Governor addresses affair, says he's moving forward
JEFFERSON CITY - Gov. Eric Greitens addressed his affair for the first time in a news conference while announcing his recommendations for the state budget on Monday. Reporters from across the state and country, including national outlets, packed the governor's office for the budget reveal. But, most asked questions about his affair and whether he allegedly tried to blackmail the woman involved.
It only took a couple of questions before the discussion shifted to the affair with his former hairdresser. He took a few minutes to address it and said everyone involved has asked for privacy.
"The mistake that I made was that I was engaged in a consensual relationship and it is a mistake for which I am deeply sorry. And for Sheena and I, that is where the story begins and ends," Greitens said.
He said he was thankful for his wife’s forgiveness and God’s forgiveness.
"As I said before, I made a personal mistake years ago before I was elected governor. It was a personal mistake for which I take full responsibility. And it's something that Sheena and I dealt with years ago. We dealt with it privately; we dealt with it openly. And it was hard, but with loving family and a lot of prayer and tremendous support, we've made it through," Greitens said.
Greitens also talked about accusations of violence and said he and his lawyer were never contacted by law enforcement. He added there are rumors spreading that are false and hurtful to him and his family.
"A lot of what's been put out is not true. There was no blackmail. There was no violence. There was no photograph for blackmail. There was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail. There was no threat of violence," Greitens said.
He would not specifically answer questions about whether a photograph was taken at all of the woman involved.
After he wrapped up his response to the first question about the affair, he responded to all other questions regarding it with answers like this one, "We answered those questions this weekend, there's a lot of important work here, a lot of important work here. Sir, we've got, we again, we answered those questions this weekend."
Greitens' recommended budget included funding increases for things like elementary and secondary education, road and bridge projects and public safety. He discussed their efforts to not increase taxes for Missourians and how some tough choices were made that included cuts to higher education institutions.
For more on Greitens' budget recommendations and what other lawmakers have to say about it, click here.
You can watch the full news conference below.