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John Edwards "Other Woman"

LOS ANGELES (AP) -- The woman former presidential candidate John Edwards admitted having an affair with Friday is a sometimes Hollywood producer-director who has all but dropped from sight since dismissing word of their liaison as nothing but lies last month.

Rielle Hunter, a 42-year-old who recently gave birth to a girl who Edwards says is not his, has long been said to be the inspiration for Alison Poole, the "cocaine-addled, sexually voracious" 20-year-old lead character in "My Life Story," Jay McInerney's novel of 1980s excess and degradation.

"She's a nice girl," the New York Post's Page Six gossip column quoted McInerney as saying earlier this week. The author's agent did not return a call Friday from The Associated Press.

Hunter, whose first name is pronounced Riley, used to be "a real party girl" but has calmed down in recent years, McInerney told the Post.

She and her business partner, Mimi Hockman, created the company Midline Groove Productions in 2006 and produced four Web videos showing Edwards as a down-to-earth, regular guy visiting everyday people across the country. One of them shows him visiting Uganda.

Between giving speeches, Edwards relaxes and jokes with several people traveling with him, including a woman who is never seen on camera.

"That is a great speech," he tells her at one point as he reviews the words he will later deliver to an audience: "If we want to live in a moral, honest and just America ... we can't wait for somebody else to do it. We have to do it."

The woman giggles in response.

Midline Groove Productions is described on its Web site as "committed to projects that reveal truth."

Neither Hunter nor Hockman responded to an e-mail Friday seeking comment. A phone number for the company could not be obtained.

Hunter also has one credit on the Internet Movie Database Web site for the 2000 film "Billy Bob and Them," for which she is listed as writer, producer and actress. However, the Screen Actors Guild reported Friday that it has no contact information for her.

In an interview with the TV show "Extra" last year, Hunter talked about working with Edwards on the videos, which were praised at the time as an innovative political use of the Web.

"He was very authentic. He was inspirational to me," she said. "I was around him a lot. It was great. We went to Africa. The whole experience was life altering for me."

When asked last month about allegations that she and the former presidential candidate had an affair, "Extra" said she replied: "They're full of lies."

The story of the affair was first reported by the National Enquirer, which said a friend of the couple, Bob McGovern, had booked rooms at the Beverly Hilton Hotel last month so the two could meet and Edwards could see Hunter's baby daughter.

McGovern could not be reached for comment Friday. Nobody answered the door at his home in the Santa Barbara suburb of Goleta and his phone number registered a busy signal nonstop for hours.

At a gated community in Santa Barbara's exclusive Montecito Heights area, where Hunter was also believed to be staying, a resident threatened to call the police when a reporter asked about entering.

The area about 75 miles northwest of Los Angeles is an enclave for many celebrities, including Rob Lowe, Kevin Costner and Oprah Winfrey.


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