Former Gov. Mark Sanford must appear in court two days after the election for an open seat in Congress in order to answer a trespassing complaint filed by his ex-wife, according to court documents acquired by the Associated Press on Tuesday.
The complaint states Jenny Sanford confronted Mr. Sanford leaving her Sullivans Island home on Feb. 3 by a rear door, while using his cell phone for a flashlight. Her attorney filed the complaint the next day and Jenny Sanford confirmed Tuesday the documents are authentic, although she insisted that she never intended for them to become public knowledge.
The couple’s 2010 divorce settlement says neither may enter the other’s home without permission. Mark Sanford lives about a 20-minute drive away in downtown Charleston.
In a statement released Wednesday morning, Sanford said he had been at the home that night to watch the Super Bowl with the ex-couple’s 14-year-old son.
“As a father, I didn’t think he should watch it alone,” Sanford said, “Given she (Jenny) was out of town, I tried to reach her beforehand to tell her of the situation that had arisn and met her at the back steps under the light of my cell phone when she returned and told her what happened.”
Sanford questioned how the sealed records were obtained by the Associated Press. “I agree with Jenny that the media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter, and out of respect for Jenny and the boys, I’m not going to have any further comment at this time.”
The former governor is trying to revive his political career that was derailed by an extramarital affair that ended the couple’s marriage. He faces Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch on May 7 in the race for the 1st District congressional seat. Sanford held for that seat for three terms in the 1990s.