Mark Sanford Mistress Identified as Maria Belen Shapur

Atlanta, GA 6/25/2009 09:32 PM GMT (TransWorldNews)

South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford’s Argentine mistress has been identified as Marie Belen Shapur. According to reports, Shapur works for Bunge y Born, a multinational agribusiness and grain trading corporation. She is fluent in English, Portuguese and Chinese.

Shapur, 43, has two sons and lives in Buenos Aires, Argentina. She knew Sanford for 7 years before they began their year-long affair.

In a press conference held yesterday, Sanford admitted he cheated on his wife of 20-years, Jenny Sanford, with a woman who was initially only a “dear friend.” He did not identify the woman.

“I’ve been unfaithful to my wife. I developed a relationship with what started as a dear, dear friend from Argentina,” Sanford said at the news conference held in Columbia.

Sanford, 49, admitted the affair amid speculation over his whereabouts for the past several days.  He had not been seen in public since the 18th and his staff told media outlets he was hiking in the Appalachian Trail.

On Wednesday, Sanford admitted to being in Buenos Aires, Argentina with the woman. Sanford, who is serving his second straight term as governor, said he is at fault for “shrouding this larger trip.”

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