CHARLESTON — U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford said Wednesday that accusations and requests made by his ex-wife Jenny in their contentious divorce, including that he undergo a mental evaluation, are “preposterous, crazy and wrong.”
Attorneys for Jenny Sanford, in a family court motion last week, want a judge to limit the South Carolina Republican’s visitation with his youngest child. They also ask that Mark Sanford undergo psychological tests and take anger management and parenting courses.
“The different accusations and requests made are, by their very nature preposterous, crazy, and wrong,” Mark Sanford said in a statement released to The Associated Press.
“Since the time of the divorce I have tried to do everything in my power to be both a good dad and a former husband. It seems that nothing I can do at this point is enough, appropriate or adequate,” he said.
Sanford, then South Carolina governor, disappeared for five days in 2009 only to return from Argentina to acknowledge an affair with a woman to whom he is now engaged.
Jenny Sanford sued for divorce, which was granted in 2010. The couple has four sons, ranging in age from 15 to 22.
Mark Sanford was elected last year to the state’s 1st District congressional seat that he held for three terms in the 1990s before becoming governor.
The court motion also requests the couple be restrained from exposing their youngest son overnight to a member of the opposite sex “who could reasonably be construed as a paramour.”
They should also be restrained from making disparaging comments about each other in front of their son and from being under the influence of illegal or prescription drugs or excessive amounts of alcohol while caring for him, the motion said.
“Divorce has many different tragedies and in some cases, unfortunately, unrelenting bitterness seems to be one of them,” Sanford’s statement said. “I have avoided responding to these sorts of things as best I could over the past five years and I want to continue to do so. But when accusations are made that would suggest inadequacy in my role as a father or inadequacy in my professional role as a congressman, they have to be addressed.”
Sanford added “I think anybody who knows me in the Lowcountry knows that these accusations are false.” Sanford’s district is along the lower South Carolina coast, also known as the Lowcountry.
Jenny Sanford, in a statement Tuesday, said “I have no comment on this private matter other than to say that the restraints and other relief requested are common or standard practices frequently requested to protect minor children in similar custody situations.”