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Rielle Hunter made national headlines for her relationship with married senator and aspiring presidential candidate John Edwards in 2007.
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Born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Rielle Hunter spent some of the 1980s in New York City. She then lived in Los Angeles and married Alexander M. Hunter III. The couple divorced in 2000. She started a spiritual website called beingisfree.com in 2004. Hunter began her relationship with presidential hopeful John Edwards in 2006. She had their daughter, Frances Quinn, in 2008. In 2012, Hunter published her memoir about their relationship.
"I'm not conventional; I don't fit into a box. But I am grounded."
Born Lisa Jo Druck, Rielle Hunter came into the national spotlight for her affair with presidential hopeful John Edwards in 2007. His campaign's efforts to hide their relationship and the child they had together led to a criminal probe of Edwards.
Few details are known about Hunter's life before Edwards. In the 1980s, she lived life in the fast line in New York City. Hunter had a brief relationship with writer Jay McInerney, then known as Lisa. She and her party girl lifestyle inspired his novel Story of My Life (1988). "It was narrated in the first person from the point of view of an ostensibly jaded, cocaine-addled, sexually voracious 20-year-old who was, shall we say, inspired by Lisa," McInerney told Breathe magazine.
Hunter eventually moved to Los Angeles and there she met lawyer Alexander M. Hunter III. The pair married in 1991, and she gave herself a new first name "Rielle" a few years later. Hunter appears to have worked in entertainment, appearing in a play called Savage in Limbo, according to a report in People magazine. She also wrote a number of scripts, but only one of them was ever produced. According to the Internet Movie Database, Hunter is the writer, producer and a performer in the 2000 short film Billy Bob and Them. Around this time, she and her husband divorced.
Becoming spiritually minded over the years, Hunter began to share her interests with others. She created a website, beingisfree.org, in 2004. Two years later, Hunter started a video production company called Midline Groove with a partner.
Hunter met married politician John Edwards in February 2006. According to several reports, one of the first things she said to Edwards was "you're so hot." The pair soon developed a secret relationship, one they tried to hide from the press and Edwards's wife Elizabeth. A few months later, Hunter signed on to work on Edwards's presidential campaign as a videographer. Her job was to create "webisodes" about the candidate for his website.
In mid-2007, Hunter discovered that she was pregnant with Edwards's child. The National Inquirer ran a story that October, stating that Edwards was having an affair. Edwards quickly denied in the claim. In December, the National Inquirer printed another article—this time exposing Hunter's pregnancy and claiming that Edwards was the father of her baby. Andrew Young, one of Edwards's aides, stepped into the fray, saying that he was the father of Hunter's baby, not Edwards. Still the scandal took its toll on Edwards, and he dropped out of the race for the Democratic Party's presidential nomination in early 2008.
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