Thursday, June 25, 2009

COLUMBIA, S.C. — South Carolina’s first lady says she asked Gov. Mark Sanford to leave home and stop talking to her two weeks before he publicly admitted an affair with a woman he visited on a secret trip to Argentina.

Jenny Sanford said in a statement Wednesday that she needed a trial separation from her husband of nearly 20 years to preserve her own sense of dignity.

Mr. Sanford said Wednesday he has ended the yearlong affair and his wife has known about his infidelity for five months. The governor says he is seeking his wife’s forgiveness and wants to reconcile.

Mrs. Sanford’s statement says her husband has earned a chance to resurrect their marriage.

He returned Wednesday from a seven-day trip to Argentina. His staff said he’d been hiking the Appalachian Trail.

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