Congressman Mark Sanford responded strongly Wednesday to new accusations made by his ex-wife in court filings related to the couple’s divorce.
Attorneys representing Jenny Sanford are asking for stricter limits on the former governor’s visitation with his youngest son, citing a “substantial” change in circumstances. The filing asks that the limits include no overnight visits which involve someone who “could reasonably be construed as a paramour.” It also demands that Mr. Sanford undergo psychiatric tests and take anger management and parenting courses.
In a statement to media outlets on Wednesday, Sanford called the accusations and requests made by his ex-wife “preposterous, crazy and wrong.”
“Since the time of the divorce I have tried to do everything in my power to be both a good dad and a former husband,” his statement read. “It seems that nothing I can do at this point is enough, appropriate or adequate.”
The couple split soon after then-Governor Sanford’s infamously traveled to Argentina to visit his mistress Maria Chapur in 2009. Sanford’s term as governor ended in early 2011. He re-entered politics two years later when he won a special election for South Carolina’s First Congressional District seat. Chapur and Sanford are now engaged.
Jenny Sanford’s court filing raised eyebrows when it was revealed Tuesday. Among the requirements that Rep. Sanford undergo psychiatric tests and anger management, the filing also requested that neither party be allowed to consume illegal or unprescribed prescription drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol while responsible for the care of their youngest son, now a high school sophomore.
The congressman said he has done everything he can to meet his responsibilities as a father and ex-husband since the couple divorced in 2010. “I have avoided responding in these sorts of things as best I could over the past five years and I want to continue to do so,” he wrote. “But when accusations are made that would suggest inadequacy in my role as a father or inadequacy in my professional role as a congressman, they have to be addressed.”
The couple’s next family court date is scheduled for September 15.