Rielle Hunter talks about Edwards with Oprah

Posted April 28, 2010 3:14 p.m. EDT
Updated April 28, 2010 5:09 p.m. EDT

— John Edwards' mistress tells talk-show host Oprah Winfrey that the former Democratic presidential candidate's wife didn't know about their involvement until after Edwards gave a television interview two years ago admitting the affair.

In quotes provided Wednesday by Harpo Productions, Rielle Hunter said Edwards "came clean with" Elizabeth Edwards after the August 2008 interview with ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff.

"Everyone who was close to him, well, who knew all the facts – knew the truth – said, 'Please don't do the interview,'" Hunter told Winfrey. "Elizabeth really wanted him to do that interview. She wanted him to ... get out in front of (the rumors) ... and speak the truth, and she didn't know the truth. So, it's like you can't do the interview and not speak the whole truth."

Hunter is scheduled to appear on Thursday's episode of "The Oprah Winfrey Show." It is her first television interview since the rumors of her relationship with Edwards began to swirl more than two years ago.

John Edwards admitted in January that he and Hunter have a 2-year-old daughter, Frances Quinn. He and Elizabeth Edwards are now separated.

One of Edwards' former aides, Andrew Young, has written a book, "The Politician," about the affair and the cover-up. Young said he plans to watch Winfrey's interview, in which Hunter is expected to take shots at him.

Hunter and Young are embroiled in a lawsuit over a videotape purported to show Edwards engaged in extramarital sex and photos of Edwards with Frances Quinn.

Edwards is scheduled to testify May 13 in a deposition in the case.

Hunter maintains that Young and his wife took the sex tape and photos from a house they rented for her in Chatham County in 2007. She says they want the items to promote his book.

The Youngs maintain that Hunter abandoned the items and has no right to them. They also contend that she cannot claim any invasion of privacy in the case because she has conducted interviews about her affair and posed for photos "partially undressed."

Still, they turned over videotapes and CDs of photos to a judge in March after he threatened to throw Andrew Young in jail for contempt of court. The items will remain sealed by the court until the lawsuit is resolved.

Both Hunter and Young have testified to a federal grand jury in Raleigh that is investigating whether campaign funds were illegally used to hide Edwards' affair.

Elizabeth Edwards appeared on Winfrey's show last May and discussed her husband's infidelity, her struggle with terminal cancer and her memoir detailing how she coped with both. Winfrey did not mention Hunter's name during that interview, a condition Elizabeth Edwards requested.