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C.J.: Santaniello gets 'The Talk' with Edwards' mistress

  • Article by: C.J.
  • Star Tribune
  • June 27, 2012 - 8:13 PM

There might have been even more chair space between WCCO-TV's Amelia Santaniello and Rielle Hunter than there's been lately between Ann Curry and Matt Lauer.

Santaniello was a guest co-host on "The Talk" Wednesday, the day the CBS show landed its interview with Hunter, the actress who wrote a book about a personal spiritual journey that led her into the arms of married then-presidential candidate John Edwards.

I know Santaniello well enough to understand the look on her face as she listened to Hunter.

As an objective journalist, Santaniello can't confirm my interpretation of her facial expressions. However, on Twitter.com, somebody else who's seen Santaniello at work, WCCO Web producer @sarapelissero wrote: "@WCCOAmelia is not buying Rielle Hunter's answers."

Santaniello is a good guest co-host, so she didn't try to take over the interview. Somebody sorely needed to take control, though, because it was not in the same league as the grilling Hunter received at ABC's "The View."

In the book, which comes off as a pathetic attempt to cast herself in the role of victim, Hunter calls Elizabeth Edwards unkind names. Elizabeth died in 2010, just months after separating from John, who fathered a child with Hunter. Hunter announced this week that she and Edwards are no longer a couple.

Santaniello pointed out that in the book Hunter referred to Elizabeth as "'venomous and bonkers.' I mean, why would you go there?"

"The media has taken a lot of what I've said in this book out of context," Hunter replied. "I have no intention ever of bashing Elizabeth Edwards. If you read the story you will understand why that's in the book."

Perhaps that's why Hunter's answers to questions on ABC's "20/20" were described as "moony" Sunday on CNN's "Reliable Sources." I could practically see the bats flying around Hunter's head as she spoke. As if there is some good context to the words "venomous" and "bonkers."

On Twitter.com @fleetssara wrote: "OMG @WCCOAmelia She is on videotape bashing Elizabeth Edwards in the 20/20 interview. Wish you could have gotten mean about that."

The toughest questioning came when co-host Sharon Osbourne asked: "Do you talk with forked tongue? That's what I want to know, Rielle."

"What does that mean?" Hunter said. "Oh, you know what that means," Osbourne rejoined.

Later, Osbourne thanked Santaniello for filling in. "It was very interesting," the Twin Cities' guest co-host said.

Same could be said of NBC's awkward handling of Ann Curry's rumored exit from "Today." Curry might not have been a good fit, but she is a first-rate reporter whose departure is not being treated with class or honesty, yet.

Mayte co-stars on 'Exes'

Prince's first ex-wife, Mayte, is one of the five former wives starring on "Hollywood Exes," a new VH1 show.

"It's scary [for the former husbands]. I'm sure they're all thinking we're going to talk bad about them. But it's not about that, it's about us and our struggles," Mayte told Lara Spencer of ABC's "Good Morning America."

Spencer conducted interviews this week with Mayte, Andrea (R. Kelly's ex), Nicole (Eddie Murphy), Jessica (Jose Canseco) and Sheree (Will Smith).

Smith's ex-wife, Sheree, is now married to Terrell Fletcher, a football player-turned-pastor. Nicole Murphy got engaged to "FOX NFL Sunday" analyst Michael Strahan in 2009 and they're apparently taking their sweet time going back to the altar.

Spencer noted that all of these ex-husbands were "on some level very private. There must have been some nerves? Were there any lawyers contacted?"

Nicole Murphy took the question and said she would "never get on there and bash my ex-husband" because they have five children. A clip posted on VH1 suggests that these women do, however, verbally bash one another.

Via Twitter I asked @maytegarcia to tell me if I was right that any nondisparagement or nondisclosure clause she signed in her divorce from Prince never expired. She replied "hi CJ we never met or did we? The shows about us not the exes :)"

Chenoweth had a gas

Kristin Chenoweth apparently had some good clean gas station fun Tuesday after her State Theatre performance.

"Bobby and Steves in minneapolis rocks," Chenoweth posted on Twitter.com at 11:36 p.m.

On Wednesday I called and talked to two Bobby and Steve's Auto World employees at the Washington Avenue location. Neither of them knew who Chenoweth was -- or me, as one indicated with a "No, sir."

C.J. is at 612.332.TIPS or cj@startribune.com. E-mailers, please state a subject -- "Hello" doesn't count. Attachments are not opened, so don't even try. More of her attitude can be seen FOX 9 Thursday morning.

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