Gov Admits More Liaisons With Latin Love

Sanford says he "crossed lines" with other women -- but never had sex

By Xana O'Neill
|  Tuesday, Jun 30, 2009  |  Updated 3:16 PM EDT
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Cheating Politicians

AP

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford tearfully admitted to having an affair and said that was the reason why he was in Argentina, not on the Appalachian Trail.

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South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford confessed he had more steamy encounters with his mistress than he previously disclosed -- including a romantic multi-day rendezvous in New York.

The governor said he met with Latin love Maria Belen Chapur five times over the past year after previously disclosing he had met up with his mistress five times total in an interview with the Associated Press.

He also said he "crossed lines" with a handful of other women besides his mistress but never had sex with them.

Sanford said he "never crossed the ultimate line" with anyone other than Chapur but said he "let his guard down" and allowed some physical contact with other women but "didn't cross the sex line."

The governor and his mistress spent two nights in Manhattan last September and three nights in the Hamptons in November. Sanford told The Associated Press he flew coach, paid for the hotels in cash and told his staff he could be reached on his cell phone.

The couple met up in New York for what was to be their farewell meeting and was chaperoned by a Sanford's "trusted spiritual adviser" with the permission of his wife, according to the Associated Press.

He met up with his mistress two additional times -- in 2001, when they first met on a dance floor in Uruguay and in 2004, when they met over coffee during the Republican National Convention. Neither encounter was romantic, he told the AP.

"There was some kind of connection from the very beginning," he told the AP.

Sanford's wife, Jenny, found out about the affair in January and told the AP her husband asked several times to visit the mistress but she refused.

The governor saw Chapur in mid-June when he went to Argentina without telling his staff and led them to believe he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail.

He admitted the affair when he returned to the U.S.

The governor said he met Chapur in Punta Del Este, Uruguay, before his first term as governor and they began to e-mail back and forth. The two kept in touch for the next seven years and the relationship turned physical after Sanford took a state economic development trip to South America in 2008.

Sanford, a father of four, said he wants to salvage his 20-year marriage and his political career.

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