Skip to main content

S.C. governor's wife files for divorce

By Peter Hamby, CNN Political Producer
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits to an extramarital affair during a June news conference at the state Capitol in Columbia.
South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford admits to an extramarital affair during a June news conference at the state Capitol in Columbia.
  • Jenny Sanford says she's filing for divorce from Gov. Mark Sanford
  • Sanfords have lived apart since governor admitted to extramarital affair in June
  • Governor has been accused of 37 violations of state ethics code
  • House subcommittee has recommended censure instead of impeachment

(CNN) -- Jenny Sanford, the wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, said Friday she is filing for divorce.

She said in a statement that "the dissolution of any marriage is a sad and painful process."

"This came after many unsuccessful efforts at reconciliation, yet I am still dedicated to keeping the process that lies ahead peaceful for our family," the statement said.

The Sanfords have lived apart since June when the governor admitted to an extramarital affair with an Argentine woman.

Video: Sanfords divorcing

In a response Friday, Mark Sanford said, "While it is not the course I would have hoped for, or would choose, I want to take full responsibility for the moral failure that led us to this tragic point.

"Jenny is a great person, and has been a remarkable wife, mother and first lady. She has been more than gracious these last six months and gone above and beyond in her patience and commitment to put the needs of others in front of her own.

"While our family structure may change, I know that we will both work earnestly to be the best mom and dad we can be to four of the finest boys on earth.

"I will join with her in asking the press to respect our shared desire for privacy as we quietly move forward. We respectively ask for your prayers."

After the governor made a nationally televised admission about his affair, there were calls for Sanford to resign and investigations by media organizations and the South Carolina Ethics Commission into whether he tapped taxpayer resources for personal use.

In November, the ethics panel charged Sanford with 37 violations of the state ethics code.

The commission will hear arguments involving those civil charges from Sanford's legal team early next year. The state attorney general is evaluating the ethics complaint to determine whether criminal charges should be pursued.

GOP legislators drafted an impeachment resolution against Sanford, a Republican, accusing him of "dereliction of duty" for disappearing from the state last summer without informing his staff or the lieutenant governor.

But a special House Judiciary Subcommittee on Wednesday killed that measure, instead recommending the governor be censured for his behavior.

Sanford has said repeatedly that he will not step down.