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What Really Happened
Cover of What Really Happened
What Really Happened
John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me

The John Edwards–Rielle Hunter affair made headlines for years. “One of the biggest political scandals of all time," “a fall from grace," “a modern-day tragedy"—it's a story that has been reported, distorted, and spun over and over again by the media, by political aides, by the U.S. government, by supposed friends. However, there is someone who actually knows the truth, someone who lived it from day one—the woman at the heart of the story itself: Rielle Hunter.

In the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller What Really Happened, Hunter offers an extremely personal account of her relationship with John Edwards: the facts of how they actually met, how their accidental love started and escalated, what it was like to fall in love with a married man who decided to run for president, the surprise of becoming pregnant during the campaign, how the affair became public, the extensive cover-up, and finally, what happened in the years after Edwards publicly admitted to being the father of their daughter, Frances Quinn.

Meet Edwards's political players and get an intimate look at how they really operated. Learn about the evolution of “friends," enablers, and do-gooders, their involvement with the affair and Edwards's 2008 presidential campaign, and where the money from Rachel “Bunny" Mellon and Fred Baron actually went.

This book doesn't spin the truth to achieve a prettier picture or a better story. It isn't about changing anyone's mind. It's simply the facts, the truth of what really happened.

The John Edwards–Rielle Hunter affair made headlines for years. “One of the biggest political scandals of all time," “a fall from grace," “a modern-day tragedy"—it's a story that has been reported, distorted, and spun over and over again by the media, by political aides, by the U.S. government, by supposed friends. However, there is someone who actually knows the truth, someone who lived it from day one—the woman at the heart of the story itself: Rielle Hunter.

In the New York Times, Wall Street Journal, and Publishers Weekly bestseller What Really Happened, Hunter offers an extremely personal account of her relationship with John Edwards: the facts of how they actually met, how their accidental love started and escalated, what it was like to fall in love with a married man who decided to run for president, the surprise of becoming pregnant during the campaign, how the affair became public, the extensive cover-up, and finally, what happened in the years after Edwards publicly admitted to being the father of their daughter, Frances Quinn.

Meet Edwards's political players and get an intimate look at how they really operated. Learn about the evolution of “friends," enablers, and do-gooders, their involvement with the affair and Edwards's 2008 presidential campaign, and where the money from Rachel “Bunny" Mellon and Fred Baron actually went.

This book doesn't spin the truth to achieve a prettier picture or a better story. It isn't about changing anyone's mind. It's simply the facts, the truth of what really happened.

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About the Author-
  • Rielle Hunter has been writing since 1993. She has studied meditation, yoga, and Eastern philosophies.

    What Really Happened is Hunter's first book. She has one daughter, Frances Quinn.

Reviews-
  • Kirkus

    September 1, 2012
    The proximate cause of John Edwards' political unraveling has a few scores to settle. Hunter occupied the center of the oddest sideshow of the 2008 U.S. presidential campaign: That summer, reports emerged that she had a child with the North Carolina senator, sparking months of denials (including a campaign staffer's false claim that he was the father). Hunter's clumsily written memoir is an extended exercise in blame assignment: Edwards' friends and campaign aides for being greedy, careerist, and manipulative; Edwards' wife for being a bully; and Edwards himself for being, as she told him at their first fateful meeting, "so hot!" To avoid furtive trysts as their affair deepened, she was hired to film Edwards' travels for online "webisodes." Hunter expresses an almost total disinterest in the politics she covered, and on the road, she rained contempt on nearly everybody surrounding the candidate. (In one instance, she recalls "some poverty woman who was really snotty to me.") Hunter reserves her deepest fury for Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, who's portrayed cartoonishly, forever screaming at her cowering husband. That Elizabeth's outrage might be justified by her husband's philandering seems to entirely escape Hunter, who rationalizes her status as a mistress by claiming that the Edwards' marriage was loveless and sexless. (Elizabeth's death from cancer in 2010 hardly softens her tone.) The flimsy prose, peppered with all-caps exclamations and high school-age sarcasm, grows even more tedious in the later chapters, as the author chronicles legalistic parrying over who paid how much to whom out of which accounts. The mood is lightened by photos of Hunter and Edwards with their daughter, Quinn, but a seething sense of superiority and entitlement persists. An object lesson in misguided tell-all writing: A woman hounded by the media while raising an infant fathered by a cheating man manages to render herself unsympathetic.

    COPYRIGHT(2012) Kirkus Reviews, ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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    BenBella Books, Inc.
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