Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens has admitted to having an extramarital affair and is accused of blackmailing the woman to keep it quiet.
Republican Gov. Eric Greitens of Missouri has been accused of taking a compromising photo of a woman with whom he has admitted to having an extramarital affair after television station KMOV News 4
The report alleges Greitens blindfolded the woman and bound her with tape, then took a partially nude photo and threatened to release it unless she kept the relationship quiet.
A lawyer for Greitens later pushed back, saying there was “no blackmail.”
According to the recording, the woman reportedly said she met Greitens when he was a customer at a hair salon where she worked.
The ex-husband, who, according to KMOV, said he made the recording in 2015 without the woman’s knowledge, said that the affair happened in March of that year and that Greitens “took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail.”
The ex-husband said of Greitens: “there is no worse person, I think it’s as bad as it gets. It’s as bad as it gets when someone takes advantage of something.”
In the recording, the woman reportedly said that her sexual encounter with Greitens was consensual and that Greitens later apologized and told her he had deleted the photo.
According to KMOV, the statement said, “Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately, while we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger.”
“We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive – but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for your forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers.”
James Bennett, Greitens’ attorney, issued a statement where it is said that there were “multiple false allegations” in a KMOV report on the matter that aired on local television and that “there was no blackmail.”
“The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these almost three-year-ago events are false,” Bennett said.
Greitens declared his candidacy for governor as a Republican in September 2015 and won election in November 2016. The Post-Dispatch obtained an email the woman sent in October 2015 to a Gmail account associated with Greitens gubernatorial campaign. In it, she tried — unsuccessfully, her ex-husband said — to end the affair.
Democratic State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed called on Greitens to resign, writing on Twitter that he should “give Missouri the opportunity to restore some dignity to the governor’s office.”
Democratic State Rep. Gina Mitten said the allegations undermined the governor’s credibility.
“Stick a fork in him,” wrote Republican State Sen. Robb Schaff via Twitter.