Maria Belen Chapur (also spelled Maria Belen Shapur) is the mistress of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford. She is an Argentine woman...

by Free Britney at

Jenny Sanford, scorned wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, has become a heroine, a graceful figure in the face of his tawdry affair with Maria Belen Chapur.

Her public response to her husband's strange liaison led the Washington Post to call her a "role model," and Newsweek to deem Mrs. Sanford a "media genius."

Back in June, when Mark Sanford publicly and tearfully admitted that he had not been traveling along the Appalachian Trail, as he claimed, but in fact traipsing around Argentina with mistress Maria Belen Chapur, Jenny was cool and composed.

Jenny (along with her sons) has since moved out of the governor's mansion, but the former investment banker and mother of four vows to give Mark a chance.

She recently sat down with Vogue Magazine to talk about being a politician's wife and how she's dealing with her husband's public infidelity. Some excerpts:

Jenny Sanford: Vogue

On understanding her husband's affair: "It became clear to me that he was just obsessed with going to see this woman. I have learned that these affairs are almost like an addiction to alcohol or pornography. They just can’t break away."

"Everybody would like an escape sometimes. I’d like somebody 5,000 miles away I could E-mail. It’s not exclusive to men, but I know that isn’t realistic."

On Mark's mistress, Maria Belen Chapur: "I feel sorry for the other woman. I am sure she is a fine person. It can't be fun for her, though I do sometimes question her judgment. All I can do is pray for her because she made some poor choices."

On the beginning of her marriage to Mark Sanford: "We weren't madly in love, but we were compatible and good friends  ... I like to think we balance each other out. I am a conservative at heart, but I’m not passionate about ideas like he is."

On the next step: "All I can do is forgive. Reconciliation is going to be a harder road. I have put my heart and soul into being a good mother and wife. Now it’s up to my husband to do the soul-searching to see if he wants to stay married."

Maria Belen Chapur Picture

Jenny Sanford, left, and "other woman" Maria Belen Chapur.

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by Free Britney at

Jenny Sanford, the wife of South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford, has moved out of the official governor's residence with their four sons as of this morning.

This comes a little more than a month after Mark Sanford admitted an affair with an Argentine woman, Maria Belen Chapur, calling her his "soul mate."

Jenny Sanford and several other women moved boxes from the governor's mansion in Columbia, S.C. In a statement, Jenny said she was heading to the family home on Sullivans Island, some 120 miles east, for the upcoming school year.

"We will work to continue the process of healing our family," she said.

"While we will be leaving Columbia, I will remain engaged in activities in my role as First Lady, acknowledging that my responsibilities to my family come first."

Gov. Mark Sanford says he supports his wife's decision to move out of the governor's mansion, just weeks after he admitted to an affair with another woman.

The governor says the decision was best for the couple's reconciliation. In July, the couple and their children returned this week from a trip to Europe.

The boys had attended a private school in Columbia.

Jenny Sanford is a former Wall Street vice president who helped launch her husband's political career only to endure his tearful public confession in June.

She had separated from her husband and sought refuge with her sons at the couple's coastal home before news of his affair with Maria Belen Chapur broke.

Mark Sanford lied about his whereabouts and went off the grid, traveling to Argentina to see Chapur. This was exposed, along with his racy emails to her.

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by Free Britney at

As South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford prepares to take wife Jenny Sanford on a trip to an undisclosed place to make amends for having an affair, the first current photos of his Argentine mistress, Maria Belen Chapur, have finally surfaced!

A woman's gotta eat. Maria Belen Chapur had been trying to lay low and ride this thing out, but she was spotted buying groceries in her Buenos Aires neighborhood:

  • Maria Belen Chapur Photo
  • Maria Belen Chapur Picture

Maria Belen Chapur. She sleeps with Mark Sanford. And buys food!

Chapur is believed to be either 41 or 43, and was referred to by Sanford as his "soul mate" in some seriously cheesy emails. She looks nice enough.

The embattled politician was reprimanded by the South Carolina Legislature, but did not resign and saved his job. Can he save his marriage, though?

Should Jenny Sanford forgive Mark Sanford?

 

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by Free Britney at

Governor Mark Sanford of South Carolina disclosed that he had casual encounters with other women before starting a relationship last year with an Argentinian woman, Maria Belen Chapur, whose affair with him become public last week.

