Monday, March 17, 2014

'Bunny Money' heiress dies at 103

Rachel "Bunny" Mellon was American royalty. The heiress to two family fortunes, she helped Jackie Kennedy design the White House Rose Garden and even entertained the Queen of England at her Virginia farm.

Mellon, who died Monday at 103, also had a cameo role in one of North Carolina's biggest scandals.

She was the source of more than $750,000 funneled to former Sen. John Edwards for his unsuccessful presidential campaign. The fund, dubbed "Bunny Money" by the Edwards' campaign, became part of the testimony at Edwards' 2011 trial for alleged federal campaign law violations. He was acquitted on one charge, a mistriail was declared on five others.

Mellon sent the money through Bryan Huffman, an interior designer from Monroe who had befriended the heiress a decade earlier. The money was eventually used to cover up Edwards' affair with Rielle Hunter.

"She didn't particularly condemn people for having affairs," Huffman testified during the trial. "But she thought maybe you should pay your girlfriend yourself."

Huffman, 50, saw Mellon on Saturday when her family members called and invited him up to her northern Virginia farm to say goodbye.

He says Mellon bore Edwards no hard feelings.

"She had a good time with the notoriety, I think and she forgives people everything," he said. "She was magnanimous toward him. People that took advantage of her have to live with themselves.”


Anonymous said...

Doesn't the writer think it's important to state Mellon's history and the fame of her family name? Grand-daughter of Andrew Mellon, sec. of treasury in the 1920s.

Anonymous said...

I'm with "Anonymous". Mrs. Mellon did her best to stay out of the public eye, but her history (pre-Edwards) was the epitome of style, taste and class. If everyone could aspire to be a little more like "Bunny" and Paul Mellon, the world would be quite a better place.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 9:57, yea, your are correct. If we all could have little morals or care about our spouses when we cheat on them, the world would be abetter place. This especially true when our ex's have cancer.
Nothing epitomizes class and style like the "point of view" vidoes the son of a mill worker took of his mistress.

Anonymous said...

To Anon 6:28, yeah, "your are" (sic) correct too. Unfortunately, you have no reading comprehension skills. I was writing about Rachel "Bunny" Mellon, whereas you were writing about someone completely different.