Sherri Papini’s husband applies for divorce and child custody
Records reveal that Sherri Papini’s husband has filed for divorce and custody of the couple’s two children, accusing her of fabricating her own kidnapping in 2016.
Papini, 39, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and making false claims in court Monday. The Eastern District of California’s US District Court judge, William B. Shubb, quizzed her about her past and if she had ever been treated for mental illness when she appeared remotely.
She admitted in court that she had been receiving therapy for anxiety, depression, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) since 2016, and that she had some difficulties in school as well.
Keith Papini, in his petition, alleged that his wife was “not acting in a rational manner.”
As Keith Papini said in court documents, his wife had lied to his children regarding her whereabouts. “The fact that their mother lied to them on such a major issue is something they, and I, are having a hard time dealing with. We, both children and I, need time to recover and stabilize.”
The last time she saw her children was on April 4, and she’s already skipped one planned visitation, he said, before asking the court to “help me protect my children from the negative impact of their mother’s notoriety.”
According to the divorce petition, the Papinis had been married since October 2009 and separated on March 3, the same day she was detained on federal charges.
Papini is presently residing with a cousin in Chico, California, around 75 miles south of where Keith and the children live, court filings say.
The pair is due to address custody problems during a court appearance on May 9.
Papini was reported missing by her husband in November 2016 after she had gone out for a jog near her house in Shasta County. About a month after that, on the eve of Thanksgiving, she was discovered wandering the freeway 140 miles away from her house.
She reported to the authorities that two women had kidnapped and branded her, and that they had kept her locked up in a closet for days. She offered an extensive tale of her kidnapping and abuse at the hands of the purported assailants, whom she said wore masks, spoke Spanish, held her at gunpoint and branded her with a hot object.
However, according to the Department of Justice, Papini really stayed with an ex-boyfriend in Southern California for the three weeks she was reported missing and earned more than $30,000 in fraudulent victim aid money based on the deception, court papers reveal.
Papini may be sentenced to 25 years in jail and fined up to $500,000 if found guilty of the charge. She will be sentenced on July 11.