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John Edwards’ mistress led a tabloid-grade life


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Then Hunter went on the run with the aide and his wife. Edwards’ campaign finance chairman let them stay at his vacation mansion in Aspen, Colo., and paid for them to live in a $20,000-a-month manor in Santa Barbara, Calif. Hunter chose the location because it was close to her New Age spiritual adviser, Bob McGovern.

Hunter so relied on McGovern that when an Aspen restaurant served her a Reuben sandwich with the wrong sauce on it, she made an angry call to him to ask him to fix it, according to testimony at Edwards’ trial.

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Her daughter, Francis Quinn Hunter, was born in February 2008, a couple of weeks after Edwards suspended his campaign because of poor showings in early primary states.

Hunter told Oprah Winfrey in an August 2010 interview that the decision to have Young claim paternity was the biggest mistake in her life. She said she had banked on Young’s wife rejecting the idea.

"It was a horrid time, Oprah. Devastating. Devastating," Hunter said.

She deflected questions about whether she hurt Elizabeth Edwards, who died of cancer in December 2010. She vehemently denied she was a home-wrecker.

"I believe the problems exist before a third party comes into the picture," she told Winfrey.

Hunter now lives in Charlotte with her daughter, now 4. She has spoken little about her relationship with Edwards since his wife’s death.

Before the trial, Hunter vowed through a spokeswoman to tell the truth if called to testify. In her interview with Winfrey, Hunter spoke about the unusual turns her life had taken.

"Being a person who’s committed to truth and living a life where you’re not hiding, it’s almost like a cosmic joke to fall in love with someone who’s living a big lie," she said.


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Collins reported from Columbia, S.C.

Follow AP writer Michael Biesecker at twitter.com/mbieseck



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