New York, June 26 (ANI): South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford's Argentine mistress has been identified as Maria Belen Chapur, a 43-year-old divorcee and high-powered international businesswoman.
The athletic brunette at the center of a media storm following Sanford's confession of an affair, lives in an upscale apartment building next to the Buenos Aires Zoo, in a trendy neighborhood that is also near the US Embassy. Maria has two children, speaks English, Portuguese and Chinese, Terra Argentina reported.
A witness who works in the building described her to Buenos Aires Continental Radio as a beautiful brunette with big eyes who plays tennis on a nearby lawn and runs every morning in her neighborhood.
The witness told the radio station that someone matching Sanford's description arrived at the complex, alone, with a small sports bag last week and asked to go inside the building.
The news site also reported that she worked for an agribusiness company called Bunge, but that appears to be incorrect. According to their lovesick emails that were given to South Carolina's State newspaper, Shapur also makes semi-regular trips to New York City, the Daily News reports.
Celebrity gossip website TMZ quoted Buenos Aires bar owner Carlos Soto as saying he saw the governor and his mistress last week.
He said they were "all over each over" in his Italian bar and restaurant, "kissing, holding hands and drinking wine." Soto said Maria has green eyes, dirty blonde hair and an impressive figure.
Sanford, who caused a national furor when he went missing last week, told the press on Wednesday that he had been in Argentina for six days.
He implied he had gone to end things with Shapur and appeared very emotional about the loss, praising her repeatedly. He said they met innocently eight years ago and kept up an email friendship that sparked into romance a year ago.
Sanford was visiting with his wife and four sons at their beach home on Sullivans Island today, his staff said. His wife of 20 years, who learned of the affair about five months ago and kicked him out two weeks ago, said she'd give him a chance to fix their marriage.
Jenny Sanford is an impressive woman, too: a former vice president in mergers and acquisitions at Lazard Frères on Wall Street, a millionaire heir to the Skil power tool fortune and a canny campaign manager for her husband. (ANI)