SC First Lady Claims Adultery Grounds for Divorce Against Mark Sanford

By Joel Zand on December 11, 2009 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

It's official: South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford is headed to court now that S.C. First Lady Jenny Sanford filed for divorce on grounds of adultery in family court. Disappearing off the radar for six days in June to see his Argentinian mistress, journalist Maria Belén Chapur (inset, left), the Governor may best be remembered by local constituents as a heartbreaker, instead of, ahem, a wise politician.

Jenny Sanford apparently first discovered that her husband was cheating on her when she found correspondence between him and Belén Chapur in January 2009. She is told Sanford to put his cheating to an end. Like many politicans, he was quick to make the promise, but this time it was perhaps to his most important constituent.

But what the South Carolina Governor do after promising his wife to stop the affair? Make sure you're sitting down before reading further.


Sanford reportedly asked his wife if he could go visit Belén Chapur in Argentina, in the months that followed his promise to cease and desist his infidelity.

Not once. Not twice. Repeatedly, according to The New York Times.

The First Lady answered with an emphatic 'no.' "It's one thing to forgive adultery," she explained. It's another to condone it."

The fact that Sanford went AWOL from his wife and four young sons (on Father's Day weekend!) to enage in flagrante delicto was perhaps the strongest indication that the Governor just couldn't keep his promise to his wife.

The legal consequences of the Sanford's divorce will also affect four other special constiuents: the couple's boys Marshall, Landon, Bolton, and Blake (inset, left).

You can read Jenny Sanford's divorce lawsuit on adultery grounds against South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford here:

The First Lady retained Charleston lawyer Deena Smith McRackan to handle her divorce case.

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