Jenny Sanford on Gov: 'I just saw him as lost'

tcsmith@greenvillenews.comMay 14, 2010 

COLUMBIA -- South Carolina's ongoing soap opera starring the state's governor and his former wife continued Thursday with Jenny Sanford's appearance on the Dr. Phil television show.

The broadcast came the day after Gov. Mark Sanford told reporters that he had spent Mother's Day weekend in Florida with the Argentine woman with whom he had an affair, trying to rekindle their romance.

Both Sanfords at one time or another have pleaded with the news media to give them privacy for the sake of their four boys. They divorced earlier this year as a result of the affair.

Jenny Sanford's Dr. Phil appearance came amid a book tour of her account of the scandal, "Staying True," which also earned her a spot on a Barbara Walters special. Newspapers also recently have detailed her romance with a Georgia businessman.

The Dr. Phil show paired Sanford with Cynthia Shackelford, who sued her estranged husband's alleged mistress and was awarded $9 million.

Asked by Dr. Phil about why she didn't stand next to her husband at the June press conference at which he publicly disclosed his affair, Jenny Sanford said it wasn't a possibility.

"First of all, he never asked me to be next to him," she said. "At the time, he was coming back from Argentina. We had had six months of what was sheer hell for me, and the thought of standing by him when he had just done the unconscionable, it just never entered my mind. It just wasn't even a possibility for me."

Dr. Phil said he was "astounded" Sanford first apologized to the state's citizens and his lover at the press conference before acknowledging the pain he caused his wife and family.

"He didn't say anything I wanted him to say," Jenny Sanford said about the press conference. She said she would have liked to have heard him say, "I love my wife so much I can't believe I did this to her."

She said she was "astonished" and "crushed" when he later gave an interview detailing his romance with the woman and describing her as his "soul mate."

"I just saw him as lost," she said. "I love the Mark Sanford I knew, the one I fell in love with when we married. Can I ever be married to him again? Absolutely not."

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