Mistress says relationship with Edwards ended in aftermath of her memoir about their affair

FILE - In this Aug. 6, 2009 file photo, Rielle Hunter leaves the Terry Sanford Federal Building and Courthouse in Raleigh, N.C. Hunter told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday, June 26, 2012, that she and former presidential candidate John Edwards are no longer a couple. She says the breakup was painful but that Edwards will still be involved with their daughter, Quinn. (AP Photo/Jim R. Bounds, File)

COLUMBIA, S.C. - The woman who began an affair with former presidential candidate John Edwards during his campaign as Edwards' wife Elizabeth was dying of cancer says they have ended their relationship.

Rielle Hunter told ABC's "Good Morning America" on Tuesday that she and Edwards were a couple until late last week, as details from Hunter's memoir became public. The breakup was painful, Hunter said, bu she said Edwards will still be involved with their daughter, Quinn, who is 4 years old and lives with Hunter.

"We are a family, but as of the end of last week, John Edwards and I are no longer a couple," Hunter said on Tuesday's show. "We decided together to end it."

Asked why the relationship ended, Hunter responded, "I think that's private." She referenced "media scrutiny" the couple had endured but gave no specifics, only saying, "It's hard, and it wears you down after a while."

The book, "What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me," is being released Tuesday through a Dallas-based boutique publisher, BenBella Books. The Associated Press reported on the book last week.

In the book, Hunter describes intimate details about her affair with Edwards, whose campaign hired her as a videographer, and sheds light on his thoughts as federal prosecutors mounted a case against him on illegal campaign contribution charges.

An attorney for Edwards said she would forward to him a message seeking comment.

Prosecutors had accused the Democratic politician of masterminding a scheme to use about $1 million in secret payments from two wealthy political donors to hide his pregnant mistress as he sought the White House in 2008.

According to Hunter, Edwards told her he would probably end up in a low-security prison in Virginia if he was convicted, and Hunter said she planned to move nearby with their daughter if that happened. A judge declared a mistrial last month, and federal prosecutors have opted not to retry Edwards.

Hunter's memoir also includes intimate details about her affair with Edwards as his wife, Elizabeth, was dying of cancer. On Tuesday, Hunter said she felt it was necessary to tell the truth about her relationship, even if doing so was painful for her, Edwards or his other children.

Saying that she still loves Edwards, and that she believes he still loves her, Hunter said Tuesday that she was unsure of the future.

"We'll see what happens," she said. "I have no plans."

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Kinnard can be reached at http://twitter.com/MegKinnardAP .


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