Edwards' mistress opens up about affair, daughter on ‘20/20'

by: Peter Daut Updated:

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NEW YORK —

John Edwards’ mistress, Rielle Hunter, will open up for the first time about her six-year affair with the one-time presidential hopeful.

Hunter is releasing her memoir next week, but she sat down with ABC News ahead of the release.

The affair that turned into one of the biggest political sex scandals in American history started at a New York hotel in 2006.

Edwards invited Hunter to his hotel room, where, she said, sparks flew.

“It was an intensity like a rock concert,” she told “20/20.”

She said their connection was so strong that, even as Edwards was campaigning to be president, he was willing to risk it all to be with her.

“If we were not together, we would be talking on the phone about four hours every night. We couldn’t hang up,” she said.

Hunter said the Edwards’ marriage, a big selling point in his political campaigns, was ruined years before she came into the picture.

Edwards even admitted to Hunter that she was not the first woman to have an affair with him.

During the heat of the campaign, Hunter discovered that she was pregnant with Edwards’ child, Frances Quinn Hunter, who is now 4.

In a 2008 interview with ABC News’ Bob Woodruff, Edwards denied fathering Hunter’s baby. Hunter described the interview as devastating, but said she attributed his lies to temporary insanity.

She said she refused to sign a confidentiality agreement that stated she would not disclose her daughter’s father to anyone.

“I don’t want my daughter growing up under a lie,” she said.

In her new book, Hunter does not hold back her thoughts on Edwards’ late wife, Elizabeth, who she said used her cancer and her children as weapons against John Edwards.

“Their father’s not a demon and their mother’s not a saint. And I’m not a home-wrecker. We’re real human beings,” Hunter said.

Hunter’s interview will air at 10 p.m. Friday on a special edition of “20/20.”