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June 24th, 2009
08:42 PM ET

Emails between governor and mistress

Gov. Mark Sanford speaks during a news conference at the State Capitol in Columbia on Wednesday.

Gov. Mark Sanford speaks during a news conference at the State Capitol in Columbia on Wednesday.

South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford told the woman with whom he was having an affair they were "in a hopelessly impossible situation of love" last year when he was thought to be under consideration for the Republican vice presidential nomination, according to e-mails obtained by The State newspaper.

The Columbia-based newspaper, which acquired the e-mails in December, told CNN that the governor's office had confirmed their authenticity on Wednesday. When contacted by CNN, a spokesman for the governor would neither confirm nor deny the authenticity of the e-mails. The e-mails between the GOP governor and a Buenos Aires, Argentina, resident named "Maria," were exchanged in July of last year, according to the newspaper.

In one July 10 message, Sanford told the woman about his plans to take a family vacation and meet with then-Republican presidential candidate John McCain who "has kicked up the whole VP talk all over again in the press back home ..." before he veered into more emotional territory.

"You have a particular grace and calm that I adore. You have a level of sophistication that so fitting with your beauty," Sanford wrote, according to the e-mails published on the newspaper's Web site. "I could digress and say that you have the ability to give magnificent gentle kisses, or that I love your tan lines or that I love the curve of your hips, the erotic beauty of you holding yourself (or two magnificent parts of yourself) in the faded glow of the night's light - but hey, that would be going into sexual details ..."

"…while all the things above are all too true - at the same time we are in a … hopelessly impossible situation of love…." he added. "How in the world this lightening strike snuck up on us I am still not quite sure. As I have said to you before I certainly had a special feeling about you from the first time we met, but these feelings were contained and I genuinely enjoyed our special friendship and the comparing of all too many personal notes ..."

Earlier, "Maria" - whose full name has not yet been released - also proclaimed her devotion in a July 9 e-mail. "You are my love ... something hard to believe even for myself as it's also a kind of impossible love, not only because of distance but situation," she wrote. "Sometimes you don't choose things, they just happen ... I can't redirect my feelings and I am very happy with mine towards you."

John O'Connor, the newspaper reporter who wrote the story about thee-mails, told CNN Wednesday afternoon that The State did not confront Sanford with the messages in December because at the time "there was little way to tell that these were authentic e-mails."

O'Connor said that given the recent events surrounding Sanford, the paper then decided to approach the governor's office with the e-mails. Sanford, who had been considered a potential candidate for the 2012 presidential campaign, admitted the affair Wednesday.

The affair began in the last year and was discovered five months ago, Sanford told reporters without elaborating. He added that he and his wife were trying to work through it.

The South Carolina governor had not been seen in public since June 18. When questioned, Sanford's staff had told media outlets that he was hiking in the Appalachian Trail. But Sanford was spotted Wednesday in Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.

Sanford said he had been in Buenos Aires, adding it was his fault for "shrouding this larger trip."


Filed under: 360° Radar
soundoff (58 Responses)
  1. Michelle D . Fonthill. Ont

    The Govenor wasn't too swift wrtitting e-mails to his mistress .Don't they realize that it will be found out in this day and age .The affair scandals keep rocking the political world they should know better i feel sorry for this wife and boys they are now under the spotight thanks to this scandalous affair . I agree that there are more important matters to deal with than this the media always makes it a juicy details of the news .Please focus on the ecopnomy and jobs and Presdient Obama's plan or whtaever to get things going again .

    June 25, 2009 at 10:26 am |
  2. Leah

    I don't think he should resign unless he has done something illegal. We elected Clinton twice knowing what a sexual perv he was. If he can be elected after the Geniffer Flowers story came out, a mistress for more than a dozen years [which is more than a mere affair IMHO], not to mention Paula Jones and the sexual harassment fiasco, then no public official should have to resign for infidelity alone.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:50 am |
  3. Tammi Lewis

    Is it really necessary to publish the emails? Why does the public need to read them? I mean seriously! We don't need a play by play. He admitted it to his wife move on. The rest is not news.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:22 am |
  4. Rachel

    "Now, if only we could read the emails obama sent to his ladies before he knew Michelle; don’t tell me the brother was a virgin when he met her."

    I would respond, but this comment doesn't make any sense, in or out of context. I'm so confused.

    June 25, 2009 at 9:17 am |
  5. Pat

    Larry: What does emails from Obama before he met Michelle have anything to do with this situation? I think the more important issue here is not that he has had an affair, or even that he is a hypocrite, but that he left his official duties with no way to get in touch with him. That is the critical issue that the citizens of his state should be focusing on.

    June 25, 2009 at 8:55 am |
  6. Albi

    I am horrified that a respectable news organization like CNN finds it indispensable or newsworthy to make public the contents of Governor Sanford’s e-mails to and from his mistress. This is an unacceptable (and most likely illegal) breach of privacy (to any person.) It’s none of our business and more so utterly irrelevant as far as the news story goes. How a self-respecting reporter, journalist, or anchor will even go to such depths of tabloid journalism is beyond me. I wonder how some of you would feel if your own personal e-mails were broadcast?

    June 25, 2009 at 7:28 am |
  7. Maria

    Larry, President obamas love life before he got married is completely irrelevant – unless you're looking for a source of good lines. in which case, re-read this article. its the stuff of period romantic dramas. i agree with annie kate and richard...he definitely should have covered his tracks better and not sent emails, and as for publishing the emails – the only people i feel sorry for are his wife and children, and not for the senator. if he was so worried about his privacy he shouldnt have run for office, or gotten involved in an affair, or be so indiscreet about it! ridiculous!!

    June 25, 2009 at 5:39 am |
  8. lisa

    really i know hes a gov but can you help that later in your marriage you meet and fall in love with someone that you are drawn to? and yes this lady must be worth it to go on tv and tell his secret! im sure he feels better! but still this romance involves and hurts too many people and what is that worth?

    June 25, 2009 at 4:46 am |
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