JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) — Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is acknowledging he is been “untrue” in his marriage however has denied allegations that he blackmailed the lady to remain quiet, following a bombshell information report that overshadowed his annual deal with to the Legislature.
The Republican governor and his spouse launched an announcement late Wednesday after the St. Louis tv station KMOV reported that he had a sexual relationship together with his former hairdresser in 2015. The station’s report, launched after Greitens gave his State of the State deal with, mentioned the lady’s ex-husband alleged Greitens photographed her nude and threatened to publicize the pictures if she spoke in regards to the affair.
“A number of years in the past, earlier than Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was untrue in our marriage,” the assertion from Greitens and his spouse, Sheena , mentioned. “This was a deeply private mistake. Eric took duty, and we handled this collectively truthfully and privately.”
Greitens, a first-time candidate, rose to workplace in the identical November 2016 election that introduced President Donald Trump to energy. His marketing campaign capitalized on his navy service as a Navy SEAL, his work as founding father of a veterans’ charity “and most significantly, a proud husband and father.” The Greitens married in 2011 and have two younger sons.
During the marketing campaign, Greitens forged himself as an outsider going up towards a profession politician, the state’s Democratic lawyer basic. He’s not up for re-election till 2020. He has barely hidden his political ambitions, and reserved the online deal with ericgreitensforpresident.com years in the past.
The girl allegedly concerned didn’t touch upon the file to the station, which didn’t title her. But her ex-husband, who additionally was not named, supplied an audio recording he made to KMOV through which the lady offers particulars a couple of sexual encounter she says she had with Greitens in March 2015 at his St. Louis dwelling. The girl didn’t know her then-husband was recording their dialog.
The alleged March 2015 encounter got here after Greitens opened a committee to discover a bid for Missouri governor however earlier than he formally introduced his candidacy. She says on the tape that he invited her downstairs at his dwelling as a result of he wished to indicate her “tips on how to do a correct pull-up.”
She says: “I knew he was being sexual and I nonetheless let him. And he used some kind of tape, I do not know what it was, and taped my palms to those rings after which put a blindfold on me.”
She says she later realized he took a photograph of her.
“I noticed a flash via the blindfold and he mentioned: ‘You’re by no means going to say my title.'”
The assertion from Greitens and his spouse does not deal with the affair particularly or the allegations, however in a separate assertion late Wednesday Greitens’ lawyer, Jim Bennett, mentioned, “There was no blackmail and that declare is fake.”
The ex-husband instructed KMOV that legislation enforcement had been in contact, and Al Watkins, an lawyer for the ex-husband, backed up his shopper’s declare.
“My data and my expertise leads me to consider that no less than, there may be an elevated diploma of curiosity in what’s going on,” Watkins mentioned.
But Bennett outright denied that the authorities are concerned.
“The declare that this practically three-year outdated story has generated or ought to generate legislation enforcement curiosity is totally false,” he mentioned.
Sheena Greitens is an assistant professor within the Department of Political Science on the University of Missouri and co-director of the college’s Institute for Korean Studies. She mentioned in an announcement that they’ve “a loving marriage and an superior household” and urged “the media and those that want to peddle gossip to steer clear of me and my kids.”
Watkins mentioned his shopper and the lady who allegedly had an affair with Greitens mentioned the couple tried to reconcile after the March 2015 incident however that the connection with Greitens continued for a number of months and brought about their breakup.
The ex-husband instructed KMOV that he believed the story would ultimately be made public and he wished to guard his household.
Associated Press author Jim Salter contributed to this report from St. Louis.
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