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May 5th, 2009
12:34 PM ET

Elizabeth Edwards: How I survived John's affair

Elizabeth Edwards
For Time

John was gone a lot in 2003 and 2004 running for office, and although I saw him all the time in 2005 when I was getting treatment for breast cancer, I knew I would see him less in 2006. I even participated in his being gone.

I thought he should do a spring-break trip for college students in New Orleans to help with the Hurricane Katrina cleanup. His antipoverty work would take him across the country, and I knew that. When he told me that the political action committee was going to have behind-the-scenes videos made of some of these efforts, it didn't seem like that bad an idea, and it certainly didn't occur to me to ask about who was making them.

It didn't occur to me that at a fancy hotel in New York, where he sat with a potential donor to his antipoverty work, he would be targeted by a woman who would confirm that the man at the table was John Edwards and then would wait for him outside the hotel hours later when he returned from a dinner, wait with the come-on line "You are so hot" and an idea that she should travel with him and make videos. And if you had asked me to wager that house we were building on whether my husband of then 28 years would have responded to a come-on line like that, I would have said no.

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Filed under: 360° Radar • John Edwards
soundoff (3 Responses)
  1. Tara

    what a powerful story. It takes a lot more strength to forgive someone when they hurt you then to just walk away. I don't think any of us should judge Elizabeth, without being in her shoes. None of us knows what happened between her and John after this horrible incident and shouldn't judge either of them for what has happened since. This is their lives to live not ours. I wish all the strength and love for this incredible brave woman.

    May 6, 2009 at 12:10 pm |
  2. GF, Los Angeles

    Oh please John knows why he cheated – his ego was pumped and he was flattered by the attention this woman gave him. Instead of thanking her for the compliment and running as fast as he could from her – he gave into plain and simple lust.

    May 5, 2009 at 12:55 pm |
  3. Veda Brown

    It appears to me that Elizabeth is making excuses for her husband behaivor. We are discussing a grown man with 28 years of marriage and many more years of experience in this fast pace world... not a college kid trying to find himself. We have all done something in our life we shouldn't have done. We should admit it, accept responsibility and move on. I would respect Elizabeth more if she didn't try to take up for him.

    May 5, 2009 at 12:55 pm |