Sandi’s story . . .
Sandi Jackson says she is doing well.
“If well means I am incredibly stressed to the max,” says the former South Side 7th Ward alderman, who is in the midst of what could become a potentially volatile divorce from her husband, former Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr.
“I’m exhausted, but I just want what’s best for my kids, which is a peaceful environment and continuity,” Sandi Jackson told Sneed in an exclusive phone interview Wednesday.
The couple — once among the city’s political power elite — pleaded guilty to crimes in 2013 involving political campaign cash and were sent to federal prison, their terms staggered in order to raise their two children.
Jesse Jackson Jr., 51, began divorce proceedings in Cook County four months before his wife was released from prison in September.
Sandi Jackson, 53, just filed her own divorce case in Washington, D.C., which she considers her home — seeking sole custody of her two children — ages 13 and 16. She is also seeking child support, alimony and exclusive use and possession of the home she shared with her husband in Washington, D.C.
“All this happened before I had a chance to get on my feet and gather my wits about me,” Sandi Jackson told Sneed. “I now need to find a job.”
“I had been a year away from my children,” she said of her prison stay. “But I made friends in prison, so many kind mothers and daughters and grandmothers.
“My friends have been incredibly supportive. This has just been a horrible experience to go through. But I’m finding strength every day. It’s just been surreal. Everything.
“I filed for divorce in Washington because this is where my children and I live. But I’ve been advised not to say anymore,” Sandi Jackson told Sneed.
Sources close to Sandi Jackson claim she was dumbfounded when Jesse Jackson Jr. began divorce proceedings in July while she was still in prison.
“They had been married for 25 years and she didn’t expect it to happen before they could work out how they were going to move forward,” a source said.
Word is the couple hadn’t seen each other since last spring.
“Sandi doesn’t want the divorce to be a battle royale. But she definitely needs to find a job, and Jesse doesn’t technically work,” another source close to her said.
“The kids love D.C. and love going to school there,” the source said. “She really doesn’t know whether she wants to live in D.C., or Chicago or L.A. or Africa. . . . Jesse pretty much lives in Chicago.”
The couple has homes in Chicago’s South Shore neighborhood and in Washington, D.C.
A recent Facebook post shows Sandi Jackson lunching with Mesirow businessman Les Coney in a trendy D.C. eatery Tuesday.
“Had lunch with my very good friend Sandi Jackson,” Coney posted. “Letting her know I’m praying for her, Jesse and the kids.”
Is this a case of he wants, she wants? Or can the matter get resolved peacefully?
Hey, Kanye . . .
Money, money, money!
Bet the mansion Chicago rapper Kanye West, who was recently released from the hospital because of exhaustion, worked up enough energy to not only talk to President-elect Donald Trump at Trump Tower on Tuesday about crime, curriculum and Chicago, but also concert venues and a possible inaugural performance!
Kanye couldn’t wait to tweet a photo of Trump’s “To Kanye” signature on TIME’s Person of the Year issue.
Sneedlings . . .
I spy: Cubs owner Tom Ricketts celebrating the World Series championship with college friends at the new restaurant Steadfast on Monroe Street recently. . . . Newly elected Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx at Quartino for a private event Wednesday night. . . . ditto Chicago Bulls player Bobby Portis. . . . Pop star Joe Jonas spotted brunching with “Game of Thrones” actress Sophie Turner at Bub City on Sunday. . . . Today’s birthdays: Jahlil Okafor, 21; Adam Brody, 37, and Don Johnson, 67.Tweets by @sneedlings