CHARLESTON — Sometimes it makes things so much easier when you admit the truth. Mark Sanford, governor of South Carolina, must have realized that this was the best way to get through his divorce; he has admitted that he had an affair with Maria Belén Chapur, an Argentine journalist, for a year.
Sanford’s wife, Jenny Sanford, filed for divorce last month, claiming that she and her husband had failed to reconcile after his mysterious disappearance last June. On Friday, Sanford submitted a response petition saying he would not contest the divorce filing and admitting that his wife’s adultery allegation was true.
According to Charleston, SC television station WCIV, Sanford, 49, sent in his court filing independently, without retaining a divorce lawyer. The couple plans to submit an agreement on the divorce to a judge at a final hearing in February.
The Sanfords married in 1989. They have four sons. Jenny Sanford became aware of Sanford’s affair with Chapur early last year, and the couple began a trial separation in June.
Mark Sanford assumed office as governor of South Carolina in January 2003 and now is serving his second term. The state legislature attempted to impeach Sanford last year after the scandal broke about his disappearance and affair, but the ad hoc committee voted against it.