Sherri Papini’s husband filed for divorce this week, two days after she pleaded guilty to faking her own kidnapping in 2016 and then lying to authorities about it.
Keith Papini filed for “dissolution with minor children” on Wednesday, The Sacrament Bee reported citing court records. A hearing is set for May 9.
Papini, 39, is the Northern California woman who said she was kidnapped by “two Hispanic women” in early November 2016. She was found weeks later, on Thanksgiving Day, when she told investigators that she had been tortured, bound, injured, and even branded by the women.
The case generated national headlines and mobilized the local community in a massive search for the Shasta County woman.
Her whole story turned out to be an elaborate hoax, however. Instead of being kidnapped, she stayed with an ex-boyfriend in Southern California, about 600 miles away from where she was last seen.
Keith Papini, whom she married in 2009, stood by her side for nearly six years.
In an emotional interview shortly after Sherri’s reappearance, he recalled giving the happy news to his two young children, 2 and 4 at the time. “He got the biggest grin,” he said of the couple’s eldest kid Tyler.
On Monday, Sherri told a judge that she was never kidnapped and that she had lied to government agents about it.
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Two days later, Keith filed for divorce, saying in court documents that he “must act decisively to protect my children from the trauma caused by their mother and bring stability and calm to their lives,” local television station KRCR TV reported.
According to the husband, Sherri has been living with a relative since she was arrested last month, and hasn’t seen her kids since April 4.
“The children have now learned their mother lied to them [and] they are having a hard time dealing with [this.]”
He’s asking for sole custody with supervised visitation.
“I am asking the court [to] help protect my children from the negative impact of their mother’s notoriety,” he said.