Former South Carolina Gov. Mark Sanford has reportedly proposed to his longtime Argentinian girlfriend, the woman with whom he had an affair and made him synonymous with the phrase, “hiking the Appalachian Trail.”
Argentinian newspaper Clarin reported Sanford and Maria Belen Chapur “became engaged last Wednesday, at noon, in the Palermo restaurant Bella Italia Grill,” according to Columbia, S.C. newspaper The State.
Sanford reportedly put the ring in a bag and gave it to one of the waiters, telling them to make up a story while he hid in the bathroom. When Chapur arrived, the waiter told her she’d won a “prize” for being the 100th customer. When she found the ring, Sanford appeared and asked her to marry him.
“What followed was a long moment of kisses, tears and emotions. There were heartfelt words and promises of eternity,” Clarin reported, according to The State.
Sanford famously “disappeared” for six days in June 2009, with his staff saying the two-term Republican governor was hiking the Appalachian Trail. Sanford later acknowledged he had been with Chapur and resigned from office in disgrace. He and his wife Jenny divorced in 2010.
Sanford joined Fox News as a commentator last year.