How much did Elizabeth Edwards, John Edwards’ wife, know about his affair with Rielle Hunter and when did she know it?
Edwards has said that he told his wife about the affair “at the end of 2006” and that everything ended after that.
Indeed, within days of the end of 2006, Web videos produced by Hunter about Edwards disappeared from his campaign Web site and from YouTube.
Sources tell me that it was indeed Elizabeth Edwards who had the videos pulled down when she saw them. The theory among Edwards campaign insiders is that she finally put two and two together. “She realized this blonde woman who was always around and who made these videos, there was something going on," a source said.
In fact, Hunter and her videos disappeared, only to be replaced by new videos made by a videographer who’d worked for Elizabeth Edwards’ brother, Jay Anania. Peter Cairns had worked for Anania on a project called Commedia and a video called “The Lost Hours.”
In a chapter added to the paperback edition of Edwards’ memoir, "Saving Graces," the former senator’s wife observes that in 2007: “My brother Jay had a wonderful young man, Peter Cairns, who worked for him, and Peter had begun videotaping the campaign, the events and behind the scenes. We had tried it before but the process of getting the film from the camera to the internet — where I and the public could watch John took much too long.”
(An e-mail and a phone call to Cairns on Monday were each unreturned.)
Of course, that wasn’t the case. When Hunter shot her videos, sources tell me, a dedicated Internet technician was part of the deal, and managed to get all her videos up on Edwards’ campaign site immediately.
Elizabeth Edwards, of course, is the sympathetic character in the Edwards-Hunter saga by virtue of her cancer. John Edwards told ABC’s Bob Woodruff that he only commenced his affair with Hunter when his wife’s cancer was in remission. In the added chapter, Elizabeth recounts the story of her recurrence in late March 2007. The prognosis was dire.
Curiously, it’s also in that added chapter, amid many thank you's to people who helped her or reached out to her, that Elizabeth adds a surprisingly bitter note. Sources say that at the time, in March 2007, she may not have been aware that her husband’s affair with Hunter had been rekindled. Hunter got pregnant in late May or early June 2007. The “Saving Graces” paperback was published officially on Aug. 14, 2007.
“It is hard to describe the test of public life, the way people believe — to some degree correctly — that you belong to them. There are awful examples, of course, of those whose motives are selfish or not admirable, who pry their way into the lives of public people in order to exploit a kindness or a generous gesture. They are to be endured and, to some extent I largely chose to ignore, feared. They remind me of a more malicious version of the people who wandered into our house in Annapolis, walking around our living room, putting their hands on our things. It is a sad fact that these people are a threat to anyone with even the smallest amount of celebrity.”
Ouch! “They are to be endured and feared.” When Elizabeth Edwards wrote that, she most certainly knew of her husband’s affair. Was it Rielle Hunter to whom she was referring? It certainly wasn’t the legions of strangers who wrote to Edwards with their cancer stories, all of whom she embraced.
Interestingly, the paperback edition of “Saving Graces” is dedicated not to husband John but to Elizabeth’s four children, including her tragically deceased eldest son. “For Wade, Cate, Emma Claire, and Jack. This is a small offering, for no mother has ever been more blessed.” John Edwards -- aside from his mentions in the narrative of the book — gets nothing but an aside in the acknowledgments at the end — “my beloved John,” sandwiched in between Elizabeth’s parents and her daughter “precious Cate.”
It’s hard to look at Mickey Rourke and not imagine the worst. After untold numbers of scuffles, plastic surgeries and drug episodes, his face is all but totally altered from his days debuting in Barry Levinson’s “Diner.” He’s 52 this coming week, but unlike Kevin Bacon, Paul Reiser or Ellen Barkin, for example, Rourke is simply a totally different person.
Rourke’s new movie, “The Wrestler,” directed by Darren Aronofsky, is his one real chance at a comeback after of years of drifting in the gutters of Hollywood. Hardly ever has so much talent been squandered on so little. Mickey Rourke has been Hollywood’s ugly little secret since his five-year run from golden boy to delinquent ended in 1987 with the trio of “Nine and a Half Weeks,” “Angel Heart” and “Barfly.” It was pretty clear at that point that Mickey Rourke was walking only on the wild side.
