Sherri Papini‘s husband has filed for divorce after she revealed in court that she made up a terrifying narrative about her own kidnapping.
After her bogus story of being forcefully abducted unraveled in the national limelight, Keith Papini filed for divorce in California state court on Wednesday. The divorce filings are the latest in a string of legal woes for Sherri Papini, who faces prison time and hefty penalties when she is sentenced in July.
Keith Papini filed for “dissolution with minor children” in Shasta County Superior Court in northern California just two days after his wife pleaded guilty to lying about her kidnapping, according to The Sacramento Bee. The date for the hearing has been set for May 9.
Sherri Papini, 39, went missing for three weeks in November 2016, igniting a countrywide hunt for the mother of two. Papini was discovered by the side of the road, disheveled and battered, with a chain around her waist that was connected to one arm, as well as other restraints on her other wrist and ankles, twenty-two days later.
Papini claimed she was kidnapped at gunpoint while jogging in her hometown of Redding by two Hispanic ladies. She claimed the women assaulted her before one of them released her in Yolo County, California, over 150 miles away.
Keith Papini, fighting back tears in a 2016 interview with ABC’s 20/20, stated, “I thought about her being there shouting my name, and I wasn’t there, and that really got to me.”
Keith Papini said in the interview that he is “over over heals” in love with his wife. He also reflected on how tough it was to communicate the news to his 4-year-old and assure him that his mother will be found.
In the interview, he stated, “I knew she was taken.”
However, issues with Sherri Papini’s story began to surface. Workers at the hospital were also unable to locate a wound she claimed she sustained while fighting her captors. Papini’s story was shattered when tests revealed both male and female DNA on her clothing and skin. Her husband’s DNA was not found in the sample.
According to records submitted by federal prosecutors, Papini was staying with an anonymous ex-boyfriend and had intended to flee a year before her disappearance.
Sherri Papini admitted to fabricating her kidnapping in court on Monday. She already owes the state victim fund more than $30,000 in psychiatric therapies, in addition to $128,000 in disability benefits.
Papini said in an early statement made by her attorney William Portanova, “I will work for the rest of my life to make apologies for what I have done.”
On July 11, she will be sentenced, and she could face up to 25 years in prison and fines of up to $250,000.