Former SC Gov. Sanford confirms engagement to mistress

  • Follow Government

COLUMBIA — Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford confirmed Sunday he is engaged to the Argentine woman he secretly left the state to visit under the cover story he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.

Back | Next
Argentine Maria Belen Chapur walks to her apartment after shopping at a supermarket in Buenos Aires.  ASSOCIATED PRESS
ASSOCIATED PRESS
Argentine Maria Belen Chapur walks to her apartment after shopping at a supermarket in Buenos Aires.

Sanford said a statement announcing his engagement provided to CNN is accurate.

“The only comment I’ll stand by is that there was a statement sent to CNN and I stand by its accuracy. I don’t know anything beyond that,” Sanford said Sunday. “I’d love to talk but we’re going to end up in no-man’s land.”

Sanford was a rising Republican political star before he vanished from South Carolina for five days in 2009. Reporters were told he was hiking the Appalachian Trail. But when he returned to South Carolina, the father of four admitted that he was instead in Argentina with Maria Belen Chapur, whom he later called his soul mate.

“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina. It began very innocently as I suspect many of these things do, in just a casual e-mail back and forth in advice on one’s life there and advice here. But here recently, over this last year, it developed into something much more than that,” Sanford said.

The episode ended in divorce from his wife, Jenny, and derailed the political career of a GOP conservative with presidential aspirations. He was governor from 2003-2011.

The affair also prompted impeachment hearings in 2009 after the state ethics commission looked into Sanford’s use of state planes, campaign cash and first-class travel. He ended up paying $74,000 in ethics fines and reimbursed the state for the investigation and for travel and personal expenses.

Comments (27)

Add comment
ADVISORY: Users are solely responsible for opinions they post here and for following agreed-upon rules of civility. Posts and comments do not reflect the views of this site. Posts and comments are automatically checked for inappropriate language, but readers might find some comments offensive or inaccurate. If you believe a comment violates our rules, click the "Flag as offensive" link below the comment.
Jake
30353
Points
Jake 08/26/12 - 08:01 pm
7
3

Why quit?

Telling lies, cheating and using money that does not belong to you are all admirable qualities of most politicians.

corgimom
19271
Points
corgimom 08/26/12 - 08:09 pm
10
6

At least now he can have a

At least now he can have a wife instead of a business manager. It must have been very difficult being married to Jenny "I'm Perfect" Sanford, who was more interested in running SC government than Mark Sanford. Can't say as that I really blame him.

What really got me is how she wrote a book- to make money- that completely trashed the father of her four children. And her children will read it, if they haven't already, and they will resent her for it.

When you have children, you don't do that. You just don't. Because divorce is devastating enough for a child without the mother airing all of the dirty laundry publically.

corgimom
19271
Points
corgimom 08/26/12 - 08:10 pm
6
6

And she did it just to make

And she did it just to make money, not caring how it would affect her children. I have no respect for her.

rmwhitley
5081
Points
rmwhitley 08/26/12 - 08:26 pm
0
0

"Don't

Unpublished

cry for me, Argentina".

palmetto1008
9782
Points
palmetto1008 08/26/12 - 08:42 pm
4
4

Corgimom, everything I've

Unpublished

Corgimom, everything I've heard about Jenny Sanford sort of makes me want to run to Argentina...and I've never been married to her.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/26/12 - 09:27 pm
6
3

And why is this news?

And why is this news?

Willow Bailey
20252
Points
Willow Bailey 08/26/12 - 09:36 pm
5
2

I have total respect for Jenny Sanford.

And what a prize for a new husband, a cheater. How exciting for the new bride. Certainly hope she doesn't think he's finished with it.

KSL
105945
Points
KSL 08/26/12 - 09:52 pm
3
7

Because he is a Repub!

Because he is a Repub!

dwb619
74911
Points
dwb619 08/26/12 - 09:57 pm
5
2

insider @9:27

EXACTLY!
IMO, this is no more news worthy than "Snooki" or the Kardashians.

