Former S.C. Governor Sanford To Wed Argentine Girlfriend

Your News Companion by Ben Mathis-Lilley
Aug. 25 2012 3:34 PM

Former S.C. Governor Mark Sanford To Wed Argentine Girlfriend

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Mark Sanford tearfully admitted to having an extramarital affair after returning from a secret trip to visit a woman in Argentina in June 2009

Photo by Davis Turner/Getty Images

It looks like former governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina wasn’t lying when he said he found love in Argentina. It may seem like ancient history now but surely the Appalachian Trail rings a bell? That’s where Sanford was supposedly hiking when he suddenly disappeared in mid-2009 and was nowhere to be found. He later tearfully confessed he had been in Argentina with his mistress, Belén Chapur, insisting it was more than a simple affair.

Turns out, he really was in love, and he’s given her a ring to prove it. It was no simple proposal though. Sanford ended up locking himself in a bathroom stall for more than an hour in order to surprise Chapur with his proposal, according to Clarín, Argentina’s largest-circulation daily that broke the news.

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According to the paper, Sanford and Chapur got engaged Wednesday at noon at the upscale Bella Italia Grill restaurant in the city’s Palermo neighborhood. It’s apparently one of the couple’s favorite spots. Sanford arrived early and planned out the proposal:

He gave a bag with the ring to one of the waiters, asked him to invent a good story for his girlfiend and locked himself in the handicapped stall of the bathroom to wait for her for more than an hour.
When Chapur arrived, the waiter went up to her and announced she had won "a prize" for being the 100th customer that day. She opened the bag and found the ring. She was perplexed. That’s when Sanford appeared and declared his love.
What followed was a long period of kisses, tears, and emotions. Sentimental words were exchanged, as well as promises of eternity.

Sanford’s scandalous affair may have cost him his political career. But it seems like he found love in the end. No word on when the wedding will take place.

Daniel Politi has been contributing to Slate since 2004 and wrote the "Today's Papers" column from 2006 to 2009. You can follow him on Twitter @dpoliti.