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Mark Sanford Is A Long Way From The Appalachian Trail

But still lying about his love life, it would appear …

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Weeks after his infamous 2009 sex scandal was featured in a new, nationally televised documentary, former South Carolina governor Mark Sanford‘s love life has landed him back in the news.

According to a report from OK! magazine, the 63-year-old “Luv Gov” was recently spotted boarding a luxury charter yacht in the Caribbean with his ex-fiancée, María Belén Chapur.

Chapur, of course, was Sanford’s “soul mate” and the woman at the center of his memorable fall from grace fifteen years ago.

According to OK! reporter Jaclyn Roth, Sanford and Chapur were traveling about the yacht as guests of “a billionaire couple in Dallas, Texas.”

(Click to View)

Anemoi (Yacht Charter Fleet)

The 123-foot, aluminum-hulled luxury vessel – christened Anemoi – rents for $98,000 a week during the winter months, according to its charter website. The British-made, Cayman Islands-flagged vessel features four cabins and can accommodate up to eight guests.

“The pair spent eight nights sailing to St. Lucia, the islands of the Grenadines, the Tobago Cays, Mustique, and beyond in tight quarters while entertaining the billionaire and his friends,” Roth reported. “On the final day of the excursion, Chapur allegedly convinced Sanford to snap a photo of herself under a tiki hut in Petit Bateau, Grenadines, while wearing a white T-shirt with ‘ANEMOI,’ which translates to ‘winds,’ written on it.”

The mysterious photo – which appears to have vanished from the interwebs – reportedly caused a stir after Chapur posted it to social media. The problem with this post? Sanford was allegedly in a committed relationship at the time he set sail with his erstwhile fiancée – and declined to disclose the fact she had joined him on the trip, according to the report.

“Chapur posted the photo to stir the pot about Sanford’s whereabouts, as he apparently lied to his girlfriend about (her) going (on the trip),” Roth reported.

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Sound familiar?

It’s the Appalachian Trail all over again …

Readers will recall Sanford’s ascendency on the national stage came to a screeching halt fifteen years ago – turning him from “legitimate presidential timber into a third-tier candidate whose pronouncements amounted to little more than trees falling deep within our nation’s darkening political woods.” The dramatic events that imploded his marriage – and his political career – were revisited last month by CNN’s Jake Tapper as part of a new series entitled United States of Scandal

Sanford’s saga began on Monday, June 22, 2009 when one of the former governor’s political rivals – then-state senator Jake Knotts – announced Sanford had been missing for the past four days and that his security detail had no idea where he was.

Sanford proceeded to lie about his whereabouts to his staff – telling them he was “hiking the Appalachian Trail.” His staff in turn provided inaccurate information to the press and the public. From there, things unraveled quickly … with the governor’s habitual navel-gazing about his emotions and his relationship status providing much of the momentum for his downfall.

(Click to View)

María Belén Chapur (Instagram)

At a memorable press conference on June 24, 2009, a teary-eyed Sanford confessed to his affair with Chapur.

“I spent the last five days of my life crying in Argentina,” he said. “I hurt her. I hurt you all. I hurt my wife. I hurt my boys. I hurt friends … I hurt a lot of different folks.”

Sanford’s scandal was bumped off the front pages the following day by the death of Michael Jackson, but his refusal to stop talking about it kept fanning the flames – raising legitimate questions about his judgment and temperament. The end result of all the soul-searching? The introspective, over-sharing Sanford lost his shot at the White House in 2012 – and nearly lost his governorship.

Most importantly? He lost his wife, Jenny Sanford, the mother of his four children and the primary architect of his political ascendancy. With her no longer in the fold, Sanford was devoid of direction. As a result, his recalibrated political ceiling ended up being a return to his old congressional office – where he promptly abandoned his erstwhile courageous conviction in exchange for status quo sycophancy.

Sanford sought the American presidency in 2020 – but his candidacy never got off the ground

(Click to View)

Mark Sanford (Getty)

As for his personal life, Sanford proposed to Chapur in her hometown of Buenos Aires in 2012 but dramatically called it off two years later – blaming his ex-wife for meddling in his new relationship. The two have had an on-again, off-again relationship ever since, sources familiar with the relationship have told this media outlet.

Roth reported last spring that Sanford had gotten engaged in Paris, France to a “mystery woman” from South Carolina. Here is a photo of Sanford and the woman, rumored to be Columbia, S.C.-based jeweler Mary Kent Hearon.

Less than a month after the reported engagement, Hearon posted a cryptic message to her Instagram page referring to her heart reopening “after a long period of being closed by choosing to be around the wrong person.”

“Its incredible how the sensitive ones absorb so much of the emotional imbalance of those who are unhealed and emotionally messy within,” she wrote. “I did that. I stayed too long. And, my heart suffered as a result.”

(Click to View)

Mark Sanford and South Carolina jeweler Mary Kent Hearon (Provided)

It is unclear whether Hearon and Sanford rekindled their relationship in the aftermath of her May 2023 post.

As I noted last month, Sanford “continues to wax philosophical as a forgettable – and increasingly weathered – cable television talking head.”

“When he’s not pontificating, he operates a last-mile delivery service from his adopted home of Dale, S.C. – which could be the saddest part of the cautionary tale his existence has become,” I added.

Sanford’s delivery company is called Tall Pine Logistics LLC. He is the registered agent for the North Carolina-based concern, which filed paperwork with the S.C. secretary of state’s office in October 2022.

BANNER: PBS

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR …

(Travis Bell Photography)

Will Folks is the founding editor of the news outlet you are currently reading. Prior to founding FITSNews, he served as press secretary to the governor of South Carolina and before that he was a bass guitarist and dive bar bouncer. He lives in the Midlands region of the state with his wife and eight children.

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6 comments

Squishy123 (the original) March 5, 2024 at 5:54 pm

Mark sure has a thing for homely women.

Reply
Picture This March 5, 2024 at 6:23 pm

You hit a home run of truth with that comment, Squishy! Looking at the more recent pic of Chapur, and even Hearon, Marky seems to go for that dessicated, East Indian, kind of look in a woman, even though Hearon will need a few more years in the sun without sunscreen to attain the level to which Mark has become attracted to. Are you thinking what I am thinking, yet? Folks talks of his brief affair with Nikki when both worked for Sanfraud. Do you reckon Mark had Nikki on his staff for reasons other than working? Could Mark have been dipping his wick in Nikki back when Will had his infamous liaison with her? Was First Cuck Michael allowed to watch and take pictures? Oh, the possibilities!

Reply
Squishy123 (the original) March 6, 2024 at 11:14 am

With that extended chin of hers, she likely tapped their balls with it when she was deep throat thrusting them. Why wouldn’t you keep her on your staff… literally.

Reply
Picture This March 6, 2024 at 12:30 pm

Good point!

Reply
CongareeCatfish Top fan March 6, 2024 at 12:51 pm

Who cares about Sanford. The guy self-immolated politically, and he is completely done. This almost seems like “casualty-vampire” stuff – just gawking and enjoying the charred, smoldering embers of a long- ago dumpster fire of someone’s life for no good reason that the public would care about. Yawn.

Reply
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