The married governor of Missouri has admitted to having had an extramarital affair prior to becoming governor, but he denies news reports that came out on Wednesday claiming that he blackmailed the woman into keeping quiet with an incriminating photo. Those allegations come from the woman’s ex-husband, who has been granted anonymity in the press.
Hours after the report on local KMOV, Gov. Eric Greitens and wife Sheena issued a statement in which they acknowledged the affair: “Eric took responsibility and we dealt with this together honestly and privately.”
The statement did not address the quotes from the unnamed ex-husband who claims that the affair took place in March 2015 and the future governor allegedly duped the woman into posing for a half-naked, S&M photo, which he promised to make public if she spoke up about their relationship.
Black Lives Matter activist and State Sen. Jamilah Nasheed (D-Mo.), who was arrested during the 2014 protests in Ferguson, Missouri, tweeted out a call for Greitens to resign amid reports of the scandal and the third-party unverified claims against him.
“WE MUST END THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION. I’m calling on Governor Greitens to resign immediately and give Missouri the opportunity to restore some dignity to the governor’s office,” Nasheed tweeted late Tuesday.
WE MUST END THE CULTURE OF CORRUPTION. I’m calling on Governor Greitens to resign immediately and give Missouri the opportunity to restore some dignity to the governor’s office.
— Jamilah Nasheed (@SenatorNasheed) January 11, 2018
The CBS affiliate reported that it had an audio tape of the woman — which it identified as Greitens’ former hairdresser — confessing to her husband about the kinky tryst.
“There was no blackmail and that claim is false,” lawyer James Bennett said in a statement. “This personal matter has been addressed by the governor and Mrs. Greitens privately years ago when it happened.”
Greitens, a Republican, was elected in 2016 and appeared to be a proud family man.
“I’m Eric Greitens, I’m a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father,” he said in kicking off his campaign.
Another Missouri politician, House Assistant Minority Leader Gina Mitten, said the news “undermines his [Greiten’s] credibility.”
“With the governor’s reliance on secretive dark money, his alleged destruction of public records, and overall lack of transparency, deception has been a key part of Eric Greitens’ administration,” said Mitten, a Democrat.