A reporter called a Sanford staffer, saying the paper had e-mails that outlined an affair between the governor and Maria. Unless Sanford would address the issue privately, The State would have no choice but to ask him - with TV crews filming - if he knew Maria at his press conference that afternoon.
The names of two other women tumbled into the newsroom.
Fearful Sanford's staffers did not get it - that the paper would ask publicly what Sanford's relationship was with Maria - a State editor called Davis, Sanford's former chief of staff.
...The editor told Davis why he thought the e-mails were genuine. They mentioned Coosaw, the Sanford plantation, and Sanford's love of digging holes; they quoted Bible verses and contained details about Sanford's known schedule.
And more names of women were coming in over the transom. The total was at three and counting.
"Women?!" Davis responded, sounding incredulous. "Women?!"
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford says he "crossed lines" with a handful of women other than his mistress - but never had sex with them.
The governor says he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone but Maria Belen Chapur, the Argentine at the center of a scandal that has derailed Sanford's once-promising political career.
During an emotional interview at his Statehouse office with The Associated Press on Tuesday, Sanford said Chapur is his soul mate but he's trying to fall back in love with his wife.
He says that during the other encounters he "let his guard down" with some physical contact but "didn't cross the sex line." He wouldn't go into detail.
This is ripe for jokes folks. Is this about making it to 1st, 2nd, or 3rd base? What is he talking about, as a man of faith who believes in the sanctity of marriage + one concubine? Was sacred seed spilled? It seems that should be his standard - sexual acts must be for procreation only.