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The longest year

Saturday, December 12, 2009

-- January 2009: Jenny Sanford learns of her husband's affair by discovering a copy of a love letter he wrote to Maria Belen Chapur. Over the next few months, he asks Jenny Sanford whether he can visit Chapur in Argentina. She says no.

-- June 18: Mark Sanford disappears. His staff does not know where he is and later tells reporters the governor is hiking the Appalachian Trail.

-- June 24: Mark Sanford returns to South Carolina and tells reporters he was in Argentina visiting his mistress. He tearfully admits they had been carrying on a long-term affair. He says he and Jenny Sanford are effectively separated, and Jenny, who has been staying at the couple's beach home on Sullivan's Island, does not appear by his side.

-- June 26: Jenny Sanford goes public, telling the Associated Press that she was shocked to learn her husband had gone to Argentina, having thought he had gone someplace else to write a book. She says she is willing to forgive him.

-- Aug. 7: Jenny Sanford moves out of the Governor's Mansion in Columbia and settles with the couple's four boys on Sullivan's Island.

-- Mid-August: Jenny Sanford sits down with Vogue for an interview and photo shoot, telling the magazine that her husband's dalliances were "punches to the gut."

-- September: Jenny Sanford nabs a book deal. She will publish a memoir, "Staying True," to be released in April by Ballantine Books.

-- Dec. 3: Jenny Sanford fulfills traditional first-lady role by greeting guests at a holiday open house at the Governor's Mansion. Mark Sanford kisses Jenny on the cheek, but the two keep their distance at the party.

-- Dec. 9: Jenny Sanford appears on Barbara Walters's ABC special "The 10 Most Fascinating People of 2009." Walters asks Jenny Sanford whether she was Mark Sanford's "soul mate," and she says: "Clearly not."

-- Dec. 11: Jenny Sanford files for divorce on the grounds of adultery.

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