Cate Edwards is still angry with her father John’s affair while he was campaigning for president in 2008 but said she now accepts the child he had with mistress Rielle Hunter.
In her first public interview since John Edwards went to trial for misusing campaign funds, the 31-year-old Cate Edwards said the affair and subsequent public blowout left her devastated.
Still, despite all the pain, Cate Edwards said she loves her father and accepts his family.
“He’s my dad, you know?” Edwards told the Today show’s Samantha Guthrie. “We love each other and we support each other. That’s just how our family is.”
John Edwards’ affair became public a few years after the campaign when it was exposed that he cheated on wife Elizabeth Edwards with a campaign consultant, Rielle Hunter.
The two had a child together, Frances Quinn, who Cate Edwards said she sees as family.
“She’s my sister, and she’s just a really sweet, innocent little girl,” she said. “I certainly think of her as part of our family.”
Cate Edwards added that it was difficult to see the private matter dragged out before the whole world during John’s trial but said she never doubted his innocence.
“I did not fault my dad for the trial,” Edwards said. “He made those mistakes, there’s no question, but I never, never thought he did anything illegal. So I didn’t think (the trial) was right.”
John Edwards, who served one term as Senator in North Carolina and was a vice presidential candidate in 2004, was acquitted on one count while a jury failed to agree on the other charges.
There was a bit of reconciliation in the family before Elizabeth Edwards died of cancer in 2010. As her health was failing, John Edwards asked if he could visit her at her bedside, Cate Edwards said.
Elizabeth said yes.
“It was important for him to be there, and he came to the hospital room,” Cate Edwards said. “The three of us, especially, have been through so much together, so we garner a lot of strength from one another. I think that being together during that time, and also for the kids to have their family together during that time, it’s incredibly important.”