February 5th, 2010
05:43 PM ET
4 years ago

Jenny Sanford: Husband became 'empty-eyed politician'

Jenny Sanford's memoir hit bookstores Friday.
Jenny Sanford's memoir hit bookstores Friday.

(CNN) – When South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford returned to the United States last June from Buenos Aires, where he had been having one last secret tryst with his Argentine mistress, he hopped in a vehicle driven by a former aide who had sped through the night to meet him at the Atlanta airport.

Sanford was on his way back to Columbia, to appear before a phalanx of reporters and television cameras to explain to South Carolina and the nation why he had mysteriously disappeared from the state a week earlier.

But first, he had to call and check in with his trusted political adviser - who also happened to be the wife he had betrayed.

"Do you know what kind of storm you are returning to?" an incredulous Jenny Sanford said she asked her husband. "And where do we stand?"

Her husband told her the "good news": the affair, which Jenny Sanford had discovered the previous January, was finally over after a year. "I told you, it's all behind us," he explained. "Everything's good."

"Good?" Sanford writes in her new memoir, "Staying True," which landed in bookstores Friday. "What part of this did he think was good?"

Mark Sanford's office had no comment on the book.

Chris Allen, the aide who sat alone in the car with Sanford as he spoke to his furious wife on the phone, told CNN in an e-mail Friday that the long drive to Columbia was "awkward, emotional, almost fictitious, and at this point a blur."

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts
January 5th, 2010
04:56 PM ET
4 years ago

Jenny Sanford's book gets early release date

South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford's memoir will now hit stores February 5 instead of the original April release date.
South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford's memoir will now hit stores February 5 instead of the original April release date.

(CNN) – South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford's memoir, "Staying True," has been fast-tracked and will now hit bookstores on February 5 instead of the original April release date.

Sanford's publisher, Ballantine Books, announced the new date on Tuesday.

Sanford landed the book deal in September, just a few months after her husband, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, admitted to an affair with an Argentine woman. In December, Sanford released a statement saying she is filing for divorce "after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation."

According to a synopsis of the book on the publisher's Web site, her memoir "reveals the private ordeal behind her very public betrayal - and offers inspiration for anyone struggling to keep faith during life's most trying times."

"She chose to let Mark Sanford deal with the embarrassment and political fallout from his own actions while focusing her own efforts privately on raising their children to be men of character, even in the face of the lies their father has told," the synopsis reads.


Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
December 11th, 2009
04:28 PM ET
3 months ago

Jenny Sanford files for divorce

(CNN) – Jenny Sanford, the wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, said Friday she is filing for divorce.

She said in a statement that "the dissolution of any marriage is a sad and painful process."

"This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family," the statement said.

The Sanfords have lived apart since June, when the governor admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman.

The governor's office did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the divorce filing.

(Updated with additional information and Gov. Sanford's reaction after the jump)

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts
November 11th, 2009
02:01 PM ET
4 years ago

Jenny Sanford makes endorsement, says her family is 'resilient'

In a letter making an endorsement for governor, South Carolina's first lady said her family was 'resilient' in the face of recent challenges.
In a letter making an endorsement for governor, South Carolina's first lady said her family was 'resilient' in the face of recent challenges.

(CNN) – In a letter released Wednesday, Jenny Sanford, the wife of embattled South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, said she and her family are persevering after a difficult year in which her husband admitted to an extramarital affair. And South Carolina's first lady endorsed Republican Nikki Haley's candidacy to be the state's next governor.

Haley, a South Carolina legislator and an ally of Gov. Sanford, is one of five Republicans who have formally announced bids to replace Jenny Sanford's husband.

In the letter to Haley's supporters, Sanford praised her husband's tenure as governor.

"I'm proud of the work Mark and his Administration have done over almost seven years now, trying very hard to move the ball forward on [growing the economy, improving public schools, and reforming government]."

Sanford also praises Haley as "principled, conservative, tough, and smart."

"So when I'm asked my wish for South Carolina's future, my wish is for a leader of state government like Nikki Haley," Sanford writes.

"And there's one other thing," Sanford writes before broaching the subject of her family's challenges in the last year.

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Nikki Haley • South Carolina
October 16th, 2009
08:11 AM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford to make rare public appearance

Jenny Sanford will participate in a race to benefit breast cancer.
Jenny Sanford will participate in a race to benefit breast cancer.

(CNN) – South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford will make her first public appearance on Saturday since separating from her scandal-plagued husband and moving out of the governor's mansion in August.

An aide to the First Lady announced Thursday that Sanford will participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a Charleston-area 5K run/walk to benefit breast cancer research.

