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.”