COLUMBIA, S.C. (CN) – In separate statements today, South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford and his first lady announced that they will be living apart, a split that comes after the couple spent the summer trying to rebuild their marriage in the wake of Sanford’s admission of infidelity.
In a written statement Friday morning, Jenny Sanford announced that she and the couple’s sons are moving out of the governor’s mansion in Columbia and are settling in the family’s oceanfront home on Sullivan’s Island outside of Charleston.
She went on to say that their sons, who had been attending school in the Columbia area, will now go to school in Charleston.
“From there, we will work to continue the process of healing our family,” she said. “While we will be leaving Columbia, we will return often, and I will remain engaged in activities in my role as first lady, acknowledging that my responsibilities to my family come first.”
Shortly after noon, the governor put out his own statement.
“The First Lady’s Office has already put out a statement that speaks for the family, on this decision that we felt best, both for our process of reconciliation, and for the boys in the upcoming school year,” Gov. Sanford said.
“I stand by this family decision and accordingly ask the media to honor the zone of privacy that Jenny has asked for on behalf of the healing process and our four boys going forward,” he added.
Sanford had taken about three-and-half of the past seven weeks off since secretly traveling abroad in June and then returning to admit he had been having an affair with an Argentine woman. During these absences, the Sanfords have vacationed together in Florida, and just last week, in Europe.
In her statement, Jenny Sanford thanked South Carolinians for their “overwhelming support and prayers.”
“I am literally in awe of how blessed we are to have such love and support from family and friends, old and new,” she said. “It is with this support, and after much careful and prayerful consideration, that I have decided to move back to our home in Charleston with our sons for the upcoming school year.”