According to Argentine media, this is the mysterious “Maria,” now identified as Maria Belen Chapur, the woman who is alleged to be the mistress of S.C. Gov. Mark Sanford.
Chapur, a 43-year-old mother of two, is said to be a successful executive and former TV reporter who is fluent in several languages. She lives in an upscale neighborhood in Buenos Aires and is reportedly separated from her husband.
She has known the governor for eight years, but their relationship did not become romantic until 2008.
Private emails between a woman alleged to be Chapur and Gov. Sanford were published yesterday afternoon by The (Columbia S.C.) State newspaper, hours after Sanford held a press conference admitting that he had been unfaithful in his marriage.
Sanford did not identify Chapur as his lover at yesterday’s press conference.
The governor also claimed at yesterday’s bizarre news conference that he had “spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina,” although a source in the country tells the gossip website TMZ.com that Sanford and Chapur were “all over each other” last week in his bar, “kissing, holding hands and drinking wine.”
Chapur is said to be an executive with the Argentine multinational corporation Bunge Limited, a grain and oilseed trader that does billions of dollars in business each year. The company has denied that she is an employee, though.
Chapur is reportedly an athletic woman who enjoys playing tennis and jogging in her neighborhood.
Pics: The NewsBizarre
UPDATE – Argentine Media got it wrong. FITS has confirmed that the woman in the photograph above is NOT Maria Belen Chapur, but rather a local artist named Maria Elisa Chapur. To learn more about the real Chapur, click here.