Sherri Papini's Ex-Husband Breaks Silence On Her Kidnapping Hoax: 'She Has No Remorse'

Keith Papini is still processing that his ex-wife, Sherri Papini, staged her own abduction.

Nearly eight years after Sherri famously vanished during a jog, only to reappear after supposedly escaping a three-week abduction, Keith is speaking for the first time since her arrest.

Keith told ABC News that Sherri “never” apologized to him or their two children for the “excruciating” ordeal, which continued for another six years before she admitted she had fabricated the kidnapping.

“She made us all believe that her story was true. Every single day she committed to the lie,” he said in the interview that aired on “Good Morning America” Monday.

Keith called 911 to report Sherri’s disappearance when she went missing from their Redding, California, home in early November 2016. He was the first person to be questioned by authorities and passed a related polygraph test.

The nationwide search for Sherri ended on Thanksgiving Day when she was found bruised, shackled and branded on a highway outside town. Keith, who believed her claim that two Hispanic women had abducted her, told “20/20” through tears at the time: “She literally lived through hell.”

“When I pulled back the curtain and I saw her and I saw the look in her eyes, I felt, in that moment, that she was lying,” he told ABC News when asked about his reaction to seeing her in the hospital right after she was found. He added that only the extent of her injuries made him think, “How horrible of me to even think that she could’ve done this to herself.”

Her safe return proved far from a happy ending, however, as authorities were still searching for her supposed captors. Sherri maintained the charade by having Keith install new doors, locks, lights and cameras at their house to protect their family.

“The amount of fear that our family lived in, that was fake, is excruciating,” Keith said. Those fears took six years to be proved baseless.

Sherri Papini was sentenced in 2022 to 18 months in prison and a $300,000 fine.
Sherri Papini was sentenced in 2022 to 18 months in prison and a $300,000 fine. Rich Pedroncelli/Associated Press

Authorities eventually realized that Sherri was found with both male and female DNA on her, neither of which matched Keith’s. The evidence led them to the home of her ex-boyfriend James Reyes — who confirmed Sherri had stayed with him during her alleged kidnapping.

Reyes had also said Sherri told him she left because her husband was abusive. Keith vehemently denied accusations of abuse in the new interview.

Sherri was arrested by the FBI in March 2022 and charged with lying to a federal officer. She signed a plea deal admitting to the hoax the following month and was sentenced in September of that year to 18 months in prison and a $300,000 fine.

When asked by ABC News why he thinks Sherri went to such extreme lengths, Keith ventured: “I think she wanted me to be her knight in shining armor and run to her, and I think she wanted to plan a fake kidnapping, but in her version, I was supposed to find her.”

Keith, who is interviewed about the hoax in the new Hulu docuseries “Perfect Wife,” filed for divorce after Sherri’s confession. He told ABC News that he no longer speaks to Sherri.

Keith added that she’s never expressed an ounce of regret about the crime to him or their children: “Never. She has no remorse that I have ever witnessed or seen.”