Should John Edwards’s Mistress Tell All?

 Should John Edwardss Mistress Tell All?

The PR Verdict: “D” for Rielle Hunter, John Edwards’s mistress.

Rielle Hunter, former mistress of Senator John Edwards and mother of his love child, is ready for her moment in the sun. Having previously been moved to and from various safe houses to avoid media scrutiny, as though she was in a witness protection program, Hunter is now poised for interviews. The Justice Department has confirmed it will not retry the case of campaign finance fraud against her former beau, and Hunter’s publicist says she will now end her “silence.”

Hunter is no stranger to the media. A filmmaker herself, she bared all in an interview with GQ in 2010. Describing her affair with Edwards as  a “magnetic force field,” she told readers, “I know he loves me… I have never had any doubt at all about that.”

Hunter is setting the record straight with interviews on ABC’s  “20/20,” and a host of other media appearances. What’s new? Her tell-all book, What Really Happened: John Edwards, Our Daughter, and Me. Hunter’s PR said, “Ms. Hunter is looking forward to speaking the truth, and we believe [interviewer] Chris Cuomo will allow her story to be told with candor and respect.”

The PR Verdict: “D” (It’s a Dud) for Rielle Hunter and her forlorn stab at publicity. Hasn’t her moment passed?

PR Takeaway:  Choosing the right moment is just as important as realizing when that moment has passed. Despite her claim that she remains devoted to Edwards, Hunter risks pulling jurors’ reactions out of the woodwork and reigniting lurid details from the trial (and talk of Edward’s deceased wife Elizabeth) that Team Edwards is presumably keen to put behind it. Making the transition from “the other woman”  to something more neutral is where Hunter’s PR salvation lies. Our suggestion: Follow the Camilla Parker-Bowles PR template on how to rehabilitate an image.

What’s your PR Verdict–should Rielle Hunter capitalize on her claim to fame or move on? Tell us in Speak Your Mind, below.

What Did Ryan O’Neal Describe As Pointless?

ryan oneal1 What Did Ryan ONeal Describe As Pointless?

The PR Verdict: “C” for Ryan O’Neal for an interview he was struggling to get through.

Why was there a band-aid on Ryan O’Neal’s nose during his interview with Matt Lauer on Today?  The former film icon has just published a memoir of his thirty year relationship with the equally famous Farrah Fawcett, called Both of Us.   The book he said is not a tell all – but rather a tribute to the highs and lows of their volatile relationship.   Bizarrely, the distracting band-aid remained on his nose for the entire interview and was never mentioned.

This was however the second attempt at an interview.  The first interview never got off the ground with O’Neal leaving the studio in a frantic hurry after what he later conceded might have a been a panic attack.  “I don’t know what was wrong,” he confessed to Matt Lauer second time around. “I just broke out into a terrible sweat, so I just went home.”

His second interview was emotional and full of stops and starts.  He talked of his family’s problems including Fawcett’s addiction to antibiotics.  Lauer quoted O’Neal in the memoir as saying the couple’s behaviors arose because “we both had a feeling of leading pointless lives.”  O’Neal looked genuinely startled.  “Did I say pointless?” he asked rhetorically.  Even Matt Lauer didn’t know where to turn.

The PR Verdict:  “C” for Ryan O’Neal for an interview he was clearly summoning all his energy to get through.  A gentler print interview might have been a better route for this client.

PR Takeaway:  This interview had the hallmarks of a sympathetic therapist talking to a troubled patient.  Sometimes it might be better to give the PR prize of a national interview a pass, and stick with some gentler, less exposing forms of publicity.

To read more and see the interview click here.

What ‘s your PR Verdict?

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