Jenny Sanford, First Lady of South Carolina and wife of Gov. Mark Sanford, was cheated by her husband who had an affair with a woman residing in Argentina (update: she was revealed as Maria Belen Chapur, photos here). When Jenny realized Mark’s infidelities nearly half a year ago, she sought marriage counseling and decided not to go public for his affairs with the Argentina woman for the sake of his reputation. Shortly after Mark Sanford confessed in a press conference (watch video) today he had secretly flied to Buenos Aires to meet up his mistress during a seven-day trip, Jenny revealed in a statement saying she had asked him to leave their home for a trial separation two weeks ago.
I believe wholeheartedly in the sanctity, dignity and importance of the institution of marriage. I believe that has been consistently reflected in my actions. When I found out about my husband’s infidelity I worked immediately to first seek reconciliation through forgiveness, and then to work diligently to repair our marriage. We reached a point where I felt it was important to look my sons in the eyes and maintain my dignity, self-respect, and my basic sense of right and wrong. I therefore asked my husband to leave two weeks ago.
This trial separation was agreed to with the goal of ultimately strengthening our marriage. During this short separation it was agreed that Mark would not contact us. I kept this separation quiet out of respect of his public office and reputation, and in hopes of keeping our children from just this type of public exposure. Because of this separation, I did not know where he was in the past week. [Fulltext here]
Update: Mark Sanford’s mistress is called Maria, their love letters (emails) were exposed.