Sherri Papini's Ex-Husband Keith Papini Breaks 7-Year Silence About Her Kidnapping Hoax

Keith Papini speaks about his ex-wife's faked kidnapping ahead of the release of Hulu's three-part docuseries, 'Perfect Wife.'

After seven years of silence, Keith Papini is speaking his piece. On Monday, Good Morning America released a look at their conversation with Keith during which he reflected on when his ex-wife, Sherri Papini, vanished for three weeks in 2016 before reappearing in Yolo County, all for it to be a hoax.

The former couple made headlines when Sherri disappeared during a jog near her home in Redding, California. Extensive searches were conducted for her in Shasta County, throughout California, as well as other states. 

Twenty-two days later -- on Nov. 24, 2016 -- Papini reappeared with various bindings on her body and injuries, including a "brand" on her right shoulder, and claimed that she had been abducted by two Hispanic women at gunpoint, held against her will, and that she had been abused by her captors. At that point, law enforcement efforts focused on finding her abductors

As investigators continued looking into Sherri's claims, they found evidence indicating she had not been abducted and warned her that it was a crime to lie to a federal agent. But even when she was warned that her story was falling apart, Sherri continued to insist that she was telling the truth. "She made us believe that her story was true. Every single day she committed to the lie," Keith told GMA.

In March 2022, more than five years after her disappearance, Sherri was charged for lying to federal agents about being kidnapped and defrauding the state's victim compensation board of $30,000. Authorities said that, after a thorough investigation, it was discovered that Sherri had been staying with a former boyfriend nearly 600 miles away from her home in Orange County, in Southern California, and hurt herself to back up her false statements.

The ex-boyfriend has never been charged in connection with Sherri's case.

Keith said Sherri never explained herself to him but he believes her motive for the ordeal comes from a desire for him to be "her knight in shining armor."

"I think she wanted to plan a fake kidnapping, but in her version, I was supposed to find her," he shared.

Yet, despite seemingly being the focus of her fantasy, Keith told GMA that Sherri has never apologized to him for putting their family though the circus of her kidnapping hoax. When asked if she's ever expressed remorse, he said: "No, never. She has no remorse that I have ever witnessed or seen."

Sherri pleaded guilty to lying to a federal officer and mail fraud in April 2022. 

Keith filed for divorce from Sherri shortly after her guilty plea. He cited "irreconcilable differences" after their 12-year marriage and requested sole custody of their children.

In September 2022, Sherri was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $300,000 in restitution, $148,866 to the Shasta County Sheriff's Office and $2,558 to the FBI. She ended up serving less than a year in prison.

Almost eight years after Sherri first disappeared, Keith said he's hoping to give their children a nice life, despite the strain of the hoax. He admitted that he knows the events are "always going to be there," but he wants to "move past it."

"I do want to provide my children an amazing childhood, but I think it will always be there," he added.

Keith's interview comes in anticipation of the release of Hulu's three-part docuseries diving into Sherri's case. Titled Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini, the docuseries comes from filmmakers Erin Lee Carr and Michael Beach Nichols.

The streamer boasts that the docuseries features "unprecedented access" to Sherri's family, including Keith, friends, and the investigators who for six years could not solve the mystery of her disappearance.

Watch the trailer for Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini below.

All three episodes of Perfect Wife: The Mysterious Disappearance of Sherri Papini premiere June 20 on Hulu.