CHICAGO (AP) -- John Edwards' mistress said the former presidential candidate's wife didn't know about the full extent of their relationship until after he gave an interview to ABC News correspondent Bob Woodruff admitting the affair.
"She didn't know until after the interview," Rielle Hunter told Oprah Winfrey about Elizabeth Edwards in quotes provided Wednesday by Harpo Productions. "He came clean with her after that interview."
Hunter's full interview with Winfrey is to air on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" on Thursday.
Winfrey asked Hunter why John Edwards, a former North Carolina senator, did the August 2008 interview with Woodruff, which was taped a few hours before it aired on ABC.
"Everyone who was close to -- well, who knew all the facts and knew the truth said, please don't do that interview. Please don't do that interview," Hunter told Winfrey. "Elizabeth really wanted him to do that interview. She wanted him to say, you know, you've got to get out in front of it. You've got to, you know, say the truth and speak the truth. And she didn't know the truth. So it's like you can't do the interview and not speak the whole truth."
On the day of the interview with Woodruff, Elizabeth said her husband had told her about the extramarital affair in 2006, and John Edwards said he had told his wife and family long ago.
Hunter's appearance on Winfrey's show is her first televised interview since Edwards first admitted two years ago that he had an affair with her. In January, Edwards said he and Hunter have a 2-year-old daughter after initially denying it. He and Elizabeth Edwards are now separated.
GQ magazine last month published an interview with Hunter in which she addressed the scandal. She told the magazine the affair ended in July 2008 and that the relationship is now something "different." She didn't say whether they are still romantically involved but said Edwards wants to be there for their daughter.
Winfrey said she thinks Hunter is speaking out "because she wants to tell her own truth."
"What surprised me most?" Winfrey said in quotes provided by Harpo. "She doesn't think she's a home wrecker. Doesn't think of herself as a home wrecker and she does not think she played a key role in breaking up the Edwards marriage."
Elizabeth Edwards appeared on "The Oprah Winfrey Show" last May and discussed John Edwards' infidelity, her struggle with terminal cancer and her memoir detailing how she coped with both. Winfrey did not mention Hunter's name during the interview, a condition Elizabeth Edwards requested.
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