In her first televised interview about her husband's affair, South Carolina First Lady Jenny Sanford reveals to ABC's Barbara Walters that she moved out of the house she shared with Gov. Mark Sanford (R) "a few weeks" before he made his now-infamous trip to Argentina in late June.
Gov. Sanford initially claimed he was hiking the Appalachian Trail, but later confessed to visiting his longtime mistress. "I knew he had been having an affair," Sanford tells Walters, "but I didn't know he was in Argentina."
The interview airs Wednesday, but preview clips suggest that the Sanfords' marriage was more tenuous than previously known. "What people didn't know was that I had asked Mark to leave," Sanford says, "and he was to have no contact with the boys or myself for 30 days. And my hope was that he would wake up from whatever he was in the throes of and maybe see what he might lose."
But Gov. Sanford did not "wake up," and after a brief attempt at reconciliation, Jenny Sanford and her four teen-aged sons moved out of the governor's mansion in August for what was likely the last time. Gov. Sanford is facing impeachment charges over travel expenses connected to the affair.
There is continued hope among Jenny Sanford's supporters that she might run for political office, but Sanford quickly dismissed the idea. "I have no interest [in political office]. I never have," she says.
She is, however, writing a book about her ordeal, titled "Staying True," which is scheduled for release in April 2010. Sources close to Sanford told The Hill that she received a multi-million dollar advance for the memoir.
Sanford's interview with Barbara Walters will air Wednesday at 10 p.m. ET on ABC.
H/T: Emily Goodin