One mistake” my ass.

  12. morgs says:

    And Edwards is total scum.

  13. Peg says:

    Divorce him, take half the money, then leave it all to a younger man.

  14. teehee says:

    Shes been able to see life through different eyes, knowing that she might not live much longer– so she cant let thngs take over her now; she cant make the end of her life or her time with othes mierable, nor shoudl she; nor shoudl ANYONE really. She just has been pushed to realize this, due to tragedy, that forgiveness is the most important thing that results from love. Even if the love isnt perfectly reciprocated, it doesnt matter…. at this point in her life she can see things form a totally different perpective thatn the average person and if this is the result of that perpetive, I think there must be merit to it and that it is a higher state of thinking and seeing, even if it is hard for us “mere bystanders” to comprehend. She obviously got a point in there somehow after all shes going through…..

  15. Tess says:

    teehee please don’t be so deluded.

    If she’s really attained some kind of higher plane of existance, then her forgiveness would extend to all, including Rielle and the baby, who is, after all, most likely her kids’ half sibling.

    And by the way, I don’t think that someone without a driving agenda would spend the precious time they have left on earth running around selling their sordid story.

    They’d spend the time with their kids.

  16. dubdub2000 says:

    My problem isn’t that she wants to live in fantasy land and believe whatever she wants to believe about her husband and family and his mistress and whatever. My problem is that she’s gargling on the media about it, that she won’t shut up about it, that she has the nerve to write a book about it, like rolling over when your husband lies to you over and over again is the best policy. Elisabeth Edwards, don’t you have 2 young kids to look after? Do they really need to have their father, excoriated in the international media shortly before you pass away and he is left to bring them up, don’t you think they already have quite a lot to talk to their therapist about?!
    Pathetic, truly pathetic.

  17. Rosanna says:

    I agree she’s pathetic. Not wanting to her the other woman’s name? C’mon. It was her husband who should have been faithful, not Rielle. Rielle took no oath! I’m sorry for Edwards, maybe he thinks that – if he lets her ramble about what he did – he won’t have to tell his side of the story to the voters. But he’s wrong.

  18. Erin says:

    sarcra, i’m with you 100%

  19. shadow side says:

    So John Edwards is “magnificent” and Reille Hunter is “pathetic”?

    That’s a double standard if ever I’ve seen one.

  20. teehee says:

    Oh I didnt read the whole thing. LOL

  21. Maria says:

    I think Hunter has a lot of vengeful anger. This stuff could have been handled in privacy but I think she wants to embarrassed both involved. I really think Hunter harbors a massive amount of hate for John’s wife when she should be mad at John not his wife.