What Really Happened: Infidelity and Accountability


Disclaimer: I have not followed the entirety of John Edwards “scandal” and trial and mistress-gone-wrong saga. I know the gist and frankly, that’s all I need to know for what I would like to discuss tonight.

Disclosure: I thoroughly enjoy The View. The opinions, banter, chaos, and humor amongst these women is very entertaining to me. To be honest, I am sad I do not get school vacations anymore where I wake up and can watch Ellen — which I’ve been told has taken over Oprah’s spot — and The View, with a little Nate Berkus in between. ahh okay sorry for the tangent… I swear my disclaimer and disclosure are related!

Today marks another momentous event in the John Edwards saga. Rielle Hunter, Edward’s mistress.. I’m sorry, the mother of his love child, Quinn, released her memoir What Really Happened to tell her “truthful” side of the story. Hunter appeared on The View and rightfully so Whoopi, Joy, Barbara, Elizabeth, and Sherri asked her some pretty tough questions. You just have to watch to really get it…

Now for those of you who know me or simply read my blog, you may know where I am going. If not, I’ve done a horrible job at getting my point across. Joy Behar brings up the fact that Rielle saw John Edwards in a hotel and said “You’re so hot.” Joy follows up with

“You said [to John Edwards] ‘you’re so hot’… Isn’t that asking a guy to be unfaithful to his wife when you come onto him like that?”

No. She was not necessarily asking him to do that — I say necessarily because only Hunter knows her true intentions and perhaps that was her intention but we cannot assume that. Telling a guy — or girl for that matter — that he/she is hot does not constitute an open invitation to cheat on his/her partner or spouse. The fact that Joy asked that completely takes all accountability off of John Edwards here. Women CONSTANTLY make comments very similar to “you’re so hot” to men in the public eye. Sit on Twitter for a day and follow tweets to Ryan Gosling, Brad Pitt, or Leonardo DiCaprio. But if any of them go on to cheat on their partners/spouses, they cannot and should not be able to fall back on the excuse “well he/she said I was hot.” John Edwards has a brain, a heart, and a conscience. He should have taken the compliment and went on with his life. But he chose to cheat on Elizabeth Edwards. Now, I am NOT by any means trying to paint a picture of Rielle being a victim or without accountability because she was equally responsible in this affair. But I do not not appreciate a respectable and prominent TV show host framing in such a way that says if a woman calls a man hot, he has an “in” to cheat on his wife.

Rielle Hunter tried to frame her story in a very similar way with one of her responses to Elizabeth Hassleback’s question about whether Hunter thinks that the now deceased Elizabeth Edwards did something to push his husband to cheat on her. Rielle had some word vomit and avoided her truthful answer of “yes” by uttering something along the lines of their marriage wasn’t good so yes some of her behaviors led John to Rielle. No Rielle. John Edwards married his wife, made vows to his wife, and promised her forever. If things were not working and the marriage was not happy or healthy, he could have filed for divorce and ended those vows and promises. But he chose not to. Elizabeth Edwards did not force her husband to cheat on her. Elizabeth Edwards did not force her husband and Rielle to have unprotected sex and conceive and give birth to a child that they then lied to the media about on several occasions. Elizabeth Edwards did not destroy John Edwards political career… he did that all on his own.

Lastly, Rielle honey… ya can’t diss a woman who suffered and died of cancer all while her husband’s personal life, affair, and love child came out for the entire nation and world to read about because you slept with him knowing full well that he had a wife and children. And ya can’t follow it up by saying you don’t believe in infidelity. I get it — you wanted to have your voice heard in this truly twisted and disappointing story of you and Johnny boy, But your voice was just dismantled and discredited when you insulted Elizabeth Edwards in your book, blamed her, and tried to paint yourself as a saint who is against infidelity. That, Ms. Hunter, is What Really Happened.


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