Woman Accuses Newly-Elected Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens of Blackmailing Her With Nude Photo

Missouri’s newly elected Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, who ran
in part on a platform of family values, on Wednesday admitted
to having an extramarital affair three years ago with a married
woman, but denied allegations that he blackmailed her. He
assumed office last January.

St. Louis network KMOV News 4 first
reported the allegations
after obtaining a tape in which
the woman apologizes for having a sexual relationship with
Greitens to her now ex-husband. The woman cut Greitens’s hair
and immediately “had a big crush on him.” The flirtation
escalated into a meeting at his home, she said.

In the recording, she describes a sexual encounter with
Greitens in 2015 that began consensually, but soon made her
uncomfortable. He put a blindfold on her and tied her hands to
a set of rings at his home, and took a nude photo of her:

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.”

“I was just numb. I just stood there and didn’t (expletive)
know,” the woman said.

The woman reportedly went on to say that Greitens later
apologized to her for the incident and deleted the photo.

The ex-husband, who has not been identified, told News 4 that
he is coming forward now because law enforcement officials and
the media have started contacting him. “Something happened,
churned this, and had people hounding me, even leaving a
voicemail on my daughter’s phone—when that happened, everything
changed,” he said. The woman has not commented on the
report.

“He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail. There is no
worse person,” the woman’s ex-husband said. In the recording,
the two attempt to reconcile, but the woman allegedly continued
a relationship with Greitens. The couple divorced in March
2016.

On Wednesday, Greitens’s attorney James Bennett released a
statement to News 4 denying the blackmail 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,” the statement
read. “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.”

The Greitens issued a joint statement admitting to the affair,
but did not address the allegations. “A few years ago, before
Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was
unfaithful in our marriage. This was a deeply personal
mistake,” the wrote. “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.”

Correction: this article previously stated that Greitens
assumed office on Tuesday. It has been updated to reflect that
he assumed office January 9, 2017.

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