Rielle Hunter

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Rielle Hunter
Born Lisa Jo Druck
(1964-03-20) March 20, 1964 (age 50)
Fort Lauderdale, Florida, United States
Residence Charlotte, North Carolina
Nationality American
Other names Lisa Druck, Lisa Jo Druck, Lisa Hunter, Lisa Jo Hunter, Rielle Jaya James Druck
Education North Marion High School
Occupation

Filmmaker

years active = 1987–?
Known for The horse murders scandal
Story of My Life
John Edwards extramarital affair
Internet political media producer
Home town Ocala, Florida
Political party
Democratic
Spouse(s) Kip Hunter (1991–2000)
Children Frances Quinn Hunter (born 2008)
Parents James Druck (deceased)
Gwen

Rielle Hunter (born Lisa Jo Druck on March 20, 1964, also known as Lisa Hunter,[1] Lisa Jo Hunter,[1] and Rielle Jaya James Druck)[2] is an American actress and film producer. She is known for having had an affair with and conceiving a child with 2004 Democratic Party vice-presidential nominee John Edwards.[3][4] She is said to be the basis of a character in a Jay McInerney novel[5][6] and she was an early adopter of YouTube as a means of distributing political viral marketing.[7] Her father was implicated in a horse insurance fraud scandal, which involved the intentional killing of her horse when she was a teenager.[8]

Family and early life[edit]

Hunter was born in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.[9] Her parents, James Druck (1934–1990) and Gwen Druck, owned Eagle Nest Farm in Ocala, Florida, where they raised show horses. They had four daughters. James Druck was a wealthy lawyer, who specialized in defending insurance companies.[10]

Hunter went to St. John Lutheran School[11] and North Marion High School in Ocala.[12] After high school, Hunter attended the University of Tampa, but she transferred after two years to the University of Florida. In her junior year she withdrew from University of Florida to move to New York City to pursue an acting career.[13][14]

Horse killings and Henry the Hawk[edit]

Main article: Horse murders

According to ABC News, Lisa Druck was "a prize-winning equestrian when her father was implicated" in the "horse murders" scandal, "an ugly plot to electrocute horses for insurance money".[15] The convicted criminal and FBI informant Tommy "The Sandman" Burns stated that James Druck was involved in the 1982 insurance fraud death of Lisa's show jumper Henry the Hawk. Gwen and James Druck divorced that same year; Lisa was 17 years old at the time.[16][17] James Druck was never charged, and he died of cancer in New York City in 1990.[11][15][18]

Literary inspiration[edit]

"Brat Pack" novelist Jay McInerney said that his former girlfriend, Hunter, is the basis for the lead character Alison Poole in the 1988 novel Story of My Life. McInerney described their relationship and Hunter's role as the inspiration for the character in an interview in 2005.[19][20][21] McInerney also said that he chose to write about her and her friends because he was both "intrigued and appalled" by their behavior.[19][20][21][22][23]

McInerney's friend and fellow Brat Pack author Bret Easton Ellis also includes the character Alison Poole in two of his novels, Glamorama and American Psycho.[24]

There was open speculation that Story of My Life was a roman à clef novel when it first appeared; to New York Magazine's questions "Is it real? Did it happen?" McInerney replied, "I'm anticipating some of that kind of speculation, but I'm utterly confident of not having any lawsuits on my hands. The book is a fully imagined work of fiction. On the other hand, it's not to say that I didn't make use of [pause] … That's why I live in New York. Mine is not an autonomous imagination."[25]

In 2008, McInerney incorporated the John Edwards affair into the Allison Poole follow-up story "Penelope on the Pond" in his collections The Last Bachelor and How It Ended.[26]

Marriage and name change[edit]

Lisa Druck married attorney Alexander M. "Kip" Hunter III (born April 14, 1959) in Cabo San Lucas, Mexico, on August 3, 1991,[27] and they moved from New York to establish a new home in Beverly Hills, California. She changed her name to Rielle Hunter in 1994.[27][28]

Rielle Hunter filed for divorce in October 1999,[27] which was finalized September 1, 2000.[14][14][27]

Acting, film, and video career[edit]

During the 1980s and 1990s, as Lisa Hunter and Lisa Jo Hunter, she appeared in several films, including Ricochet (1991) in which she portrayed a reporter.[1]

