Cate Edwards said on Wednesday that she was “devastated” to learn that her father, John Edwards, was having an affair that eventually destroyed his political career.
“He told me,” Edwards, 31, said in an interview with NBC’s Savannah Guthrie that is scheduled to air on Friday. “I guess he and my mom decided that that was, you know, how it needed to be done.
“So yeah, I was devastated,” she added. “And I was disappointed. I mean, these are my parents. I had grown up with a lot of love in my family. And it was hard to see them go through this.”
Edwards said that “yeah, yeah, of course” she was angry about the affair that her father was having with Rielle Hunter, a film producer.
The Harvard-educated attorney and author is now president of the Elizabeth Edwards Foundation, which provides educational opportunities for children who have limited support and resources to reach their potential.
John Edwards was elected a U.S. senator from North Carolina in 1998, serving one term. In 2004, he became Sen. John Kerry's White House running mate for the Democratic presidency. He was unsuccessful in his 2008 bid for the Democratic presidential nomination.
In 2011, he was indicted on six felony charges of violating federal campaign contribution laws to conceal an extramarital affair. He was found not guilty on one count, and a mistrial was declared on the other five charges.
Cate Edwards told NBC that she had met Hunter early in her father’s campaign — and Guthrie then asked her about a book Hunter wrote that “said some pretty unpleasant things” about Elizabeth Edwards.
“I just thought it was — I thought it was a poor choice, I guess, is all I can say,” Cate Edwards said.
Elizabeth Edwards was thrust into the public spotlight in the final years of her life because of the revelation of the affair and because she was diagnosed with breast cancer. She became a health activist and wrote two books, "Saving Graces" and "Resilience." She died of cancer on Dec. 7, 2010.
“I miss her in sort of big ways and small ways,” Cate Edwards told Guthrie. “You know, it's big things that go by, like my wedding,” which occurred in 2011.
“She wasn't able to be there,” Edwards said. “But we got to talk about it. And I felt incredibly lucky that I got the chance to even have that conversation with her.”
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