Court papers: Sanford showed 'pattern' of entering ex-wife's home

Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford displayed a "pattern of entering" ex-wife Jenny Sanford's home without permission, she alleges in court documents obtained by The Hill.

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The former South Carolina first lady accuses her ex-husband of entering her property "without her permission and against her wishes" on multiple occasions, according to the documents. A visit in early February that was revealed on Tuesday was only the latest in a series.

According to accusations first reported by the Associated Press, Jenny Sanford says her husband trespassed at her Sullivan Island, S.C. home on Feb. 3. 

Mark Sanford said in a statement Wednesday he went to his ex-wife's home near Charleston to watch the Super Bowl with his son. He did not address whether the uninvited visit was the latest in a pattern.

"It's an unfortunate reality that divorced couples sometimes have disagreements that spill over into family court. I did indeed watch the second half of the Super Bowl at the beach house with our 14-year-old son because as a father I didn’t think he should watch it alone," the former governor said.

Jenny Sanford had previously filed a "no trespass" letter with the local police department and, according to the court documents submitted by her attorney, Mark Sanford had "acknowledged [her] wishes and, on a number of occasions, has agreed not to again violate this provision of the order."

Jenny Sanford's attorneys then ask that Mark Sanford be held in contempt of court and "punished accordingly, and that he should be required to strictly comply with the provisions of the order."

The two are due in court on the matter May 9, two days after his House special election against Democrat Elizabeth Colbert Busch. The accusations could deal a blow to Sanford's campaign to win the heavily Republican district.

The former governor is attempting a political comeback after admitting to an affair in 2009 that derailed his career and ended his marriage.

Other portions of the court proceedings between the two remain sealed from the public.

"There is always another side to every story, and while I am particularly curious how records that were sealed to avoid the boys dealing with embarrassment are now somehow exposed less than three weeks before this election, I agree with Jenny that the media is no place to debate what is ultimately a family court matter," Mark Sanford said in his statement. 

"Out of respect for Jenny and the boys, I'm not going to have any further comment at this time."

Jenny Sanford told The Hill via email Wednesday morning that she didn't know how the court documents became public, saying she thought they were part of a sealed court proceeding. 

Jenny Sanford, who had considered running for the open House seat herself, has not endorsed a candidate in the House race. 

In January, Mark Sanford told The Hill he consulted with his ex-wife before entering the race for the seat that came open with former Rep. Tim Scott (R) was appointed to the Senate. 

“I went out to the beach house on Sullivan’s Island; we visited on the front porch,” Sanford said. 

“I told her if she had an interest in [running] that I’m out, because there’d be nothing crazier than a husband and a wife running against each other,” he told The Hill. 

“It’d be a circus; it’d be bad for the boys; you guys in the media would have a field day with it.” The divorced couple has four sons. 


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