According to People, during this same period, while she was married to Alexander Hunter, her husband "financed the production of a play for her — a coming-of-age story about a group of tough 30-something New Yorkers [...] titled Savage in Limbo," which co-starred Elizabeth Dennehy.[29]

In 2000, as Rielle Hunter, she wrote, acted in, and produced a comedy short called Billy Bob and Them, which starred Wolfgang Bodison. At that time her production company was called R Hunter Films.[30]

In 2002, Hunter appeared as a contestant on the GSN series Lingo (episode #1061, hosted by Chuck Woolery), on which she and her partner together won $500.[31]

Midline Groove Productions[edit]

In 2006, Hunter pitched the idea of a series of short informal campaign videos to Democrat John Edwards when she met him at a bar in New York City, where he was attending a business meeting.[32] The Edwards campaign soon hired her to produce a series of promotional videos portraying behind-the-scenes life on the campaign trail and Hunter filmed and produced four of these short videos for the 2008 presidential campaign of John Edwards.[32][33][34][35][36]

In July 2006, Hunter formed the production company Midline Groove Productions LLC with her partner Mimi Godfrey Hockman. This company, which was based in South Orange, New Jersey, produced campaign promotional videos for John Edwards. The series of ads, "Inspiring Politics: A Webisode Series Following John Edwards," was broadcast on the worldwide web rather than through conventional television. According to the Associated Press, Edwards' One America Committee paid Midline Groove Productions $100,000 on July 6, 2006, five days after Hunter incorporated the firm in Delaware. The committee later made two subsequent payments totaling $14,461, the final one on April 1, 2007.[37] In all, Midline Groove filmed and produced four of these short videos; the shortest was 2½ minutes long.[38]

Hunter's videos were uploaded to YouTube. Recognition of the innovative nature of the series was given by BusinessWeek magazine, which included one of the episodes in a 2006 feature on new developments in Web video. Catherine Holoran, writing for the magazine, noted that the Hunter videos had effectively announced the presidential candidacy of Edwards ten days before he released the information to the mainstream media. Holoran stated that Hunter's series marked a "tipping point" in the history of web video which "sent the message that online video [... is ...] a serious medium, ready to contend with traditional media for audiences and ad dollars."[39] In 2008, Maria Russo, the reviewer of websites for the Los Angeles Times, also mentioned that Hunter had been among the earliest adopters of YouTube for viral marketing purposes, and was the first filmmaker who exploited that venue for political campaign marketing.[40]

Involvement with John Edwards[edit]

In October 2007, The National Enquirer, a US tabloid, cited claims by an anonymous source that Edwards had engaged in an extramarital affair with Hunter during Edwards's 2008 presidential campaign and that Hunter was pregnant. After a report by the National Enquirer on December 19, 2007, Hunter announced she was pregnant with the child of Andrew Young, a married man who is a former staffer for John Edwards' presidential campaign. Young, his wife Cheri, and their young children were living outside of Chapel Hill, North Carolina, at the time in the same "Governor's Club" complex where Hunter was renting.[27] Soon afterward, the Youngs and Hunter moved to California.[41]

Hunter became pregnant with Edwards' child in May 2007; she later said she found out she was pregnant only in July.[42] She gave birth to her daughter on February 27, 2008, in Santa Barbara, California, but did not list the child's father's name on the birth certificate.[27][43] She gave her own name as "Rielle Jaya James Druck" on her daughter's birth certificate, but gave the child the surname "Hunter".[2]

In July 2008, The National Enquirer said Edwards was the father of Hunter's child.[44] On August 8, Edwards admitted the affair, but denied that he was the father of Hunter's child and stated that he was willing to take a paternity test.[45][46] The Washington Post reported that Robert Gordon (Hunter's attorney) stated that she had refused to allow a DNA test to establish paternity "now or in the future."[47] However, Hunter's sister publicly asked Edwards to take a paternity test to determine whether the child was his.[48]

On August 12, 2008, Hunter's friend Pigeon O'Brien told CBS News that Edwards had lied about the timeline of the affair. She said the affair began in February 2006, six months before Edwards hired Hunter, and said the affair was not a brief liaison, but rather was allegedly characterized by Edwards to Hunter as a committed relationship.[49] On August 13, 2008, Hunter's sister, Roxanne Druck Marshall, personally apologized to John Edwards's wife Elizabeth for her sister's behavior. She said Edwards had lied in his confession because, she said, the affair had been ongoing.[50]

