June 24th, 2009
10:01 PM ET
14 years ago

E-mails between SC governor, mistress published

(CNN) - South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford told the woman with whom he was having an affair they were “in a hopelessly impossible situation of love” last year during the time he was thought to be under consideration for the Republican vice presidential nomination, according to e-mails obtained by The State newspaper.

The paper, which acquired the emails in December, told CNN that the governor’s office had confirmed their authenticity on Wednesday. When contacted by CNN, a spokesman for the governor would neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the emails.

The e-mails between the GOP governor and a Buenos Aires resident named “Maria,” were exchanged in July of last year, according to the newspaper.

In one message, Sanford told the woman about his plans to take a family vacation and meet with then-Republican presidential candidate John McCain “which has kicked up the whole VP talk all over again in the press back home ...” before he veered into more emotional territory.

“You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty,” Sanford wrote, according to the e-mails published on The State’s Web site. “I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night’s light – but hey, that would be going into sexual details ...”

“…while all the things above are all too true – at the same time we are in a … hopelessly impossible situation of love….” he added. “How in the world this lightening (sic) strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes ...”

Earlier, “Maria” – whose full name has not yet been released – also proclaimed her devotion in an e-mail message. “... You are my love ... something hard to believe even for myself as it's also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation,” she wrote. “Sometimes you don't choose things, they just happen... I can't redirect my feelings and I am very happy with mine towards you.”

John O’Connor, the newspaper reporter who wrote the story about the e-mails, told CNN Wednesday afternoon that The State did not confront Sanford with the messages in December because at the time “there was little way to tell that these were authentic e-mails.”

O’Connor said that given the recent events surrounding Sanford, the paper then decided to approach the governor’s office with the emails.

Sanford, who had been considered a potential candidate for the 2012 presidential campaign, admitted the affair Wednesday.

Filed under: Extra • Mark Sanford
soundoff (14 Responses)
  1. tmsorrow

    He hasn't earned a thing except a ticket out of office.

    June 25, 2009 12:32 am at 12:32 am |
  2. Brent

    Another Republican hypocrite! He and Ensign both voted to impeach Clinton based on "immorality" so they both need to step down now in order to uphold their own standards of character.

    June 25, 2009 12:34 am at 12:34 am |
  3. Carl from MI

    Another Republican caught up in either scandel or corruption.

    When, Lord when? When will it end?

    It will end when people STOP voting for Republicans and putting them in office!! This coming from the party of FAMILY VALUES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Right.... and I have some swampland in Florida and a bridge in Alaska to sell you!!

    June 25, 2009 12:37 am at 12:37 am |
  4. S.C. gets taken for ride

    I would check out Sanfords entire story.

    Theres more here.......its a set up, to easy

    SC. got taken for a ride.......what about America.....who else?

    He's carrying water for somebody

    check money laundering, corporate lobbying of South American entrapeneurs, Drugs, Arms.

    To the bitter end

    June 25, 2009 12:47 am at 12:47 am |
  5. Mark,B'ham,Al.

    For the liberals I know you are delighted in seeing the republicans having affairs on their wives when they push morallity, but it makes one wonder wht the democrats are doing with their anything goes attitude toward morallity and marriage.? Look at Clinton getting taken care of while ordering troops to combat from the oval office.

    June 25, 2009 12:51 am at 12:51 am |
  6. nan

    how can these 'family values' hypocrites continue to get elected, they want to preserve the 'sanctity of marriage' by denying loving gay couples the right to marry, yet play around on their wives.

    June 25, 2009 01:05 am at 1:05 am |
  7. Republicans are the American Taliban

    During this torrid affair, did he Twitter and Tweet and wear teabags on his head? Because that's what he does here. Did he refuse stimulus from this socialist? Because that's what he does here....

    June 25, 2009 01:12 am at 1:12 am |
  8. renea

    Whats done in the dark always comes to the light, I just dont understand, my heart just goes out to his wife and kids.

    June 25, 2009 01:24 am at 1:24 am |


    This is a SHAMEFUL MESS. To leave the State is wrong, but the COUNTRY! Wow, he sure thinks a lot of the constituents in his state. The most honorablel thing to do is RESIGN IMMEDIATELY, and go get some MENTAL HELP. As a woman, I am sad for his wife and children. My heart goes out to them. I have no feelings for the Govenor or the other woman. Shame on them both. But, Mrs. Sanford you are beautiful. HE IS NOT SORRY for this mess. He just got caught by US...It is apparent you knew and have known what was going on. REALITY CHECK......THIS IS JUST CRAZY. JUST CRAZY.

    June 25, 2009 01:28 am at 1:28 am |
  10. nadine

    Wow. This guy didn't want to take the Stimulus money but uses tax payer money to take a vacation to commit adultry. Ladies and Gentlemen I give you the Republican RIght, The GOP of 2009, the do as I say not as I do future leaders of America, yeah right. What a jerk. And to take off on Father's Day to meet with this women, that's so low, not just to his wife but to his own children.

    June 25, 2009 01:29 am at 1:29 am |
  11. zago

    Man, I read some of the emails. This guy is really good at courting. He is really better at it than at governing. Good riddance!

    June 25, 2009 02:15 am at 2:15 am |
  12. Aries1994

    Mark Sanford has proven he has no morals or good character. He doesn't deserve his wife, Jenny. He has shown that he has the morals of a dog. He has caused a lot of pain for his wife and their 4 sons because he was selfish!!! Kick him to the curb Jenny. You can do much better than him.

    June 25, 2009 02:20 am at 2:20 am |
  13. Ted Weaver

    Now I know why this guy rejected the stimulus money...he had his own 'stimulus' plan. And now I know why the housing market is in the toilet...with republican poll numbers at historic lows, there just aren't enough buyers of glass houses. OH! The difference between the Democrat cheaters and the Republican cheaters is very simple....the Democrats do not preach and do not judge others.

    June 25, 2009 02:25 am at 2:25 am |
  14. Noah Math

    For a party with such a small tent, the GOP sure has a big closet.

    Maybe after they throw out Colin Powell they should throw out all married people, so that after the next sex scandal breaks out the perpetrator, instead of hanging his head in false shame, can run down the aisle of Congress and high five all his colleagues.

    June 25, 2009 02:58 am at 2:58 am |