Representative Mark Sanford of South Carolina surprised the political world on Friday with his announcement that he was ending his engagement to the woman with whom he had an extramarital affair, the revelation of which stunted his rising-star career five years ago.
But in interviews last spring, Mr. Sanford and his fiancée, Maria Belen Chapur, indicated that a relationship born in a stew of infidelity, 21st century politics and Twitter-enhanced cable-news sensationalism had, perhaps inevitably, sustained damage.
Over the intervening months the relationship collapsed as the two argued over a wedding date, Ms. Chapur said in an interview on Saturday. Ms. Chapur said Mr. Sanford had asked to delay the marriage by two more years, when his son Blake would no longer be a minor and a divorce fight with his ex-wife over visitation rights would be moot.
“I’ve already been five years waiting and two years since the engagement,” she said.
Ms. Chapur was speaking from Paris, where she had just spent a week with Mr. Sanford.
We had a great time here, we were like in a honeymoon,” she said. “I thought that he might tell me, ‘O.K., let’s put a date, end of 2015.’ But that didn’t happen. That’s why I wrote to him, ‘I had a spectacular week, you know I love you, but I don’t want to continue in the category of mistress, and if we continue like this I continue in that category, and I can’t bear it anymore. It has been really painful to me.' ”
She continued, “His response was, ’24 months. If not I’ll say goodbye and I will look for you in 24 months.' ” She said she had asked him to make their break public, but that Mr. Sanford did not warn her before announcing it on Facebook on Friday, catching her off guard. “I learned it from the press today,” she said Saturday.
You can read Sanford's Facebook post here. Just a reminder that Sanford nearly lost to Stephen Colbert's sister in the special election to fill now Senator Tim Scott's (R. SC) old congressional seat after being appointed by Governor Nikki Haley (R. SC) to fill retiring Tea Party Senator Jim DeMint's (R. SC) place. By the way, Sanford is not only a typical "family values" GOP hypocrite, he's also a dead beat dad:
The original divorce decree required, among other things, that Mark make regular payments of $5,000 for the cost of their son Marshall’s college tuition. But, despite the court order, Mark didn’t think that was fair. He’d already paid some money to Jenny, as well as “a variety of different expenses”; it really seemed unnecessary to him that he should have to pay everything he owed. As he told the court:
So anyway, long story short, we got into a tug of war, back and forth, on whether I owed or I didn’t owe. Long story short, she threatened several times to take me to court. And I don’t think that I owed her that 18 — or $15,000, whatever it was, for one second. But I, frankly, couldn’t take another public spectacle. I said, all right. Well, then I’ll pay it. I paid initially about $5,000, then she wanted more.
And what I’ll submit to you here is two things here in the month of October, one is my checking account, which was indeed pulled down to about $7,000, and I didn’t want to make a $5,000 payment at that time. Because I said, look, I can do one or the other, but I can’t do both.
Plus, he was cheap. Everyone knew that.
“I’m renowned for being cheap,” he told the court, as Jenny well knew. “I want you to keep in mind, again, how she knows I’m cheap. Anybody out there knows I’m cheap.”
And, as he told Jenny when she repeatedly asked him to pay up, he simply did not have the money.
“You know I’m really squeezed for cash,” he told her. He no longer had his cushy job as South Carolina’s governor, and had somehow failed to rake in the dough on the Conservative Talking Head Circuit, perhaps because no one was all that interested in anything the disgraced ex-governor had to say. Yet.