On January 21, 2010, Edwards admitted publicly that he is the father of Hunter's daughter Quinn.[51]

On June 26, 2012 Hunter's book, What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter and Me, was released through a Dallas-based boutique publisher, BenBella Books. The same day, Hunter stated that her relationship with Edwards had broken up.[52]

References[edit]

  1. ^ a b c IMDb entry for Lisa Hunter
  2. ^ a b Birth certificate of child linked to ex-Sen. John Edwards lists no father, August 1, 2008, San Jose Mercury-News.
  3. ^ Rielle Hunter, John Edwards Affair, August 8, 2008, Chicago Tribune.
  4. ^ Baker, Mike. Edwards admits he fathered videographer's child, Associated Press, January 21, 2010.
  5. ^ Jake Tapper (August 9, 2008). "Edwards' Mistress Rielle Hunter the Model for Character in Gen-X Lit". ABC News.  mirror
  6. ^ "??". Baltimore Sun. August 12, 2008. Retrieved August 29, 2008. 
  7. ^ Stein, Sam (September 26, 2007). "Edwards Mystery: Innocuous Videos Suddenly Shrouded In Secrecy". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  8. ^ William Nack and Lester Munson (November 16, 1992). "Blood Money: In the rich, clubby world of horsemen, some greedy owners have hired killers to murder their animals for the insurance payoffs". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved August 11, 2008. 
  9. ^ Kurtz, Howard; Romano, Lois (August 9, 2008). "Edwards Admits He Had An Affair". The Washington Post. Retrieved May 22, 2010. 
  10. ^ Lambiet, Jose (September 13, 2008). "Dad of Edwards' mistress had dark side". Palm Beach Post. Archived from the original on 2008-08-15. Retrieved April 15, 2014. 
  11. ^ a b Hiers, Fred (August 12, 2008). "John Edwards affair story has an Ocala angle". Ocala Star Banner accessdate 2008-08-12. 
  12. ^ Star-Banner (August 14, 2008). "Lisa Druck (n/k/a Rielle Hunter) North Marion H.S. yearbook photo". Ocala Star Banner accessdate 2008-08-16. 
  13. ^ Weisensee, Nicole (August 14, 2008). "The Edwards Affair: The Mysterious Other Woman, Rielle Hunter – Scandals & Feuds, Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards". People.com. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  14. ^ a b c Who is Rielle Hunter?, August 8, 2008, The News and Observer of Raleigh, North Carolina
  15. ^ a b Baram, Marcus (August 12, 2008). "The Many Lives of Rielle Hunter: From Equestrian With an Infamous Father to NYC Party Girl Immortalized in Fiction, Hunter's Life Story Is Unique". ABC News. Retrieved August 12, 2008. 
  16. ^ Hiers, Fred (August 12, 2008). "John Edwards affair story has an Ocala angle". Ocala accessdate 2008-08-12. 
  17. ^ Munson, Lester (August 14, 2008). "Edwards' "other woman" revives memories of gruesome scandal". ESPN. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  18. ^ Lambiet, Jose (September 12, 2008). "Was dad of John Edwards' lover a horse killer?". Palm Beach Post. Retrieved August 11, 2008. [dead link]
  19. ^ a b McInerney, Jay (January–February 2005). "Interview". BREATHE MAGAZINE. 
  20. ^ a b Stein, Sam (October 10, 2007). "Scrubbed: Edwards Filmmaker's Deleted Website Raises Questions". Huffington Post. Retrieved August 1, 2008. 
  21. ^ a b Johnson, Richard (August 6, 2008). "Novel tale of pol's 'mistress'". New York Post. Retrieved August 6, 2008. "We dated for only a few months, but in that period, I spent a lot of time with her and her friends, whose behavior intrigued and appalled me to such an extent that I ended up basing a novel on the experience." 
  22. ^ Dowd, Maureen (August 9, 2008). "Keeping it Rielle". New York Times. 
  23. ^ "EDWARDS' MISTRESS DISHES ON SLEEPING WITH POWERFUL RICH MEN, SORT OF". Radar. July 29, 2008. 
  24. ^ "Allow Bret Easton Ellis to Introduce You to Alison Poole, A.K.A. Rielle Hunter – Daily Intelligencer". Nymag.com. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  25. ^ "Slave of New York: Jay McInerney is back with another nightlife novel.". New York Magazine. September 5, 1988. Retrieved August 15, 2008. 
