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Rielle Hunter says she and John Edwards are no longer a couple

June 26, 2012|By Rene Lynch

Rielle Hunter probably won't have America's shoulder to cry on after announcing today on ABC's "Good Morning America" that she and former presidential candidate John Edwards broke up just days ago.

"We are a family, but as of the end of last week, John Edwards and I are no longer a couple," Hunter said on the program.

Hunter has been in the public eye of late due to her new memoir, "What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me." It details her controversial affair with Edwards while his wife, Elizabeth, was slowly losing her battle to cancer.

The tryst led to the birth of Hunter's daughter, Frances Quinn, as well as a tangled thicket of criminal allegations that Edwards used donor money to hide his pregnant mistress during his run for the 2008 Democratic presidential nomination. Last month, a jury acquitted Edwards of one charge and deadlocked on five others.

Hunter's tell-all memoir has done nothing to soften her "home-wrecker" image, and neither has her publicity tour for the book.

Watch today's uncomfortable interview with George Stephanopoulos. He's like a dentist trying to extract teeth from a patient sans Novocaine, and Hunter's stiff body language and clipped answers make it clear: She doesn't like being in the hot seat. (Or, as the case may be, the dentist's chair.)

Hunter plays it coy when asked for details about why she and Edwards broke up, and whether it was related to the book, which offers up a scathing portrayal of Elizabeth Edwards as a behind-the-scenes manipulator who made her husband's life miserable and used their two young children as pawns.

"For me, for my part in it, it's because I'm no longer interested in hiding ... hiding our relationship ... not living out," she said. The media scrutiny played a role as well, she said: "It's complicated, and it's hard, and it wears you down after a while."

When pressed for further details, she declined to offer them up. "That's private," she said.

We'll pause here for the irony of such a statement coming from a woman peddling a tell-all book and who no longer wants to hide ...

Hunter, 48, did reveal that the breakup was mutual: "We decided together to end it. It's hard. It's painful."

For some, the breakup is simply seen as the end of a media cycle.

"Surprise, surprise, surprise. She has a book now ... she is in the news, she doesn't need him now," said one comment posted on the ABC website story about "Good Morning America" breaking the news of the split.

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Join Rene Lynch on Google+ or Twitter. Email:rene.lynch@latimes.com

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