Well, America: you win. Rielle Hunter, who burned herself into the public's eyeballs after an affair with then-married-to-a-cancer-patient Presidential candidate John Edwards that resulted in a child and a short lived career giving jaw droppingly gross interviews, is sorry. She's so sorry she did all those things she did, and she's especially sorry that she wrote a book about it. And she's TRIPLE PLUS SORRY that the book about all that awful stuff is now for sale wherever books are sold. And now I am sorry for making you read that letter about how sorry Rielle Hunter is.
Her letter, published on the Huffington Post, is exactly the sort of terrible masterpiece a person might expect from an individual most famous for posing pantslessly next to her daughter's bed full of stuffed Muppets. Plug your nose; let's get started.
I behaved badly. That may seem obvious to you but it's taken me a long time to admit that, even to myself. For years I was so viciously attacked by the media and the world that I felt like a victim. I now realize that the attacks are actually beside the point. The point is: I behaved badly.
I'm sorry. I'm sorry I made you read this paragraph. I see now that you suspected, as you were reading it, that it was just a set to a shitheel spike coming in the next paragraph. You were right. I'm very sorry for what you're about to read.
I am very sorry for my wrong, selfish behavior. Back in 2006, I did not think about the scope of my actions, how my falling in love with John Edwards, and acting on that love, could hurt so many people. I hurt Elizabeth and her kids. I hurt her family. I hurt John's family. I hurt people that knew Elizabeth. I hurt people who didn't know Elizabeth but loved her from afar. I hurt people who gave their hard earned dollars to a campaign — a cause they believed in. I hurt people who are married and believe in marriage. Many of these people have let me know that I hurt them. Unfortunately, I was not thinking about anyone but myself. I was selfish. I fell in love with John Edwards and wanted to be with him and that desire trumped everything else.
I deeply ashamed that not only did I read that paragraph multiple times, I subjected you to it as well, because I selfishly did not want to be alone in my feelings of confusion. I forced you to read Rielle's apology to the dead woman whose husband she made a sex tape with. I'm sorry for ending that last sentence with a dangling preposition. And I'm especially sorry — though I know it's not my fault — that the trope of the unavoidable love affair exists in culture to the extent that people use it as an excuse to justify their inexcusable behavior. Just because people have hormones doesn't mean they lose the ability to control themselves. I'm sorry if you feel judged, but that's just what I think.
I'm sorry I haven't thrown away the light pink "JOHN EDWARDS IS HOT" tee shirt I bought during the 2004 primary season. I'm holding onto it because in about 3-4 years, that will be hipster gold. I'll be approaching my mid-thirties. I'm sorry I'm still concerned with being cool.
And then instead of apologizing when I should have, I went on to hurt more people by writing a book. I truly did not realize at that time how damaged I was and because of that, when I wrote my book I made more mistakes, ones I feel horrible about.
I'm so sorry that I'm laughing hysterically at this paragraph. I'm sorry tears are gathering in the corners of my eyeballs, and I'm sorry that I just set your brain on a spiral of imagining the ridiculously airbrushed jacket photo that whatever poor schmuck is molding Hunter's career chose. Something demure, yet sexy. Popped collar, maybe. Pearls. Perky ponytail. From a high angle so it's sad looking, yet alluring. I apologize for the path upon which I have set your brain. I'm sorry I wrote this blog post about it, and I'm sorry you're reading it.
My publisher came up with the idea of me going through my book and annotating all of my regrets and mistakes. I liked that idea. I thought it was innovative and interesting, but of course the actual execution of that idea turned out to be excruciating. Owning your past mistakes is no day at the beach but I do believe it is an important endeavor to undertake.
I'm sorry you're now picturing Rielle Hunter, hair done in a Palinesque bun, laboring beneath a desk lamp circling all of the words in her manuscript with a red pen. It's 3 am in a McMansion in North Carolina. The walls are covered in stencils of slightly misquoted Margaret Mead and Eleanor Roosevelt and Marilyn Monroe. She's drinking whatever tea has the sexiest packaging; maybe the orange flavor with the geisha on it. Barbara Streisand is playing in the background. Rielle Hunter wearing a beige off shoulder sweater. She's eating Ritz crackers just plain. Actually I'm not sorry; that's funny. I'm sorry for delighting in the ridiculousness of a scenario that harmed real people. I'm sorry I reminded you of Ritz crackers. I used to eat them with butter. Isn't that gross? I'm sorry I told you about that.
I am a product of infidelity. Both of my parents cheated on each other, and as a kid it damaged me. I then grew up, fell in love with a married man, and caused even more damage. I believe history often repeats itself if you do not take responsibility and change it. Infidelity is wrong. It hurts people. It hurt me and then I in turn also hurt people. It is a chain of pain. One I do not wish to pass on to my own daughter. I am sincerely sorry for my bad behavior, and for hurting anyone. If I hurt you, I am sorry. It was not my intention, I was thoughtless and selfish, and I am sorry.
I'm sorry that I made you read the phrase "chain of pain." I'm sorry no one at the Huffington Post changed it to something less silly, like "chain of harm" or "cycle of pain" or "domino game of pain" or, simply, "PAIN CHAIN."
Rielle Hunter's new book, "In Hindsight, What Really Happened: The Revised Edition: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me" is on sale today. She is the New York Times bestselling author of, "What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me." She has a 5 year old daughter, Francis Quinn.
I'm sorry I didn't write that last paragraph, which is her actual bio from HuffPo, as a parody of what I'd think Rielle Hunter would write as her bio for HuffPo.
My next post, "In Hindsight, What Really Happened: The Revised Edition: John Edwards, Rielle Hunter, Me, And Like Six Cups of Coffee On An Empty Stomach" will be available next week.
I'm sorry that book title contains the word "hind."