Cynical old woman
1044
Points
Cynical old woman 08/26/12 - 10:55 pm
6
1

Book

That Jenny Sanford read.....have you read it? I have...well written. I didn't see where she trashed him....best summed up with her statement (I'm paraphrasing here).... His cheating was not a reflection on her. It didn't show she was a bad wife or a bad person but showed he did uphold the vows he made to her and to God. And that he's the one with shady character and lack of morals".

She's been there physically and emotionally for the children while he made a fool out of himself over this "soulmate". So etimes the truth just stinks!

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/27/12 - 04:34 am
1
5

Cynical old woman

Well Cynical, if I am going to write a book about my cheating, no-good husband, you think I am going to make myself look bad?

Plus, the children already know she is there physically for them. Emotionally, we don't know that since we are not there. I have seen some wacked out moms; especially the controlling, strong, A types.
And when they get cheated on they really nut up.

Tullie
2930
Points
Tullie 08/27/12 - 04:37 am
3
0

By the way

I am not advocating what Sanford did. Personally, I think if a person is unhappy they should get a divorce first then do your thing with your soulmate..but that is just me.

InChristLove
21781
Points
InChristLove 08/27/12 - 05:47 am
4
1

Truthfully, we never really

Truthfully, we never really know what goes on behind closed doors and we can dog Mark and uplift Jenny all we want but no one knows what happened within their marriage to cause it to fail. I'm sure this is very difficult for their children as any divorce is but my question is why would you write a tell-all book about your failed marriage? If you need to write it down as therapy, do so in a personal journal, not a published book for the whole world to read.

Little Lamb
40160
Points
Little Lamb 08/27/12 - 08:14 am
1
0

Necklace

What is that hanging around her neck?

seenitB4
72742
Points
seenitB4 08/27/12 - 08:54 am
3
2

News??

Do we care any more....we have Sheriffs to elect---congress to run---college to rename & now this...
Another man bites the dust.....he falls for another woman---haven't we seen this movie B4.....yeh

Sooo she shouldn't have written a book----not right for the kids----he was no gentleman in talking to the press about his "great" love...soo my advice to Jenny is this....send the kids to dadddy after the wedding & you take a nice long vacation....
:)

DawgnSC69
190
Points
DawgnSC69 08/27/12 - 08:58 am
4
3

IF He were a Democrat

Sanford's political career would still be flourishing and he'd been running for president in 2016 if he were a Democrat.

Willow Bailey
20252
Points
Willow Bailey 08/27/12 - 09:16 am
3
3

LOL, so true!

LOL, so true!

my.voice
4194
Points
my.voice 08/27/12 - 09:18 am
6
2

If he is no longer married,

If he is no longer married, is she technically a mistress?

Any ANYONE who has been married for more than a few years knows good and well, that even in cases where there is infidelity, it does take two to tango. Its not an excuse, but after reading "Mrs Perfect's" book, its obvious she has issues that didnt help the marriage. Relationships are hard, and while infideltiy can be a deal-breaker, its a symptom of things going on (or not going on) iniside the marriage. I think Mr Sanford made mistakes and an error in judgement on many things, but rarely is a divorce one sided.

InChristLove
21781
Points
InChristLove 08/27/12 - 09:40 am
3
0

Hmmm, BamaMan, I was taught

Hmmm, BamaMan, I was taught that beauty is in the eye of the beholder and more than skin deep. Looks may help but arent' everything, but I do agree with you.....divorce before sleeping around. My choice would be, fix the marriage problem before divorce is an option, and then there would be no need to sleep around (or divorce).

happychimer
13303
Points
happychimer 08/27/12 - 10:27 am
2
1

He was wrong by cheating on

He was wrong by cheating on his wife, but they are no longer married. He is free to marry his choice. We don't know all the reasons why the marriage failed, but they have a chance at happiness with other mates. I wish him well.By the way. I am not a repub.

