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March 15, 2010

Daily Beast Confirms Edwards Sex Tape Is Real and Was Made During Edwards' Campaign For Presidency

I guess we knew both of those things -- Reille Hunter sought the tape through a protective order, and we could imagine it was shot during Edwards' presidential run. (When wasn't he running for president?)

Still:

The Daily Beast can now describe the video in detail, based on accounts from multiple people who have viewed it. One source who has a medical background and has worked with pregnant patients says Hunter appears four or five months pregnant based on the swollen state of her belly and nipples. This would would place the tape’s filming somewhere around September or October of 2007, smack in the middle of Edwards campaign for the presidency.

On the video, both participants are naked. Hunter is propped up against the hotel bed headboard, with John Edwards belly-down on the bed between her legs. As Hunter, the campaign’s official videographer, holds the camera, a smiling Edwards performs oral sex. Because of the camera angle, Hunter’s face is not visible, but her distinctive jewelry is. Not only does candidate Edwards know he’s being filmed, one source says, he’s also clowning around and “graphically performing for the camera.”

Judgment.

Meanwhile, Reille Hunter speaks to GQ. She wants you to know that "Johnny" really loves her, and "Johnny" is so hot:

Well, what Johnny later told me was, he went to dinner and could not stop thinking about me, like, "Who was that woman, and why didn't I go over and talk to her?" Because it was the oddest connection he had ever felt. And so, when he was coming back to the Regency, he looked in the window at the Library, which you can see from the street, and I was gone. And he was so disappointed. Kicking himself. So when he walked around the corner and saw me standing there, he lit up like a Christmas tree. And I thought his reaction when he saw me was just so cute. I mean, he looked like a little kid at Christmas. And I just uttered to him, "You're so hot." And he said, "Why, thank you!" And he almost jumped into my arms. Literally. And um, that's how we met. On the corner of 61st and Park Avenue.

The "You're so hot" line was one of those things, when Elizabeth did her book tour, that she seemed very appalled by.

Look, I could have said A, B, C, D, and E. [laughs] It didn't matter. And it's funny, because the only reason I said, "You're so hot" is because Tony said, "Oh, he would love to have heard that." And he did love it. Without a doubt. And by the way, he is hot. He is not the two-dimensional geek that I thought he was, by any stretch of the imagination. He is hot.

This guy could have been President, and then all it would have taken was a video from Osama bin Ladin proclaiming "You, President Edwards, are so hot" for him to declare a truce.

But seriously:

Okay, so I know this might be a chick question, but did you know that very first night that you were something special to him?

I did know, yes. I did know the first night. We had an extraordinary night, and I did know that this was unlike anything either of us had ever experienced. And as we have all learned, that was accurate! [laughs] He in fact did say to me the first night, "Falling in love with you could really fuck up my plans for becoming President." And of course I said, "If you want to make God laugh, tell him your plans."

Not a lot of self-control on display here.

The most important part of this concerns the hush money paid to her from two big Edwards donors, through Andrew Young. She claims she had no idea it was hush money, of course:

Let's talk about the money. There are reports now of a huge amount—over a million dollars—coming from two donors, Bunny Mellon and the late Fred Baron, to support you and the Youngs [while they kept up the ruse that Young was the father]. What exactly were you aware of?

I was not aware of how much money Andrew was receiving. When I became aware, in May '08, of how much Fred was sending him, I wanted to have nothing to do with Andrew anymore. Because I felt that I was being used [by the Youngs] for them to pocket money. And I wanted no part of it. And I believe when Johnny became aware of that is when he wanted no part of Andrew as well.

But back up. How did this work exactly?

For about six months, starting in May '07, Andrew would put $5,000 a month into my bank account. One month it was $6,000. And he told me it was on the up-and-up and it was a gift. I had no idea where it was coming from.

But in May '07, you didn't even know you were pregnant yet. What did you think the money was for?

Andrew gave me money because he felt I shouldn't be using my own money to travel to see Johnny. Andrew always wanted to "take care of everything." And at that point, I trusted him. He was seductive in how he took care of things and insisted that you have things. And a lot of times, Johnny had no idea what he was up to, nor did he ask him to do it. The dynamic was: Andrew always taking care of things without telling Johnny or anyone else what he was doing, and claiming he was doing it "On the senator's behalf." But at the same time, he was so helpful and kind. And took care of everything. Every little detail he was always offering: "Let me do this. Get a massage, you need a massage, you deserve it," or "Pick out whatever car you want. I'll take care of it, you deserve it, please."

That would be the BMW.

Yes. A used BMW. Now he says I'm the big diva. When it was all upon his insistence, almost to the point of fights over and over again.

Uh huh. Andrew forced a BMW on her. It was the kissing-cousin of rape.

In December '07, Andrew claims to be the father, and all of you move to Santa Barbara. What did you know about the funding at that point?

I knew Fred was helping with the hotels and the living arrangements. I had no clue about the money coming from Bunny.

When did you learn about the Bunny money?

When I watched Lisa Myers on NBC [in late January] and heard that it was $700,000. My jaw dropped. I never had any idea the kind of money that Andrew received from Bunny Mellon. He told me he received two checks from her, small checks totaling about $50,000, and that he never deposited them.

Then you hear on TV that it's $700,000?

I was shocked.

So after your split from the Youngs [three months after Quinn was born], how did the money system work?
Fred paid my rent and gave me money for Quinn and I to live on.

And this wasn't hush money?

It was never hush money. Ever. Fred gave me the money as a gift with no strings attached. And Johnny always said to me I could talk to the media whenever I wanted, and whatever I did would never affect his relationship with Quinn. Me not talking to the press was my own personal choice based on what I felt was best for me and my daughter and based upon my feelings for how the media operates.

If it wasn't hush money, what was it?
Fred was a very kind and generous man. He even paid for a security guard when he was concerned about our safety. And in May '08, Fred and Lisa [Blue, his wife] came to visit me in Santa Barbara and to meet Quinn, and Fred just flat out asked me, "How can I help you, and what do you need?" because Fred knew I needed to get away from the Youngs. I'd just given birth to a baby, the tabloids were stalking me, and he wanted to help.

Thanks to StarChamberMaid and DrewM.


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posted by Ace at 03:32 PM

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