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S.C. governor still seeing lover, ex-wife says

Jenny Sanford said she wishes no ill will on her former husband and Maria Belen Chapur. Jenny Sanford said she wishes no ill will on her former husband and Maria Belen Chapur. (Alice Keeney/Associated Press/File)
Associated Press / October 20, 2010

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COLUMBIA, S.C. — Governor Mark Sanford is still seeing the Argentine woman who broke up his marriage, his former wife said yesterday.

Jenny Sanford appeared on ABC’s “Good Morning America,’’ talking about her polite relationship with her former husband and how she is enjoying being a single woman.

Jenny Sanford said the governor is still dating Maria Belen Chapur, the woman he called his soul mate after he disappeared for five days in June 2009 to visit her, not telling his staff or his family where he was going.

“The children haven’t met her yet. And I don’t know what their future is, but he does see her from time to time,’’ Sanford said. She said she wishes no ill will toward her former husband and his lover.

“Sometimes I think it would be nice if he stayed with her because it would make it seem like maybe there was a reason to break the whole family up and go through all this,’’ Sanford said. “But it really doesn’t bother me one way or the other.’’

After returning from Argentina, the governor tearfully admitted to a yearlong affair with Chapur.

The admission led to scrutiny of Sanford’s campaign spending and travel, which led to him admitting to dozens of state ethics violations and paying $74,000 in fines.

He refused to resign, and lawmakers never made a hard push to get rid of him. Sanford, facing a term limit, will leave office in January.

Calls and e-mails to the governor’s spokesman to discuss his former wife’s television appearance were not immediately returned yesterday.

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