South Carolina Rep. Mark Sanford calls off engagement in bizarre Facebook post
By Harriet McLeod
CHARLESTON S.C. (Reuters) – South Carolina congressman Mark Sanford called off his engagement to his Argentine “soul mate,” Maria Belen Chapur, in a lengthy Facebook post on Friday, citing an ongoing lawsuit with his ex-wife.
Last week Jenny Sanford asked a court to her restrict her ex-husband’s access to their youngest son, as well as requiring him to undergo a psychiatric exam and take anger management and parenting classes. The couple divorced in 2010.
Sanford, 54, who served two terms as South Carolina governor, was widely ridiculed when in 2009 he tried to hide his affair with Chapur by falsely saying that he was hiking the Appalachian Trail.
“I cannot do this anymore,” Sanford wrote on Friday.
“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,” he added, saying the couple could get back together “when waters calm with Jenny.”
Sanford made a successful return to politics last year when he defeated Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch in a personality-driven election for a seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.
Sanford is due in a Charleston family court on Monday to hear a new lawsuit in his divorce settlement with his former wife, Jenny, who is seeking to restrict his visits with their youngest son, age 16.
(Writing by David Adams. Additional reporting BY Jonathan Kaminsky; Editing by Sandra Maler)
[Image via MSNBC]