  26. ^ Familiar groove in the Big Apple, The Australian.
  27. ^ a b c d e f "John Edwards Chronology". The News & Observer. August 9, 2008. Archived from the original on August 14, 2008. Retrieved May 25, 2011. 
  28. ^ Woman in Edwards Affair Will Not Allow DNA Test, August 9, 2008, New York Times
  29. ^ Nicole Weisensee Egan, Frank Swertlow and Lorenzo Benet, Stuart (August 14, 2008). "The Edwards Affair: The Mysterious Other Woman, Rielle Hunter". People. Retrieved August 14, 2008. 
  30. ^ Billy Bob and Them (2000) entry at IMdb. Retrieved August 9, 2008.
  31. ^ According to a conversation with a Game Show Network employee, episode #1061 of Lingo with Rielle Hunter will be broadcast again on December 13, 2008, if the current schedule is maintained.The episode was rebroadcast on Friday, April 30, 2010.
  32. ^ a b Darman, Jonathan (December 25, 2006). "Politics 2008: John Edwards, Untucked". Newsweek. Retrieved August 2, 2008. 
  33. ^ John Edwards Webisode 1: Plane Truths (internet video). Webcastr.com. 2008. 
  34. ^ John Edwards Webisode 2: The Golden Rule (internet video). Webcastr.com. 2008. 
  35. ^ John Edwards Webisode 3: Plight of Uganda (internet video). Webcastr.com. 2008. 
  36. ^ John Edwards Webisode 4: Plugs (internet video). Webcastr.com. 2008. 
  37. ^ Edwards admits to affair, denies fathering child by Pete Yost, Associated Press, August 8, 2008. Retrieved August 9, 2008[dead link]
  38. ^ Watson, Stuart (August 1, 2008). "No father on alleged love child's birth certificate". WCNC-TV. Retrieved August 2, 2008. [dead link]
  39. ^ Holahan, Catherine. "The Year in Web Video". BusinessWeek. Retrieved August 2, 2008. 
  40. ^ Russo, Maria (August 11, 2008). "A closer look at the John Edwards/Rielle Hunter webisodes". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 11, 2008.  "... the peppy, jagged little production called 'Inspiring Politics: A Webisode Series Following John Edwards' was made in the summer and fall of 2006. YouTube was just over a year old, and the idea of a "Webisode series" was barely a twinkle in Hollywood’s eye — lonelygirl15, the first such series to attract mainstream attention, did not get big until September."
  41. ^ Transcript: John Edwards Admits Extra-Marital Affair, August 8, 2008, guest host Wolf Blitzer interviewing National Enquirer reporter on CNN Larry King Live.
  42. ^ "Rielle Hunter's Unplanned Pregnancy". Oprah.com. April 29, 2010. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 
  43. ^ "Alleged John Edwards sex tape survives courthouse fire". CNN. March 26, 2010. 
  44. ^ Seelye, Katharine Q.; Phillips, Kate (August 8, 2008). "Edwards Admits to Extramarital Affair". New York Times. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  45. ^ Birth certificate for Rielle Hunter's child lists no father, July 31, 2008, Charlotte Observer
  46. ^ Rhonda Swartz; Brian Ross (August 8, 2008). "Edwards Admits Sexual Affair; Lied as Presidential Candidate". ABC News. Retrieved August 8, 2008. 
  47. ^ Lois Romano and Howard Kurtz (August 10, 2008). "Edwards's Ex-Lover Rejects Idea of DNA Test: Hunter Requests Privacy For Herself, Her Child". The Washington Post. Retrieved August 10, 2008. 
  48. ^ Schwartz, Rhonda; Brian Ross (August 9, 2008). "Mistress' Family Challenges Edwards to Take DNA Test". ABC News. Retrieved August 9, 2008. 
  49. ^ Edwards Account Challenged (internet video). CBS News. 2008. 
  50. ^ Edwards' Ex-Mistress' Sister Pans Both: Says Her Family Is "Very Upset," And She Feels Most For Edwards' Cancer-Stricken Wife (internet video). CBS News. 2008. 
  51. ^ Lisa Myers and Michael Austin (January 21, 2010). "Edwards admits fathering child with mistress". NBC News. Retrieved January 21, 2010. 
  52. ^ "Rielle Hunter, John Edwards Breakup Announced Same Day As Book Release". Ibtimes.com. Retrieved December 17, 2012. 

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