Citing ongoing legal battles with his ex-wife, South Carolina GOP Rep Mark Sanford announced the end of his engagement to Argentine fiancee, Maria Belen Chapur.
In a rambling, nearly 2,400-word post on his Facebook page, Sanford blamed a custody battle between him and his ex-wife, Jenny, for creating tensions in his relationship with Chapur.
The relationship first made news back in 2009 with another unusual announcement. Today’s announcement comes “five years after Sanford, then South Carolina’s governor, revealed in a tearful press conference that he and Chapur had been having an affair”.
The (earlier) admission came after Sanford reappeared in public after vanishing for several days in June 2009. One of his aides told inquiring reporters that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail; he was actually in Argentina visiting Chapur.
“No relationship can stand forever this tension of being forced to pick between the one you love and your own son or daughter, and for this reason Belen and I have decided to call off the engagement,” Sanford wrote.
He added: “Belen is a remarkably wonderful woman who I have always loved and I will be forever grateful for not only the many years we have known and loved each other, but the last six very tough ones wherein she has encouraged me and silently borne its tribulations with her ever warm and kind spirit.”
Jenny Sanford did not immediately respond to a request for comment.