Gov. Greitens admits to affair; attorney denies blackmail involved
ST. LOUIS - Gov. Eric Greitens has admitted to having an extramarital affair, according to St. Louis television station KMOV. The former husband of the woman involved said Greitens used a nude picture to blackmail her to stay quiet.
The station said it received a statement from the governor and his wife, Sheena Greitens, just half an hour before it aired a year-in-the-making report which claims the woman was bound and blindfolded.
KMOV quoted the statement as saying:
"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 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."
The KMOV investigation largely centered on an audio recording made by the former husband of the woman involved.
She can be heard crying, saying Greitens bound her hands with duct tape and blindfolded her and then took a nude picture and threatened to use it.
The woman on the recording said, "He stepped back, I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said, 'You're never going to mention my name.'"
The former husband told KMOV he thinks Greitens' actions show he is inhuman and evil.
In a separate statement issued Wednesday night, Sheena Greitens said this is a private matter and the media and "those who wish to peddle gossip" should "stay away" from her and her children. She also said, "We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God."
KOMU 8 News reached out to Gov. Greitens' attorney, James F. Bennett, Wednesday night after KMOV's investigation aired. He confirmed the governor saw the report and sent this statement that reads:
"The station declined to provide the tape or transcript in advance of running their story, which contained multiple false allegations. The claim that this nearly three-year old story has generated or should generate law enforcement interest is completely false. There was no blackmail and that claim is false. This personal matter has been addressed by the Governor and Mrs. Greitens privately years ago when it happened. The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these almost three-year-ago events are false."