Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens denies allegations he slapped, blackmailed mistress
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens lashed out against reports Thursday that he slapped and blackmailed a woman he had an extramarital affair with, three years ago as recounted by the estranged husband of his then mistress.
The 43-year-old ex-Navy SEAL, turned Republican politician, a self-billed family values man, admitted that he met his mistress when she cut his hair in 2015.
Greitens said he engaged in a months-long sexual relationship with the unidentified hairdresser, and a recording published by News 4, a St. Louis TV station on Thursday suggests that the governor threatened to disclose nude photos of the woman if she ever spoke about their relationship.
Months into a local News Channel 4 investigation prompted, Governor Eric Greitens on Wednesday night finally confirmed to News 4 he had an extramarital affair.
The admission was prompted by the recent emergence of a recording obtained by News 4, in which a woman says she had a sexual encounter with Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet.
The details the sexual relationship were provided to News 4 by the ex-husband of the woman the governor now acknowledges was his mistress. The man claims the relationship between his now ex-wife and Greitens happened in July 2015.
According to the ex-husband, the recording was made just days after Greitens’ and the woman’s first sexual encounter. And also that Greitens took a photograph during the encounter to use as “blackmail” according to the ex-husband.
His now ex-wife wife didn’t know he was recording their conversation as she confessed intimate details to him.
Could this possibly be the face of a blackmailer? Eric Greitens addresses supporters during a rally Tuesday, May 23, 2017, outside the state Capitol in Jefferson City, Mo
Later Thursday, Talking Points Memo reported that Greitens once slapped the woman after she told him that she had sex with her husband.
The shocking claims prompted Democrats and activists to call on Greitens to resign.
“The allegations of sexual exploitation and blackmail against Governor Greitens are deeply disturbing and disgusting,” Nita Chaudhary, co-founder of women’s advocacy group UltraViolet, said in a statement. “Sexual exploitation and blackmail are crimes—plain and simple…Greitens should resign immediately.”
But the governor, who was elected in 2016, vowed Thursday afternoon that he’s going nowhere because the allegations of blackmail and violence against him are “completely false.”
Eric Greitens, wife Sheena and son Joshua in Chesterfield, MO as he delivers his victory speech in 2016.
The secret recording that set off an avalanche of outrage against Greitens featured the governor inviting his mistress to his home. Once she got there, Greitens supposedly blindfolded and taped her hands to an exercise apparatus after offering to teach her “how to do a perfect pull-up.”
Then, Greitens apparently took a photo of the woman.
“He stepped back, I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said: ‘you’re never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere,’” the woman told KMOV, which first reported the recording.
Greitens allegedly later said that he deleted the picture, though the woman’s ex-husband, claimed that the future governor remained in her life as their marriage disintegrated.
“He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail. There is no worse person,” the ex-husband told News 4. And that is still what upsets him. He told News 4, “I think it’s as bad as it gets, It’s as bad as it gets when someone takes advantage of something.”
In the recorded phone conversation, the woman takes on some of the blame and says that Greitens apologized after the encounter-and told her he had deleted the picture.
Eric Greitens campaign poster photo – “I’m Eric Greitens, I’m a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father.”
When questioned on the issue, Greitens who has been married since 2011, did not address the issue of the photograph. Rather, the Governor and his wife in a joint statement said that being unfaithful in his marriage was a “deeply personal mistake.”
The statement goes on to add: “This [philandering], was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately.”
He thanked “God’s mercy” for helping his wife, Sheena, forgive him after he ended the affair.
“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.”
His wife Sheena added: “We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us
“We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children,” Sheena Greitens said in a separate message.
A lawyer for the governor, however, told the station that broke the report that it “contained multiple false allegations” and should not need the involvement of law enforcement.
“There was no blackmail and that claim is false,” the lawyer said. “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.”