"Wow, We're All Going To Hell": Rielle And The Stages Of Grief


Earlier, Anna (Holmes) IM’d me, articulating so much about Rielle Hunter’s heart-to-heart with GQ: “I don’t think there can be enough STFU WTF IS WRONG WITH YOU re: this interview.” Indeed, there is more to be said here.

Remember that Newsweek piece, “The Quiet Dignity of Rielle Hunter”? We’d laugh if our jaws weren’t nailed to the ground and the rest of our faces frozen into masks of Pompeii-style horror. Because reading through the 10-page interview, which, as Anna North points out, is packed with high-quality tips on pleasing your man, has us dragging our feet through the Kübler-Ross stages of grief. We are mourning the Death of Shame.

Stage One: Denial
The thought is immediate: I cannot be reading this. This starts some time around page one, when she declares, “I love Johnny and I love my daughter more than anything in the world, and I don’t want to ever do anything to hurt them or hurt their relationship” (she’s pictured, meanwhile, giving sexyface while cradling the 2-year-old Frances Quinn). The reader’s disbelief increases when she says Andrew Young is in love with Edwards, and that denial culminates in the eyeball-scalding description of their lovemaking. Oh, and her repeated assertions of his “hotness.” No, no — I cannot be reading this.

Stage Two: Anger
Buckets of anger. When she equates “being a man” with lying and says “and I love him for being a man.” Her blithe laughter throughout. When she details, with girlish indiscretion, about their first tryst.

“And, um, I eventually walked over to his side of the room. [laughs] He was pretty relentless. And that’s all I’m gonna say on that! Now fade to black!…I used to make a joke that I could have helped save the world, but I had to sleep with him. You know? It was kind of like that.”

There’s still more anger. We’re wallowing in it, really, when she says,

“I had a lot of judgment about infidelity. Now I have a much deeper and greater understanding and acceptance of people’s processes. It’s hard and complicated for a lot of people to pull the Band-Aid off, so to speak. So I did have problems with it. Many. But once again, the force field of our love overrode any issues that would arise from my belief systems about, you know, ‘It should be going different than it is. He should be behaving differently than he is.'”

But wait! Still more! She caps it with,

Most of his mistakes or errors in judgment were because of his fear of the wrath of Elizabeth. He’s allowed himself to be pushed into a lot of things that he wouldn’t normally do because of Elizabeth’s story line. And the spin that she wants to put out there. He was emasculated. And you know, the wrath of Elizabeth is a mighty wrath….Oh, my God, I have such compassion for her. I really do. I mean, especially when you have terminal cancer… I watched my father die of cancer. It’s heart-wrenching to me. But it’s also sad to me, her unwillingness to take responsibility for her part in the marriage. And her unwillingness to face the truth. We’re all slaves to our unconscious, but she really believes that it’s everyone else’s fault. And that’s heart-wrenching to me, too.

Yes, there is plenty of anger. Rage, really.

Stage Three: Bargaining
The bargaining is Rielle’s, really: She declares that we’re all going to hell, because “as a society,” we’re “cut off from the truth.” We agree with the first part, but what anyone got as a part of that bargain is kind of open to debate, especially since her money and BMW were, apparently, forced on her. As she says,

I’m not a mistress by nature. It’s a role that I took on because I fell in love with him. And that was the role that was available to me. [laughs]

Stage Four: Depression
It sets in at page three, when you realize Rielle might believe everything she’s saying. And that this man could have been president. And that Elizabeth Edwards, whatever her sins, will have to read this. And that there are children involved. And that Hunter’s only issue with the piece, apparently, was that the pictures were misleading, and that she was betrayed by the photographer, who, apparently, was just being a bit too much of her definition of a man and took advantage of her trusting, open nature.

Stage Five: Acceptance
Ultimately, we become inured to the fact that this is the most appalling story on the face of the Earth, with the worst cast of human beings, and that it is never, ever going away. And so to the Kübler-Ross model, we’re going to go ahead and add nausea, and pity, and an inevitable Lifetime movie. The only real question is, whose “story” will we see first? And how much more will we grieve?

Hello, America, My Name Is Rielle Hunter [GQ]
Rielle Hunter Has Hollywood Tales to Tell
Rielle Hunter ‘In Tears’ Over ‘Repulsive’ Photos In ‘GQ’ [USA Today]

The Quiet Dignity Of Rielle Hunter

Earlier: The Rielle Hunter Dating Guide
I Went With The Flow: Rielle Hunter Repulsed By GQ Photo Shoot

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