Rielle Hunter on Her Relationship with John Edwards Today, Their Life with Their Daughter Quinn

ABC News(NEW YORK) — Rielle Hunter became the most vilified woman in America when she had an affair with married presidential hopeful John Edwards and gave birth to his child, and in an interview with ABC News, Hunter said she still loves Edwards and that he’s very much a part of her life and the life of their daughter, Quinn.

“I view him as family. I mean, he's family. I absolutely love him,” Hunter told ABC News’ Amy Robach. “We’re very, very good friends. And great co-parents. And we have the same goals. We want the best for Quinn. We get along great.”

Hunter was full of praise for Edwards' attention to his daughter.

“Oh God, he loves her so much it's cute. I think he has a real soft spot for her. He does. He gets very choked up by her, it's sweet,” she said.

Quinn, who is now 8 years old, agreed that her father was “great.” Asked how often she got to see him, the girl replied: “As often as I can.”

Hunter, then an unknown actress and movie producer, began her affair with the then-U.S. senator from North Carolina in 2006 as he traveled the country ahead of his 2008 campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination. The affair continued even when Edwards' wife, Elizabeth, had a recurrence of breast cancer.

Tabloid rumors of the affair persisted until 2010, when Edwards admitted to having fathered a child with Hunter. That child, Quinn, was born in 2008.

The fallout was intense. Edwards was later indicted for allegedly using more than $900,000 in campaign funds to hide his mistress, but he was acquitted on one count and a mistrial was declared on the other counts.

Elizabeth Edwards died in 2010 after a six-year battle with breast cancer.

Hunter, 52, has enjoyed her time out of the spotlight.

“The last few years have been great. Very filled with joy, and I as a mom, like, everything I do now is based upon being a mom first, and my choices, how they are going to impact Quinn,” she said.

Their shared activities include a love or horseback riding. Hunter rode as a child and her daughter is following in her footsteps. The child recently qualified for the finals of a pony riding competition.

Quinn chatted with Robach about her horse named Howie.

“He thinks he's a fancy show horse and he's just a pony,” Quinn said, adding that the horse “taught me how to be a better rider and how to find happiness.”

Mother and daughter are sharing their passion in a new children’s book. “Howie Do It: Finding Happiness Right Now” was written by Hunter and illustrated by Quinn.

Hunter’s happiness has come after having endured extreme scrutiny and criticism. Robach asked her whether she was concerned that the book’s release and its attendant publicity would force her to relive the past.

“I think you can't go away, you know, when you make a mistake, when you have bad things going on you have to take responsibility for it, say you’re sorry, forgive yourself and then move on,” she said.

It’s a lesson she’s managed to impart to her child. When Robach asked Quinn what she had learned from her mother, the girl replied: “That it’s okay to make mistakes. And not to be hard on myself.”

'I'm With Her'

Hunter told Robach that what bothered her the most about the time after the affair was exposed was the “meanness” to which she was subjected.

“You know the lack of compassion and understanding that happens when people make mistakes ... everyone judges and jumps so fast,” she said.

He experiences appear to have had an impact on her choice of presidential candidate.

“Part of what I love so much about Hillary Clinton is she has had everything thrown at her but the kitchen sink, and maybe even the kitchen sink ... she doesn't ever give up and I admire that,” she said.

When Robach asked whether Hunter would be voting for Clinton, she laughed as replied: “As a mom, she’s a great role model ... I’m with her.”

She then leaned over to her daughter and said “We’re with her.”
 
Copyright © 2016, ABC Radio. All rights reserved.

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Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statue

Charlottesville mayor to issue statement on Robert E. Lee statueMark Wilson/Getty Images(CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va.) -- Charlottesville Mayor Mike Signer will issue a statement Friday afternoon after canceling a news conference at which he was expected to "make a major announcement" regarding the local statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee and the legacy of the woman killed during a protest sparked by the city's plans to remove the statue.

His news conference had been scheduled for noon on Friday, but the mayor tweeted Friday morning that "we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon."

FYI all: we are canceling today’s press conference and instead issuing a statement in the afternoon. Stay tuned.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

FYI, the reason for the change is we decided a statement rather than a press event was the best medium for the ideas I want to convey today.

— Mike Signer (@MikeSigner) August 18, 2017

The statement comes six days after a Unite the Right rally sparked by Charlottesville's plan to remove the Lee statue from a local park turned deadly.

The rally was attended by neo-Nazis, skinheads and Ku Klux Klan members. They were met with hundreds of counterprotesters, which led to street brawls and violent clashes.

A driver plowed into counterprotesters, killing Heather Heyer, 32, and injuring several others. The suspected driver is in custody, facing charges including second-degree murder.

Despite the "painful" event, "we’re not going to let them define us,” Signer told ABC News earlier this week of the agitators.

"They’re not going to tell our story," he said. "We’re going to tell our story. And outsiders -- their time has come and gone. This city is back on their feet, and we’re going to be better than ever despite this."

Signer compared his hopes for Charlottesville's recovery to the aftermath of the Charleston, South Carolina, church shooting in June 2015 that killed nine people. The gunman in that attack said he wanted to start a race war, but the tragedy instead united the city.

"There’s a memorial right now in front of Charlottesville City Hall that’s flowers and a heart that talks about the love that we have here. Those are the images that are going to replace these horrific ones from this weekend. That’s the work that we have as a country," Signer said.

"That’s what happened in Charleston. There were those horrible images of those people bloodied and killed and weeping from the church. But they were replaced quickly, steadily, by the work that started to happen. By people who said, 'You’re not going to tell our story for us. We’re going to tell our story.'

"And that’s what’s happening in this community. That’s my work as the mayor here -- is not to allow these hateful people who just don’t get this country to define us," he said. "And they’re not going to define us."

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