But Sanford, in an interview with the AP Tuesday, said that he only had "some physical contact" with the other women, and had sex only with Maria Belen Chapur.

“This was a whole lot more than a simple affair, this was a love story,” Sanford said. “A forbidden one, a tragic one, but a love story at the end of the day.”

He did not offer details about his relationships with other women.

In the interview, the disgraced governor admitted he and Chapur first met in 2001 and that he had traveled to New York twice last year for romantic getaways.

He said that after his wife, Jenny Sanford, discovered the affair, he made another trip to New York earlier this year, with her permission, to end the relationship. Sanford said he was accompanied on that trip by a spiritual adviser.

But last month he flew to Argentina to see Maria Belen Chapur again, a trip that led to the public revelations of the affair and one teary news conference.

The series of disclosures - including the fact that Jenny Sanford forbade him from going on the recent rip - have him holding onto his office by a thread.

“The governor, you know, should know better,” said Michael Steele, chairman of the Republican Party, to Fox News. “That’s not what leadership is about.”

Steele stopped short of calling for Mr. Sanford’s resignation.

The affair is perhaps most notable for the series of Mark Sanford emails written to Chapur that were obtained by The State newspaper in South Carolina.

These reveal beyond any doubt that this was more than a one-time flig - and that for a political hardass, Mark Sanford can be one cheesy S.O.B.!

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by Free Britney at

Maria Belen Chapur is 43.

She is from Buenos Aires, Argentina, and is a divorced mother of two teenage boys who wants to believe she can still experience true love.

She is an intensely private woman, and one who was not afraid to fight back when she felt that her all-important privacy had been breached.

She was educated in Catholic schools and has professed her belief in God, evil and the afterlife, and yet joined Mark Sanford, a married father of four sons, in violating the Seventh Commandment prohibition against adultery.

Maria Belen Chapur has successfully eluded the news media since the South Carolina Governor publicly and tearfully revealed their yearlong affair last week.

Friends and family have enfolded her and her boys in a protective cocoon, and the only known image of her is a grainy, eight-year-old video from her brief moment in front of the cameras as a television reporter in New York.

Other than a 200-word statement denouncing a hacker's "evil act" of leaking her passionate emails with Sanford, Maria Chapur has maintained her silence.

"I won't speak about my private life as it just belongs to me," she wrote to a former TV colleague, after confirming her affair with Sanford via a statement.

"It has already been made too public in these days, bringing me more pain."

Due partly to the loyalty of friends and family, as well as tougher Argentine privacy laws, relatively little is known about Mark Sanford's "other woman."

In fact, much of what we know about Chapur comes from her own emails, which found their way into the hands of South Carolina's The State newspaper.

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by Free Britney at

The mysterious Argentine woman at the center of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's cheating scandal has officially confessed to her relationship with him.

Maria Belen Chapur, 41, sent a statement to Buenos Aires news network C5n.

In it, she admits she and the married Mark Sanford, 48, have a relationship.

Maria Belen Chapur says she refuses to speak on her private life in greater detail and that the 200-word statement is all she plans on saying about it.

Yesterday, we reported how Mark's estranged wife, Jenny Sanford, was aware of Mark's affair with Maria and asked the Governor to dump his mistress.

This was before he went AWOL last week and embarked on his not-so-secret journey to South America to see her, which ultimately exposed the affair.

After telling his staff he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, Sanford went off the grid and traveled to Argentina. The State newspaper in South Carolina accosted him at the Atlanta airport upon his return, after which he admitted his affair.

Follow the jump for the official statement of Maria Belen Chapur, in which she addresses the affair as well as Sanford's emails to her that were leaked ...

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by Free Britney at

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford repeatedly asked his wife's permission to visit his lover, Maria Belen Chapur, in the months after she discovered his affair.

"I said absolutely not. It's one thing to forgive adultery; it's another thing to condone it," Jenny Sanford said in her first comments on the affair.

Jenny said that when Mark Sanford, inexplicably went off the grid last week, she hoped he was hiking on the Appalachian Trail, as his staff claimed at first.

That he had dared go to Argentina to see his mistress left her stunned.

"He was told in no uncertain terms not to see her," she said. "I was hoping he was on the Appalachian Trail. But I was not worried about his safety."

