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Sherri Papini's Husband Files For Divorce After She Confesses To Kidnapping Hoax
In his divorce filing, Keith Papini said he "must act decisively to protect my children from the trauma caused by their mother and bring stability and calm to their lives."
Just days after Sherri Papini pleaded guilty to staging her own kidnapping in 2016, her husband has filed for divorce.
Keith Papini, who has publicly supported his wife’s claims that her weeks-long kidnapping wasn’t a hoax, is seeking to end the marriage, according to ABC affiliate KRCR. Court records show he filed for divorce on Wednesday, claiming he “must act decisively to protect my children from the trauma caused by their mother and bring stability and calm to their lives,” the outlet reported.
The decision comes two days after Sherri Papini, 39, pleaded guilty to charges of mail fraud and lying to federal authorities in connection with the headline-grabbing hoax, according to the Sacramento Bee.
Papini captured the attention of the media when she disappeared on Nov. 2, 2016, while jogging near her Redding home. Following massive search efforts, she resurfaced three weeks later on the side of Yolo County road, 146 miles from her home. She was covered in bruises with a chain wrapped around her waist and had been branded on her shoulder.
Papini returned with a tale that two Hispanic women abducted her - a claim later proven to be false. Authorities collected DNA from her clothes in an attempt to find her captors, but it was later revealed that the DNA belonged to Sherri’s ex-boyfriend, who confessed to letting Sherri stay in his home.
“In truth, Papini had been voluntarily staying with a former boyfriend in Costa Mesa and had harmed herself to support her false statements,” said officials.
Papini refused to cooperate with detectives in the ensuing investigation, as featured in Friday night’s episode of “Dateline," airing at 9/8 c on NBC. Authorities credited her “over-the-top theatrics” when they determined she was lying about the elaborate hoax.
Federal agents arrested her in March.
Keith Papini voiced his support for his wife in the six years since the saga began, including in his exclusive interview with Good Morning America.
“Rumors, assumptions, lies, and hate have been both exhausting and disgusting. We are not going to allow those people to take away our spirit, love, or rejoice in our girl found alive and home where she belongs,” he said. “I understand people want the story, pictures, proof that this was not some sort of hoax, plan to gain money, or some fabricated race war. I do not see a purpose in addressing each preposterous lie.”
Papini admitted that it was a hoax when stating her intent to plead guilty earlier this month, per a statement through her attorneys.
“I am deeply ashamed of myself for my behavior and so sorry for the pain I’ve caused my family, my friends, all the good people who needlessly suffered because of my story, and those who worked so hard to try and help me,” Sherri stated. “I will work the rest of my life to make amends for what I’ve done.”
Per the court records filed with the Shasta County court, Keith is seeking full custody of the couple’s two children, according to People. He also said that his wife “has not been acting in a rational manner."
Papini is due back in federal court for sentencing on June 11.