Sherri Papini's Husband Files for Divorce, Days After Her Guilty Plea in Kidnapping Hoax

Sherri Papini admitted her 2016 account of being kidnapped was all a lie

The husband of Sherri Papini, the California mom who falsely claimed she'd been kidnapped while out jogging in 2016, filed for divorce on Wednesday, online court records show.

The Sacramento Bee was the first to report the divorce. Online court records in Shasta County, Calif. indicate Keith Papini is the petitioner and Sherri Papini is the respondent in the case, which is classified as a "dissolution with minor children." In the filing, which was obtained by PEOPLE, Keith Papini asks for custody of the pair's two children.

The filing came two days after Papini, 39, entered guilty pleas via Zoom to one count each of lying to a federal officer and mail fraud. Her sentencing is scheduled for July 11.

The filing states that Papini "has not been acting in a rational manner" of late, referencing her guilty plea.

In a statement obtained by PEOPLE on Friday, Keith Papini said, "I wish to make it clear that my goal is to provide a loving, safe, stable environment for [the pair's children] and I believe the requested orders are consistent with that goal and the best interests of the children. I do not want to say anything in the pleadings connected to this matter that would inflame the situation or attract media attention."

After Sherri Papini returned from her hoax kidnapping, Keith publicly supported her claims.

Sherri Papini
Sherri and Keith Papini. Courtesy Keith Papini

In 2016, describing her false account of escaping from captivity, Keith told ABC's 20/20, "She screamed so much, she said she was coughing up blood from the screaming, trying to get someone to stop. Again, just another sign of how my wife is, she's so wonderful. She says maybe people aren't stopping because I have a chain, it looks like I broke out of prison, so she tried to tuck in her chain under the clothes," he said.

Courtesy Keith Papini
Sherri and Keith Papini.

In a statement released by her attorney last week, Papini said she was "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 to help me. I will work the rest of my life to make amends for what I have done."

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"I am kind of relieved that she finally decided to come clean," Missy McArthur, the former mayor of Papini's hometown of Redding, Calif., tells PEOPLE. "It is a good thing for people to own up when they mess up and take personal responsibility so hopefully, she will learn a lesson and never do that again."

Papini's story began on Nov. 2, 2016, when she said she'd gone out for a jog in her Redding neighborhood and was kidnapped by two armed, masked Hispanic women, whom she claimed had tortured her, branded her and kept her chained in a bedroom.

Courtesy Keith Papini - missing jogger
Sherri and Keith Papini.

She was found wandering in a parking lot 22 days later — on Thanksgiving Day. Her family, including her children then ages 2 and 4, welcomed her back and the community of Redding, which had spent days searching for her, largely rallied around her.

But after investigating her purported kidnapping, the authorities found that Papini had fabricated the incident and had been hiding out with an ex-boyfriend in Southern California.

When confronted by authorities, the ex-boyfriend allegedly admitted that he had helped Papini "run away" because she had told him that her husband had abused her.

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