Chevel Johnson / The Associated Press
NEW ORLEANS — Former Louisiana Gov. Edwin Edwards returns to the spotlight with today's premier of “The Governor's Wife,” a new reality television series that puts his romance with wife Trina Scott Grimes out there for all to see.
The couple — he's 86, she's 35 — has a child together. Eli was born in August. The series follows Trina and Edwin's decision to get pregnant and ends with the baby's delivery and introduction to the world.
“I call (Eli) my 'Cajun Prince,'” she told The Associated Press. “That's what most in Louisiana used to call Edwin.”
Trina Edwards said the series shows how their unconventional blended family interacts. The cast also includes Edwards' grown daughters: Anna, 62, and Victoria, 60. Trina's sons from a previous marriage — Logan, 15 and Trevor, 13 — participate, too.
“We enjoy each other's family,” Trina Edwards said. “We mesh well, even as difficult as that can be at times.”
Edwards served four terms as a Democratic governor in the 1970s, '80s and '90s. He married Trina in July 2011, shortly after his release from federal prison, where he served more than eight years for his role in a bribery and extortion scheme to rig riverboat casino licenses during his fourth term, which ended in 1996.
Edwards said the show doesn't dwell on his prison stint, trials or terms as governor.
“This is about my life, our lives, outside of all that,” he said. “It's about my interaction with her children and her interaction with my grown children. If not unique, it's certainly an unusual situation for a person my age to be doing. Most would say I should probably be looking forward to a nursing home rather than a nursery, but I'm very happy and very excited. It should make for great TV.”
Trina Edwards said she hoped the show would dispel any speculation that she married Edwards for “something other than love.”
“People have such a huge misconception about me, about us,” she said. “People believe that Edwin and I live this extravagant, over-the-top life. I wanted to show people that isn't how we are. We're normal, even though normal is a relative term. We live a normal life just like everyone else.”
She said they have a strong and healthy marriage.
“We never get tired of each other,” she said. “He's my best friend and we have a lot in common, even though there's a large age difference.”
Anna Edwards said the best thing about having the cameras around 24-7 was that she “got to spend a concerted amount of time with my father. I would not have done that or been able to do that otherwise. That was great.”
She said she hoped the show would make people laugh. “I think, once watching it, people will know for sure just how crazy and dysfunctional my family really is.”
Victoria Edwards said that what she's seen of the show is funny. “There's a lot of truth in the show, but there's also some embellishment,” she said.
She said she was not in favor of her father and his new bride having a baby. “Mostly because I don't want to split my inheritance,” she said. “But it's a different story now that Eli's here. Daddy just adores that baby. I didn't have that when we were growing up because he was not always around.”
Asked how she thought audiences would receive the show, she said, “It will be the same way people receive my daddy: 33 percent absolutely love him, 33 percent are in the middle and 33 percent think he's done something wrong and should either be dead or back in jail.”
Both sisters said they would not be opposed to a second season, but Trina Edwards said such talks have not begun.
“I'm not sure if they will offer it, and I'm not sure if I'd be willing even if they would offer it. It's much more work than I thought — six days a week, 12 hours a day,” she said.
The show debuts on A&E at 9 p.m.