Hunter shared two new photos of Frances Quinn during an appearance on Steve Harvey

By Lindsay Kimble
February 10, 2016 04:10 PM

With scandal in the rearview mirror, Rielle Hunter says former Senator John Edwards has become a “great dad” to their daughter Frances Quinn, whom he fathered while still married to the late Elizabeth Edwards.

“She’s amazing. She sings all the time, she’s just always got a happy little tune going on,” Hunter tells Steve Harvey on his talk show on Tuesday of the 7-year-old, while sharing new photos.

Edwards was a presidential hopeful when it was revealed that his extramarital affair with Hunter, a filmmaker hired to work on his campaign, had produced Frances Quinn. The former North Carolina senator didn’t admit paternity until January 2010. His wife then officially announced their separation, and died later that year from breast cancer.

“I thought the whole thing was insane,” Hunter, 51, tells Harvey of initially hiding the relationship in 2006 and 2007. “But why I went along with it, was I was afraid that my daughter, who was unborn at that time, would not have a dad. And I also didn’t want to hurt anybody. It was in the middle of a campaign. I didn’t want to be the one to bring down an entire campaign.”

Despite an ongoing relationship with Edwards, Hunter later released a book about the affair in 2012, called What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me.

In fact, Hunter says the couple stayed together until February 2015 and were “madly in love.”

“This was not a frivolous relationship,” she says. “I mean, we were together for nine years. And we still love each other. We’re not together, but we still love each other.”

Rielle Hunter and Steve Harvey
Tegan Kinane/NBC

Hunter says Edwards, who also has four other children, sees his daughter as “often as they can,” and that Frances Quinn understands the situation surrounding her upbringing.

“This is her history. This is her life,” she explains to Harvey. “She grew up with paparazzi chasing her from day one. That’s her reality.”

Regardless of “weather[ing] the storm” to become “a really loving family,” Hunter says she understands the public uproar.

“I never meant to hurt anybody. I am really sorry,” she says. “I really truly did not mean to hurt anybody, and I wasn’t thinking of anybody but myself. And I was absolutely wrong. Absolutely.”

But she now focuses on the bright side: “[We] came out the other side with this beautiful child, who is amazing. And I’ve forgiven myself and we’ve moved on.”

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