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Elizabeth Edwards Compares Fallout from Marital Woes to Sandra Bullock

ETonline, Tuesday, June 29, 2010, 12:47pm (PDT)

In her first TV interview since separating from husband John Edwards last January, Elizabeth Edwards tells NBC News' "Today" show's Matt Lauer she is "not just a cuckolded wife."

Edwards tells Lauer, in part, the following about her estranged husband's extramarital affair with Rielle Hunter, "I still really feel I need to break free of the media-imposed image. I'm not just a cuckolded wife….But I think about Sandra Bullock -- who I don't know at all -- what an incredible year she's had. She won the Academy Award for an incredible performance, and more than that, she took that story and integrated that into her own life in this healthy happy way. And yet, the stories you hear are not about all those great successes, but about the failure of her marriage. And I thought that's not who she is, and in a sense I know she, I don't know her, but I assume she wants to reclaim who she is in the same way I want to reclaim who I am. I hope the next time I am on television it's to talk about some policy I really care about."

Hunter has been in the news ever since Edwards confessed in 2008 that he had carried on an affair with the woman, and denied and then later confirmed that he had fathered her young daughter, Frances Quinn. Elizabeth Edwards also revealed to Lauer that she watched Hunter's highly publicized interview with Oprah Winfrey, but not when it first aired. Her thoughts? "I still think this person is so completely unlike me that it's hard to imagine the same person could marry me and be attracted to that-- to that woman, as well," she said.

She tells Lauer that the man she married was "a marvelous man" who "changed over time."

Edwards, who has been bravely battling breast cancer, told Lauer that she looks at the positive sides of her marriage to former Senator Edwards, saying in part, "I've had the opportunity, you know, to have these great children. I've had wonderful friends. I've had experiences that, you know, really couldn't be replaced. And opportunities to talk about things that mattered to me."

You can watch Edwards' "Today" show interview when it airs Wednesday, June 30 on NBC.

Related stories: Rielle Hunter on John Edwards Affair: We Never Used Birth Control 

 Cheri and Andrew Young on Rielle Hunter and the John Edwards Sex Tape 
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