Mark Sanford’s Mistress—Now Fiancee—Spills Beans on Relationship

Argentine journalist Maria Belen Chapur talks about life with the Congressman

  • Share
  • Read Later

Like TIME on Facebook for more breaking news and current events from around the globe!

Chip Somodevilla / Getty Images

U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford and his fiance Maria Belen Chapur at the U.S. Capitol on May 15, 2013, in Washington, DC.

Former South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s fiancee — the woman with whom he had an affair that nearly ended his political career — has finally broken her silence and opened up to an Argentine news outlet about their relationship.

Argentine journalist Maria Belen Chapur spoke with InfobaeTV on Friday about life with Sanford, who is now serving in the U.S. Congress. She first made headlines in the summer of 2009 when the then-Governor disappeared for nearly a week, telling his staff he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” Sanford was actually in Argentina, visiting Chapur, with whom he had been having an affair. The scandal derailed his presidential aspirations, but he served out his term and was elected to Congress last spring.

In the interview, according to a translation by McClatchy Newspapers, Chapur said that the couple met in 2001, and that they began a romantic relationship in 2008. She called it “a fantasy” that American politicians make a lot of money, and even weighed in on the recent government shutdown, acknowledging that there are extremists in the Republican party, but adding, “just because there are extremists that doesn’t mean they aren’t fundamentally right.”