August 7th, 2009
06:51 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford moving out of governor's mansion

Jenny Sanford will live in Charleston while her husband lives in the governor's mansion in Columbia.
Jenny Sanford will live in Charleston while her husband lives in the governor's mansion in Columbia.

WASHINGTON (CNN) – South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford and her four boys are moving out of the governor's mansion in Columbia and back to their home in Charleston for the upcoming school year.

The wife of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford announced the news in a statement e-mailed to reporters on Friday, days after the family returned from a two-week vacation to an undisclosed location in Europe.

"While we will be leaving Columbia, we will return often, and I will remain engaged in activities in my role as First Lady, acknowledging that my responsibilities to my family come first," she said.

Mark and Jenny Sanford's four boys have attended Heathwood Hall Episcopal School in Columbia, but they will presumably enroll in a new school in the Charleston area.

Updated with Mark Sanford's statement after the jump

The Sanfords have lived together in the governor's mansion on Arsenal Hill since 2003, when Mark was sworn in as governor, but the family has also spent a good deal of time in their private Charleston residence.

The couple have been working to repair their marriage after Sanford admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman in June. He has rebuffed calls for his resignation and says he plans to serve out the remainder of his second term.

In her statement, Sanford said she was thankful for "the overwhelming support and prayers we have received from people all across South Carolina."

"I am literally in awe of how blessed we are to have such love and support from family and friends, old and new," she said.

UPDATE: Mark Sanford's office issued the following statement on Jenny's move:

"The First Lady's Office has already put out a statement that speaks for the family, on this decision that we felt best, both for our process of reconciliation, and for the boys in the upcoming school year," Sanford said. "I stand by this family decision and accordingly ask the media to honor the zone of privacy that Jenny has asked for on behalf of the healing process and our four boys going forward."

UPDATE: Gov. Mark Sanford issued a statement on the decision Friday afternoon asking for privacy for his family.

"The First Lady's Office has already put out a statement that speaks for the family, on this decision that we felt best, both for our process of reconciliation, and for the boys in the upcoming school year," he said.

"I stand by this family decision and accordingly ask the media to honor the zone of privacy that Jenny has asked for on behalf of the healing process and our four boys going forward."


Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford
soundoff (254 Responses)
  1. Young at heart

    It seems that Jenny is blaming gay marriage [the demise of American values] for the Gov's hypocritical straying.

    It must be hard to see a worn, tired, middle-aged woman who is unloved by her husband in the mirror every day. Far better to blame gays than your own shortcomings.

    At least her over-priviledged boys won't be smirking as they soon start a new school year at new schools.

    Thanks for that, Dad !

    August 7, 2009 08:52 pm at 8:52 pm |
  2. Dave

    And this is news why?

    August 7, 2009 08:55 pm at 8:55 pm |
  3. jdquest

    I applaud her appoach to this problem. It really is not anyone's business how she handles things and she deserves all the privacy she can get no matter what her position is in life, I hope the family can TRULY be mended.

    August 7, 2009 08:57 pm at 8:57 pm |
  4. Blue

    Jenny doesn't need him, but he needs her. He's finished!!!!!!!!!

    August 7, 2009 09:05 pm at 9:05 pm |
  5. I Can See Argentina from my Front Porch

    Jenny Sanford has class -
    Certainly at lot more than what her husband possesses.
    Maybe the voters of SC should vote for her for governor.

    August 7, 2009 09:15 pm at 9:15 pm |
  6. Larry

    She is a smart lady

    I wish her all the best

    He is a loser ... and good rid dins

    August 7, 2009 09:21 pm at 9:21 pm |
  7. Ed

    Keep walking Jenny and don't look back!

    August 7, 2009 09:22 pm at 9:22 pm |
  8. P. D.

    Good for her. Sanford is an embarassment, After his rambling statement he should have resigned. Then the disasterous interview which he claimed he loved his mistress was appalling. Jenny should move on, she is still relatively young and attractive. She deserves better.

    August 7, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  9. Nevada Joe

    Well I feel sorry for the kids...She knew what was going on with this STUMBLE BUM...

    August 7, 2009 09:31 pm at 9:31 pm |
  10. Smackie28

    Well, it's about time! He should move out, too!

    August 7, 2009 09:33 pm at 9:33 pm |
  11. maryann

    While it is expected to love your children, Children grow up and leave home. If you don't work on your marriage, when the kids leave home, you are left with nothing. Maybe if the wife of governor Sanford had made 'him' her first priority, he wouldn't have gone to another woman's bed for love and comfort.

    August 7, 2009 09:37 pm at 9:37 pm |
  12. JJ

    While I thinks it's a personal matter between the two of them, I really feel for her. She didn't ask for or need the personal embarrassment.