"I was hoping he was doing some real soul searching somewhere and devastated to find out it was Argentina [with Maria Belen Chapur]. It's tragic."

The Sanfords had separated about two weeks ago. Mark Sanford told the family that he wanted some time away to work on writing a book and "clear his head."

The S.C. First Lady said, "I had every hope he was not going to see her."

"You would think that a father who didn't have contact with his children, if he wanted those children, he would toe the line a little bit," she said.

Mark Sanford returned Wednesday to end nearly four days of speculation over his whereabouts, publicly confess his cheating and emotionally apologize.

Jenny Sanford, a Georgetown-educated, former Wall Street vice president, did not stand next to her husband Wednesday during his public confession.

She said she discovered her husband's affair with Maria Belen Chapur early this year after coming across a copy of a letter to her in one of his files.

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by Free Britney at

The only people happy about the cheating scandal surrounding South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford this week may be Jon and Kate Gosselin.

After all, Sanford's affair with - and racy emails to - his Argentine mistress Maria Belen Chapur have captivated scandal-crazed gossip readers.

A TV station in Argentina appeared to beat the paparazzi to the punch, said the New York Post, unearthing an older Maria Belen Chapur video.

Argentina's La Prensa claims the video of Maria Belen Chapur dates back to late 2001, when she was covering the one-month anniversary of the collapse of the World Trade Center twin towers during her brief stint as a TV journalist.

This is Mark Sanford's lover Maria Belen Chapur. Supposedly.

Little else is known about Mark Sanford's mistress, who's supposedly married  with two kids herself, lives in Buenos Aires and is "a beautiful brunette with big eyes who plays tennis on a nearby lawn and runs every morning in her neighborhood."

The doorman in her building describes her as very nice and "elegant" - she graduated from some of Argentina's finest schools. But for now she's holed up in her apartment, avoiding the legions of journalists standing sentry outside.

Meanwhile, other Maria Belen Chapur pictures have been revealed, but may or may not be of the same woman Mark Sanford had a relationship with.

For now, all we can do is make do with what we have - unless another political scandal breaks along the way and takes its risque place, of course.

Here's hoping.

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by Free Britney at

From a heated exchange between Perez Hilton and will.i.am that led to a rumble, to another Real Housewives of New Jersey star hating Danielle Staub, to Terrell Owens being told off by a Playboy model, this week had some quality celeb feuds.

Oh, and don't forget Mark Sanford feuding ... with brainpower and morals during his affair with Maria Belen Chapur. Side note: Jon and Kate Gosselin have been removed from this list, as their "feud" ended in divorce. So it's over. With no winner.

Which was your favorite celebrity showdown? Vote in our poll below!

  • Perez Hilton Getting Punched
  • Joanna Krupa, Playboy Model
  • Owens, Terrell
  • Real Housewives of N.J.

What was the best celebrity feud of the week?

 

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by Free Britney at

Maria Belen Chapur is the mistress of South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford.

This we learned earlier in the week when he admitted his extramarital affair with the Argentine woman - and Sanford's emails to her were hilariously published.

But little information about, and no photos of, Maria Belen Chapur have been available for us to learn anything about the latest infamous political mistress.

Until now.

For what it's worth (nothing), Maria Belen Chapur appears to be at least somewhat attractive, putting her several leagues above Rielle Hunter. Sorry, John Edwards.

Maria Belen Chapur is an Argentine woman who met Sanford seven years ago, and is 43. They were friends before she became his mistress, but the two have had a romantic relationship for a year or so. As we said, there are emails to prove this.

According to reports, she works for Bunge y Born, an agribusiness and grain trading corporation. She is fluent in English, as well as Portuguese and Chinese.

Chapur is also married, appropriately, and has two sons with her husband, with whom she lives in an upscale section of Buenos Aires. Some reports claim she is a former model, body builder and/or actress. Whether this is true is unclear.

Below are more photos of Maria Belen Chapur screen-capped from a 2001 video. Also included are pics of a Maria Shapur on Facebook who may or may not be the woman behind Mark Sanford's Argentine affair, but she has the same name!

What do you think? Are those other pictures even her? And what was Mark Sanford thinking getting caught up in this - and thinking it could be kept secret?

Here's a video of Maria Belen Chapur ...

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