Judge to approve Gov. Sanford’s divorce

A consequence of his affair, disgraced SC governor's divorce becomes final next month

Topics: Mark Sanford,

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford’s divorce will become final next month, just over a year after the first lady discovered his affair with an Argentine woman he later called his soul mate.

Family Court Judge Jocelyn Cate said Friday she plans to OK Jenny Sanford’s request to split from her husband of 20 years. The divorce will become official in mid-March.

Jenny Sanford attended the 20-minute hearing without her husband. Afterward, she said she considers it “the beginning of a new chapter for me and for our children.”

She filed for divorce in December on the grounds of adultery, saying reconciliation efforts with her husband had been unsuccessful.

“The dissolution of a 20-year marriage is not a cause for celebration,” she said Friday.

Mark Sanford had told his staff he was going hiking along the Appalachian Trail and disappeared for five days last summer, returning to publicly confess he had been in Argentina visiting Maria Belen Chapur, his mistress for a year.

Even after the publication of passionate e-mail exchanges between her husband and Chapur, and an Associated Press interview in which Mark Sanford called Chapur his “soul mate” and admitted “crossing the line” with other women, Jenny Sanford said she was willing to reconcile with the two-term governor.

You Might Also Like

The first lady said she had learned about the affair in January 2008, when she found a copy of a letter written to Chapur by her husband, once considered a possible 2012 GOP presidential contender. In the months that followed, he asked several times for permission to visit his mistress. She said no.

The day his wife filed for divorce, Sanford blamed himself for what he called “the moral failure that led us to this tragic point.” In a reply to the filing last month, the governor admitted the affair and asked the court to approve his wife’s request to end their marriage.

Jenny Sanford spoke briefly in court Friday, reiterating claims that her husband had been unfaithful to her, explaining her discovery of the letter and the couple’s attempts to reconcile.

The couple’s divorce agreement was filed under seal.

Jenny Sanford has moved out of the Governor’s Mansion in Columbia and is living with the couple’s four sons at their beachside home on Sullivans Island.

Sanford, 49, is the first sitting governor to divorce in South Carolina, which in 1949 became the last state in the country to allow it. It’s not all that unusual for a governor to get divorced in office. New York first lady Mary “Tod” Rockefeller divorced Gov. Nelson Rockefeller in 1962 over his affair with a staff member, and Nevada Gov. Jim Gibbons is in the process of divorcing first lady Dawn Gibbons.

In December, Sanford also became the first South Carolina governor censured by the state’s lawmakers, a vote that followed their unsuccessful efforts to impeach him.

Earlier this month, Jenny Sanford published a memoir, “Staying True,” and made rounds of media interviews to promote it. In the book, Jenny Sanford wrote that her husband asked her advice about his romance and how to deal with the media after she discovered his affair.

Sanford spokesman Ben Fox said Friday the governor was in Columbia reviewing legislation.

In a statement, his office noted “first lady” is not an official role and said the state would no longer provide Jenny Sanford with a staff assistant.

More Related Stories

Featured Slide Shows

  • Share on Twitter
  • Share on Facebook
  • 1 of 11
  • Close
  • Fullscreen
  • Thumbnails
    Martyna Blaszczyk/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 1

    Pond de l'Archeveche - hundreds thousands of padlocks locked to a bridge by random couples, as a symbol of their eternal love. After another iconic Pont des Arts bridge was cleared of the padlocks in 2010 (as a safety measure), people started to place their love symbols on this one. Today both of the bridges are full of love locks again.

    Anders Andersson/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 2

    A bird's view of tulip fields near Voorhout in the Netherlands, photographed with a drone in April 2015.

    Aashit Desai/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 3

    Angalamman Festival is celebrated every year in a small town called Kaveripattinam in Tamil Nadu. Devotees, numbering in tens of thousands, converge in this town the day after Maha Shivratri to worship the deity Angalamman, meaning 'The Guardian God'. During the festival some of the worshippers paint their faces that personifies Goddess Kali. Other indulge in the ritual of piercing iron rods throughout their cheeks.

    Allan Gichigi/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 4

    Kit Mikai is a natural rock formation about 40m high found in Western Kenya. She goes up the rocks regularly to meditate. Kit Mikai, Kenya

    Chris Ludlow/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 5

    On a weekend trip to buffalo from Toronto we made a pit stop at Niagara Falls on the Canadian side. I took this shot with my nexus 5 smartphone. I was randomly shooting the falls themselves from different viewpoints when I happened to get a pretty lucky and interesting shot of this lone seagull on patrol over the falls. I didn't even realize I had captured it in the shot until I went back through the photos a few days later

    Jassen T./National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 6

    Incredibly beautiful and extremely remote. Koehn Lake, Mojave Desert, California. Aerial Image.

    Howard Singleton/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 7

    Lucky timing! The oxpecker was originally sitting on hippo's head. I could see the hippo was going into a huge yawn (threat display?) and the oxpecker had to vacate it's perch. When I snapped the pic, the oxpecker appeared on the verge of being inhaled and was perfectly positioned between the massive gaping jaws of the hippo. The oxpecker also appears to be screeching in terror and back-pedaling to avoid being a snack!

    Abrar Mohsin/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 8

    The Yetis of Nepal - The Aghoris as they are called are marked by colorful body paint and clothes

    Madeline Crowley/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 9

    Taken from a zodiac raft on a painfully cold, rainy day

    Ian Bird/National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest

    National Geographic Traveler Photo Contest Entries

    Slide 10

    This wave is situated right near the CBD of Sydney. Some describe it as the most dangerous wave in Australia, due to it breaking on barnacle covered rocks only a few feet deep and only ten metres from the cliff face. If you fall off you could find yourself in a life and death situation. This photo was taken 300 feet directly above the wave from a helicopter, just as the surfer is pulling into the lip of the barrel.

  • Recent Slide Shows

Comments

0 Comments

Comment Preview

Your name will appear as username ( settings | log out )

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href=""> <b> <em> <strong> <i> <blockquote>