“The Wrestler” just won Best Film at the Venice Film Festival, although here in Toronto — despite a hefty sale Monday to Fox Searchlight — there’s more skepticism. Well-directed, the film has a lightweight script that’s centered in clichés. Nevertheless, Rourke gives a disarmingly sweet performance as a former show wrestler forced into retirement by a bad ticker.
Evan Rachel Wood is a little bit wasted as his long lost daughter. Marisa Tomei gets naked for the second time in less than two years (the first was in Sidney Lumet’s “Before the Devil Knows You’re Dead.”) No one’s complaining. But does she have a manager? Is this what an Oscar-winner should be doing with her career?
Will Mickey get an Oscar nomination? It’s hard to say. Hollywood loves an underdog and a comeback story. But Rourke doesn’t exactly have a lot of friends, or sympathy, or a groundswell of support. An actual nomination in this case will be guided by a judgment of his performance. The only problem is, he didn’t do anything to his appearance just for this film, a la Charlize Theron in "Monster." When you realize that this is how Mickey Rourke looks for real, it’s jarring, to say the least.
Meanwhile, Kathryn Bigelow’s “The Hurt Locker” got a triumphant premiere Monday night, with knockout work by stars Anthony Mackie and Jeremy Renner. A character-driven saga of the Iraq war, “Hurt Locker” is harrowing, thrilling and even a little comedic. It’s the first Iraq war film that has the possibility of attracting an audience. There are a few guest stars making cameo appearances too, including Guy Pearce, David Morse and Ralph Fiennes. …
Mackie, one of the hottest young actors out there right now, is getting ready to announce that he’s starring in a film about Jesse Owens. He and manager Jason Spire will co-produce, with Mike Jeffries of the soccer “Goal!” movies producing from his own screenplay. I’ve heard that Clint Eastwood is considering directing. It’s a great idea. Eastwood previously directed Mackie in “Million Dollar Baby."
Renner, meantime, heads for New York and a new ABC series about cops with an all-tar cast set for midseason replacement. “The Unusuals” also features Terry Kinney, Amber Tamblyn, Harold Perrineau and Adam Goldberg. ...
Beloved director Mike Leigh ("Secrets and Lies," "Vera Drake") fretted Monday night over dinner at Jojo in Toronto about star Sally Hawkins of his new film, “Happy-Go-Lucky.” Hawkins broke her collarbone shooting an Irish film recently. She’s in Toronto but in pain as she does publicity. Nevertheless, the whole “Happy-Go-Lucky” gang heads to New York next week for the film festival there (or here, I am confused!) and a theatrical rollout. ...
InStyle magazine, once accused of paying celebs to feature their homes, has hooked up with junket-orgy-meisters the Hollywood Foreign Press for a party Tuesday night. The 40 unsteady members of this much-maligned group have been all over Toronto this week getting free meals and rides as the studios curry favor to get their votes this fall. Meantime, actual movie reviewers are simply shlepping around town on their own.
Still unclear is who’s paying for this big adventure in Toronto and why it’s even needed. These Golden Globe voters, who are supposed to be bylined journalists but whose names are largely unknown to the public, have amassed a war chest of $14 million in assets, thanks to NBC’s licensing fees. They even have their own state-of-the-art screening room, listed in their 2006-2007 tax filing as having around $175,000 in furniture and fixtures. They also spent $570,000 on travel — even though the studios cart them around like overripe Florida oranges.
Here in Toronto, the HFPA doesn’t even participate in regular press. They hold their own press conferences for certain movies with big stars, mostly so they can their pictures taken with said celebrities. Some of the group’s expenses in recent years that they list for deductions: a patio canopy ($1,594), a desk for the group’s vice president ($4000), not to mention thousands and thousands of bucks for computers and video equipment, a GE fridge, vacuum cleaner, rugs, drapes, picture frames, unspecified decorations, and, of course, an espresso machine…