    August 7, 2009 09:38 pm at 9:38 pm |
  13. Gina

    She has to move back to the home they own because it will be hers until the youngest is 18 if Mark divorces her. Plus while he is making $ she needs to invest in that home. That is an investment for her children's future. If Mark ends up with his long faced look a like lover Maria he will become a father figure to her children. He will become more loyal to Maria's kids because his own boys probably hate him. Jenny is a smart woman and is making a very protective move for her boys.

    August 7, 2009 09:39 pm at 9:39 pm |
  14. Evelyn

    I applaud Jenny for removing herself & their young boys, from living in the same household, with such a deceitful, untrustworthy sneaky husband & father, to his wife & young boys.

    Such an example of a father to his young boys is disgraceful.

    How powerful leaders, can use such poor judgment ; then try to gloss it over, in the public's eye, is most disgusting to me.

    August 7, 2009 09:42 pm at 9:42 pm |
  15. Annie, Atlanta

    My heart goes out to Jenny Sanford and her sons, and I'm a Democrat. No one should have to endure such public embarassment.

    August 7, 2009 10:02 pm at 10:02 pm |
  16. KC

    Good for you Jenny Sanford moving out of governor's mansion is the right thing, now if we can only get Mr. Sandford to move out :-D

    August 7, 2009 10:08 pm at 10:08 pm |
  17. normajean

    What makes "realist" think that most of us haven't been through the marraige thing so don't know what we're talking about. Obviously he hasn't read the statistics. I think we know EXACTLY what we're talking about.

    August 7, 2009 10:35 pm at 10:35 pm |
  18. Sylvia

    He is in love with the Other Woman, couldn't anyone see that! This man, if he has half the stones he seems to have, needs to stop leading the wife around and go be with the Other Woman. The emails proved it.

    August 7, 2009 10:41 pm at 10:41 pm |
  19. Lisa, Las Vegas NV

    The Republican are proof positive as not only the party of No, but of hypocrites. Why was not this guy impeached? Why was the media playing down his "little indiscretion"? As a Democrat, I wanted to see if he would "man up" and quit. First, I was so glad Jenny was not standing by his side at the press conference. That was pretty cool. But then it got better. Once the press did catch up with her, she was on the move! Not hiding, not shoving cameras out of the way and not broke down. I was so impressed by her honesty. Now she's straight talk! Two thumbs up for Ms. Jenny - YOU GO GIRL!

    August 7, 2009 10:45 pm at 10:45 pm |
  20. Mac Texas

    Perhaps the backlash against Sanford is not so much what he did but because he did it after very publicly calling for Pres. Clinton's resignation for doing the same thing, just like Newt Gingrich called for Clinton's impeachment for having Oral sex in the blue room while Newt was doing the same thing right down the hall in the same building. It is known as being a hypocrite and a liar. I personally do not care who is sleeping with whom because that is their problem, but to condem others for doing the same thing is just hypocrisy in it's highest form. "The Family Values Party"? I think not!

    August 7, 2009 10:55 pm at 10:55 pm |
  21. wendy

    one, sleeping with another person while you are married is wrong doesnt matter if you are republican or democrat. clinton cheated hello, apparently some like to even justify right and wrong with party group. Wrong is wrong, duh. I worry about her children and what they are going through

    August 7, 2009 11:05 pm at 11:05 pm |
  22. DaveinSC

    It's nice to see so many people who do not live in SC give thier thoughts on how thing should transpire here. Sanford has been a good governor, by no means a perfect one, but good none the less. He made a mistake, a very bad mistake, one that was very bad for his family, but he is only human. let he who is without sin cast the first stone. he's done nothing different than over 50% of maried men have done. I have a friend who had the audacity to say that trhis will affect her children because they looked up to Sanford as a role model. How pathetic that is to even say. If you have thought your children to look up to people other than yourself, as thier parent, you have done your children an injustice. I am not surprised by such thinking, just look at who is our president.

    August 7, 2009 11:17 pm at 11:17 pm |
  23. Madge, LA

    No one comes first in this family, least of all the boys. I've never seen such selfishness.

    So South Carolinians will have to get in line. Their governor is bed hopping and the First Lady couldn't care less.

    August 7, 2009 11:23 pm at 11:23 pm |
  24. Genny

    A man gets up before the entire nation and say that is mistress is his "soulmate" and he will TRY to fall back in love with his wife is pretty cut and dry in my book. Jenny Sanford should have left him that day. WTG First Lady Sanford!!!!

    August 7, 2009 11:29 pm at 11:29 pm |
  25. Danielle

    What took Jenny so long to leave the mansion. I hope she goes on
    with her life with her boys! Sanford is a liar and Ole Dixie should be
    embarassed.

    August 7, 2009 11:32 pm at 11:32 pm |
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