Congress

S.C.’s Sanford refutes need for shrink, calls wife’s plea ‘crazy’

Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is photographed in his office on Capitol Hill on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT)
Rep. Mark Sanford (R-SC) is photographed in his office on Capitol Hill on February 4, 2014 in Washington, DC. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/MCT) MCT

Rep. Mark Sanford lashed out Wednesday at his ex-wife, saying her demands that he have a psychiatric evaluation and for modified custody arrangements are “crazy” and “wrong.”

“Since the time of the divorce I have tried to do everything in my power to be both a good dad and a former husband,” Sanford, 54, said in a statement. “It seems that nothing I can do at this point is enough, appropriate or adequate. The different accusations and requests made are, by their very nature preposterous, crazy, and wrong.”

Calls to Jenny Sanford were not answered.

The latest complaint, filed on Aug. 28, reportedly demands that the former South Carolina governor undergo a mental evaluation and anger management classes.

Filed as an effort to modify the couple’s custody arrangement, Jenny Sanford’s petition in family court also seeks to change the terms under which Rep. Sanford can see his youngest son.

The new filing reportedly states that the 16-year-old should not be subjected "overnight to a member of the opposite sex not related to the Plaintiff or Defendant through blood or marriage who could reasonably be construed as a paramour,” according to reports from a local CBS affiliate.

It also reportedly restricts the use of “illegal or unprescribed prescription drugs” or excessive alcohol consumption while the son is visiting either parent.

The language appears to be a poorly disguised jab at Rep. Sanford’s Argentinian mistress-turned-finacee, Maria Belen Chapur.

It was the summer of 2009, when Sanford began his epic fall from political grace, found his marriage in shambles and his political career sidelined. Sanford was South Carolina’s governor when he mysteriously vanished for six days. His spokesman told the press he was “hiking the Appalachian trail.”

Instead, Sanford, who at the time was married, was courting Chapur in Buenos Aires. Not long after his return to South Carolina, he admitted to the affair, separated from his wife and disappeared from public view after finishing out his term as governor in 2011.

Sanford was resurrected from the political dead in 2013, when he won a special election for a U.S. House seat.

But echoes of the notorious scandal have plagued him since the couple was officially divorced in 2010. Just last year, he was accused of violating the terms of his divorce when he entered his former wife’s home. Sanford later said he had done so to watch the Super Bowl with his then 14-year-old son.

In his statement Wednesday, Sanford did little to hide his anger at his wife’s most recent legal filing.

“I have avoided responding in these sorts of things as best I could over the past five years and I want to continue to do so,” Sanford’s statement continued. “But when accusations are made that would suggest inadequacy in my role as a father or inadequacy in my professional role as a congressman, they have to be addressed. I think anybody who knows me in the Lowcountry knows that these accusations are false."

A hearing on the matter is set for Sept. 15.

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