I Told the Enquirer About Edwards' Affair With Rielle

Pigeon O'Brien reveals how the 'National Enquirer' got the scoop
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 4, 2011 10:45 AM CST
In this Dec. 27, 2006 photo provided by the National Enquirer, former US Sen. John Edwards, D-NC, is shown with videographer Rielle Hunter in the 9th Ward of New Orleans, La.   (AP Photo/The National Enquirer)

(Newser) – In the 1980s, Pigeon O'Brien was friends with a girl named Lisa Druck, and "Lisa Druck was trouble," writes O'Brien on the Huffington Post. She told seedy stories about "strip poker and non-monogamy," but O'Brien and other pals liked her nonetheless. Then Lisa Druck vanished for years, reappearing in 2004 as Rielle Hunter. Hunter "looked and acted nothing like frenetic, drama-dragging Lisa"—she was interested in Buddhism and enlightenment, and she and O'Brien became close again, working together on the website Being Is Free. Then Hunter started telling O'Brien all about a guy she'd met: John, from North Carolina.

After Hunter's affair with John Edwards hit the one-year mark, people began calling O'Brien. "Campaign functionaries or PIs," she assumed, at first, but soon the media, wanting to know what she, Hunter's friend, knew about the relationship. O'Brien eventually realized that the public had not just a right, but "a responsibility to know" about Edwards' true character. She returned a few media calls; surprisingly, no one bit. One large newspaper insisted it would need to publish her name. But O'Brien, a publicist, knew one outlet that wouldn't require that: the National Enquirer. The rest, of course, is history. And now O'Brien simply wonders "why I thought any aspect of this was going to be okay when I knew better than anybody that Lisa Druck was trouble."

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