The first lady has kept a low profile since her husband, Gov. Mark Sanford, revealed an extramarital affair in June. She gave an interview to the Associated Press shortly after the affair and was the subject of a glowing profile in Vogue Magazine last month, but has been otherwise silent. Sanford is also writing a memoir, set to be published in May 2010.

October 15th, 2009
07:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford to make rare public appearance

Jenny Sanford will participate in a race to benefit breast cancer.
Jenny Sanford will participate in a race to benefit breast cancer.

(CNN) – South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford will make her first public appearance on Saturday since separating from her scandal-plagued husband and moving out of the governor's mansion in August.

An aide to the First Lady announced Thursday that Sanford will participate in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure, a Charleston-area 5K run/walk to benefit breast cancer research.

The first lady has kept a low profile since her husband, Gov. Mark Sanford, revealed an extramarital affair in June. She gave an interview to the Associated Press shortly after the affair and was the subject of a glowing profile in Vogue Magazine last month, but has been otherwise silent. Sanford is also writing a memoir, set to be published in May 2010.


Filed under: Extra • Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts
September 22nd, 2009
04:13 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford scores book deal

Jenny Sanford's memoir will be published in May 2010.
Jenny Sanford's memoir will be published in May 2010.

(CNN) – Jenny Sanford, the estranged wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, is writing a book.

Sanford has sold the rights to her "inspirational memoir" to Ballantine Books, a division of Random House, the publisher told CNN Tuesday. The memoir is slated for release in May 2010.

Ballantine did not disclose the financial terms of the deal. Aside from a flattering interview with Vogue magazine, Sanford has remained mostly silent since June, when her husband publicly revealed an affair with an Argentine woman. In July, she and the couple's four boys moved out of the governor's mansion.

Gov. Sanford also had a deal to write a book about fiscal conservatism before the scandal short-circuited his political career. Sentinel Publishing was planning to publish "Within Our Means" in March 2010, but the company released Sanford from the deal in July, calling it "a mutual decision."


Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • Popular Posts • South Carolina
August 17th, 2009
06:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Jenny Sanford on her husband: 'The ball is in his court'

Jenny Sanford is interviewed in the upcoming issue of Vogue magazine.
Jenny Sanford is interviewed in the upcoming issue of Vogue magazine.

(CNN) – For the first time in nearly two months, Jenny Sanford is opening up about the affair that turned her life upside down.

"Mark is not a bad person," she says of her husband, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, in an interview with Vogue magazine hitting newsstands this week. "What the world saw in that press conference is someone who is struggling. None of us are perfect. We are all trying to do the best we can."

Despite her acknowledgment of her husband's imperfections, Sanford makes clear in the interview that divorce remains an option. Two weeks ago, she moved out of the governor's mansion with the couple's four boys to spend the upcoming school year in the Charleston area.

"I have put my heart and soul into being a good mother and wife," she says. "Now I think it's up to my husband to do the soul-searching to see if he wants to stay married. The ball is in his court."

She said the man who carried on a year-long affair with Maria Belen Chapur was not the man she married. "It never occurred to me that he would do something like that," she said. "The person I married was centered on a core of morals. The person who did this is not centered on those morals."

Sanford said her husband's relationship with Chapur was almost like an addiction.

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford • South Carolina
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

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford
June 30th, 2009
01:00 PM ET
5 years ago

Borger: Jenny Sanford becomes the new political paradigm

Jenny Sanford did not stand beside her husband when he publicly admitted to having an affair.
Jenny Sanford did not stand beside her husband when he publicly admitted to having an affair.

Editor's note: Gloria Borger is a senior political analyst for CNN, appearing regularly on CNN's "The Situation Room," "Campbell Brown," "AC360°" and "State of the Union With John King," as well as special event coverage.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - After years of watching those wives stand (sadly) by their men, there was something refreshing - and real - about Jenny Sanford's decision to be far, far away from the governor's apology tour.

After all, what would she have done when he rambled on and on about his love of his "adventure trips" on the Appalachian Trail when, it turns out, he wasn't hiking?

And would she have had to sweetly smile as her husband paid homage to her as a terrific "campaign manager"?

And what affect would she have had to adopt when the governor spoke about "that whole sparking thing" - his peculiar way of describing how an e-mail relationship developed into something else?

The accepted political guidelines for jilted wives (see: wives, jilted) have always decreed that the wounded ones be seen, but stay silent. They are the suffering partners willing to literally remain in the picture out of political necessity. Their very presence helps to suggest that this love is worth saving, because this man is so special - to all of us.

Well, forget it.

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Filed under: Jenny Sanford • Mark Sanford
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