Ever since Mark Sanford’s live televised confession of marital infedility in June 2009, the former South Carolina governor’s personal life has been a matter of public discussion and derision. Sanford’s love affair with María Belén Chapur became national news and easy fodder for any candidate who would oppose him, and his fib about hiking the Appalachian trail when he was really flying down to Argentina to be with Chapur has made “hiking the AT” one of the great euphemisms of our time.
In 2010, ex-wife Jenny Sanford published a memoir in which she revealed that Mark had asked her advice on romance and handling the news media after his affair came to light. This year, she told the press that he asked her to run his political comeback campaign. But apparently none of the marks against Sanford’s public image were enough to dissuade Republicans from picking him in the District 1 Congressional primary earlier this month.
This Wednesday, Sanford admitted to Politico that he had trespassed at his ex-wife’s house. Perhaps not coincidentally, the National Republican Campaign Committee withdrew its support for the Sanford campaign the same day. Jenny Sanford filed a complaint against Mark for violating the terms of their divorce, and he’s due in family court on May 9 — two days after the special election for the District 1 seat.
Based on the portions of the Sanford v. Sanford family court documents that are available to the public (scroll to the bottom of the page to read them yourself), here are four ways Jenny Sanford has accused Mark of violating the terms of their divorce:
1. In an affidavit filed Dec. 6, 2011, Jenny said Mark had violated a portion of the divorce agreement requiring him “to make a contribution of $5,000.00 per year per child toward the expenses of any of the children of the parties during the time they are pursuing an undergraduate degree on a fulltime basis.” According to the affidavit, “Defendant has failed to make the payment, or any part of it, for this child as agreed.” Jenny later told reporters that the situation had been resolved.
2. & 3. In a supplemental affidavit filed March 2, 2012, Jenny said Mark had violated another portion of the divorce agreement that read, “At any time the children are at Coosaw [the Sanford family’s farm in Beaufort county], the parties agree that (1) no airplanes will be flown at the children, and (2) the property will be insured at a reasonable level to satisfy liability claims.” The affidavit says that “both of these provisions have been violated,” although it provides no further elucidation on what type of planes he was flying at the children.
4. Paragraph I of the Sanfords’ separation and property settlement agreement provided that “Both Husband and Wife shall live in such places as each may desire, and neither will hereafter enter into the residence of the other without the specific permission of the other.” The most recent complaint, filed March 21 this year, alleges the following: “That the Defendant/former Husband has entered into a pattern of entering onto Plaintiff’s property, both at her former and current residences, without her permission and against her wishes. Plaintiff has informed Defendant on a number of occasions that this behavior is in violation of the court’s order, and has demanded that it not occur again. She has additionally filed a ‘No Trespass’ letter with her local police department. Defendant has acknowledged Plaintiff’s wishes and, on a number of occasions, has agreed not to again violate this provision of the order.”
Furthermore, according to the complaint, “On February 3, 2013, Plaintiff returned to her home after an out-of-state visit to one of her children to see Defendant exiting her residence through the rear door, using his phone as a flashlight. Plaintiff confronted Defendant who, as on previous occasions, promised that this would not happen again.”
Responding to the accusation, Mark Sanford told Politico:
“It’s an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court,” Sanford wrote. “I did, indeed, watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14-year-old son because as a father, I didn’t think he should watch it alone. Given she was out of town, I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what had happened.”
“If you are to look at God’s laws, they are in every instance designed to protect people from themselves.” —Mark Sanford, June 24, 2009