Cate Edwards: Dad's Affair 'Devastated' Me
First interview since father's trial
By Matt Cantor, Newser User
Posted Mar 28, 2013 6:55 AM CDT
Updated Mar 28, 2013 8:04 AM CDT
In a Thursday, May 31, 2012 file photo, John Edwards speaks outside a federal courthouse as his daughter, Cate Edwards, left, and father Wallace Edwards, listen.   (AP Photo/Chuck Burton, File)

(Newser) – In her first interview since her father's campaign finance trial, John Edwards' eldest daughter doesn't mince words about his affair. When he told her about it, "I was devastated. And I was disappointed. I mean, these are my parents," Cate Edwards tells Savannah Guthrie. "I had grown up with a lot of love in my family. And it was hard to see them go through this."

Her father told her about the affair with Rielle Hunter after "he and my mom decided that that was, you know, how it needed to be done." Guthrie asked about the "pretty unpleasant things" Hunter said about Elizabeth Edwards in her book. "I thought it was a poor choice, I guess, is all I can say," the younger Edwards says. As for her mother, "I miss her in sort of big ways and small ways," she says. Elizabeth Edwards was a gaping absence at Cate's wedding, but "we got to talk about it. And I felt incredibly lucky that I got the chance to even have that conversation with her." Among the small things: "I get away with bad grammar. I never used to get away with bad grammar." The interview airs tomorrow on the Today show.

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Mar 30, 2013 8:28 PM CDT
So sad. Our parents are usually our heroes when we're growing up. They can do no wrong in our minds, until we come into the knowledge of right and wrong. Personally, as an adult, I shared an unconditional love with both of them, despite their turbulent marriage, and eventual divorce. Once I realized I was not perfect, I didn't expect them to be.
Mar 28, 2013 11:59 AM CDT
I feel bad for Cate. It feels like crap going through that. I was in my early 20's and starting my own family when my father cheated on my mother - he had been doing this their whole marriage but this was the first time he was actually caught red handed. It's devastating to see your parents fall from the pedestal. The pedestal that I based my life on was revealed to be lies. They went through a nasty divorce that they brought everyone in the family into and forced each of us 4 kids to take sides on every little issue. I saw my strong mother crumble before my eyes and become a weak woman who struggled between hate, insecurity, anger, vengeance and bitterness that pushed her over the edge and lead her to make some very bad decisions. As the oldest and only adult they felt it was appropriate to tell me things that I would not ever want to know about them, each other, their marriage, their lives after marriage and anything negative. This behavior practically forced my sisters to move out soon as they were 18 just to get away from them and my poor brother was 11. It changed my whole perspective of my life when I found out that my parents were not the people I thought them to be and wanted them to be. I have forgiven them both, but not forgotten. Mom and I were always close and able to talk, although I put a distance between us for a few years, and we have made it past all this. My father is another story and to this day I don't speak with him. Not for trying either. I stupidly tried to cling to some sort of a relationship just to hold on to the ideal of having and needing a dad. He is just not a good person or one that I want in my or my children's life. He is not really a nice person, lies too much about anything and only contacts me when he wants or needs something. Looking back, I can clearly see he was always like this, but I didn't know any better. When I told some of my high school friends about this afterwards, the first thing out of my one of my closest friends was "no offense, but your dad was always an assh*le." I just never saw it that clearly before.
Mar 28, 2013 11:21 AM CDT
How did they expect her to feel?