Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford (R) will be in court two days after his bid to return to public office concludes for allegedly trespassing on his ex-wife’s property.
The Associated Press reported on Tuesday that Mark Sanford is accused of repeatedly going into Jenny Sanford’s home without her permission, which would be a violation of their 2010 divorce agreement.
“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,” her lawyer, Deena Smith McRackan, said in the complaint.
Jenny Sanford told Politico via email on Tuesday that while she confirmed the lawsuit to the AP, “it was my understanding that these documents, which deal with a number of private domestic matters, were to have remained sealed along with the divorce documents. I did not choose to make this public, nor did I choose the timing of his trespassing.”
According to the suit, Jenny Sanford allegedly caught the former governor and current congressional candidate on Feb. 3 using his cell phone for a flashlight as he left the house through a rear door. Court records also said McRackan enclosed a February 2011 letter sent to both Mark Sanford and local police warning him not to trespass on the property.
Mark Sanford won a runoff election on April 2 and is now facing a May 7 election against Democratic candidate Elizabeth Colbert Busch for the congressional seat representing the state’s 1st district. He was forced out of office in 2009 after his affair with Argentinian journalist Maria Belen Chapur was revealed.
Jenny Sanford told the AP on Tuesday she was doing her best not to get involved in her ex-husband’s bid to return to public office.
“For the sake of my children I’m trying my best not to get in the way,” she said. “But he makes things difficult for me when he does things like trespassing.”
Update, 12:59 p.m. EST: Mark Sanford said in a statement on Wednesday that he was at his ex-wife’s house watching the Super Bowl with his 14-year-old son.
“As a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone,” Sanford said. “Given she was out of town I tried to reach [Jenny Sanford] beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisen, and met her at the back steps under the light of my cellphone when she returned and told her what had happened.”
Update, 1:53 p.m. EST: Politico reported that the National Republican Congressional Committee decided to stop contributing money toward Sanford’s congressional campaign.
“Mark Sanford has proven he knows what it takes to win elections,” NRCC spokesperson Andrea Bozek said. “At this time, the NRCC will not be engaged in this special election.”
According to Politico, Republican officials were surprised to hear about the lawsuit against Sanford.
“This is an unfortunate situation,” one official said. “This is what happens when candidates aren’t honest and withhold information.”
[Image via CNN]