Insider Information
4009
Points
Insider Information 08/27/12 - 11:29 am
3
0

The Associated Press is

The Associated Press is giving the National Enquirer a run for its money.

kiwiinamerica
838
Points
kiwiinamerica 08/27/12 - 12:59 pm
0
0

Suggested amendment to

Unpublished

Suggested amendment to headline:

"Former SC Gov. Sanford confirms engagement to former mistress".

Once the divorce went through, she ceased to be his (present tense) mistress.

CoastalDawg
125
Points
CoastalDawg 08/27/12 - 01:03 pm
2
2

Trashing oneself

ANY man that has a mistress while he's married to a wife, the same man who fathered four children with their mother, has trashed himself, no help needed from the former wife. If it was so difficult to live with that wife, at least have the decency to divorce her before you find your "soul mate" somewhere else in the world. I would presume that he and his wife made the usual commitment to be married until they were parted by death but obviously one of them has died while still walking around. As for bashing his political leanings, might I mention a few names, such as John F Kennedy, John Edwards - and shall I go on?

stillamazed
1488
Points
stillamazed 08/27/12 - 01:30 pm
2
0

Sometimes it just don't work.

While I completely disagree with how this man handled his personal life sometimes people fall out of love. Sometimes maybe they were never in love to start with. He is not the first to make a fool out of himself over another woman and he will certainly not be the last, like many before him he got caught. I don't wish any ill will on him for being an idiot and ruining his career. I also think that no one knows what goes on behind closed doors in peoples homes so none of us know who is really to blame here as far as the marraige failing.

DMPerryJr
1698
Points
DMPerryJr 08/27/12 - 01:23 pm
4
0

I Read This Last Night

And I was up all night worrying and praying over it. Mark is right beside Lady Gaga on my prayer list.

Willow Bailey
20252
Points
Willow Bailey 08/27/12 - 01:36 pm
4
1

DMP, golden:)

DMP, golden:)

bobaisgaf
5
Points
bobaisgaf 08/27/12 - 01:53 pm
3
0

Embarrasing

It is embarrassing as a South Carolina resident to be reminded that he was the governor of the state. I would question the ethics of anyone who cheats on their spouse. I'm glad that I get the impression the he no longer wants to be in the news, there doesn't seem to be an impending book deal from him either. I will be happy if this is the last we ever hear from him and his name is only mentioned during trivia night in a sports bar.

Willow Bailey
20252
Points
Willow Bailey 08/27/12 - 02:13 pm
3
1

The only thing my mother in

The only thing my mother in law ever asked me to do for her was make a promise that I would never divorce her son. Since I completely adored him, I saw no problem in granting her request although I did add a caveat to the promise about bronzing a certain part of his anatomy for mantle decor in the event of an "F" in sexual conduct. As I look back over our many years of marriage, I realize what a smart lady she truly was. If you enter into marriage seeing it as permanent, you will make decisions that are for the good of both partners....till death do us part.

Jenny Sanford was honest in her book when she wrote that Mark had wanted to change the wedding vows by removing "forsaking all others". She said a red flag went up, but she pushed the thoughts from her head. I personally loved her book and saw no malice in it as it will minister to many women who are going through the same struggles.

As to Mark, he represents the emotional and spiritual deadness that so many men and women are plagued with. His cheating was never about Jenny, it was always about his own character defects.

bluelightspecial6969
15
Points
bluelightspecial6969 08/27/12 - 02:49 pm
1
1

Moving On

Looks like a step up to me for mark go playboy do your thing

Sargebaby
4690
Points
Sargebaby 08/27/12 - 05:29 pm
0
0

"IMO, this is no more news

"IMO, this is no more news worthy than "Snooki" or the Kardashians."

Like my wife "Precious" stated; "who gives a rodent's backside?" And you're right, "Snookie and the Kardashians" are about as newsworthy as zoo dust!

Back to Top

Loading...