Blackmail alleged as Governor Greitens admits to extramarital affair
Posted January 11, 2018 11:27 a.m. EST
ST. LOUIS, MO — Governor Eric Greitens on Wednesday night confirmed to News 4 he had an extramarital affair, an admission a months-long News 4 investigation prompted.
In a recording obtained by News 4, a woman says she had a sexual encounter with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet.
The details were provided to News 4 by the woman's ex-husband, claiming the sexual relationship happened between his now ex-wife and Greitens in March 2015. News 4 is not naming the woman and she has not made an on-the-record comment about the story.
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.
During his campaign and while serving in his first year in office as Missouri's Governor, Eric Greitens has billed himself a family man. During his campaign announcement, he stated: "I'm Eric Greitens, I'm a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father."
A contrast to the acts the woman accuses Greitens of committing on tape saying his actions were "horrible and disgusting."
The ex-husband provided details to News 4 of what he claims was a sexual encounter between his now-ex-wife and Greitens back in March of 2015. News 4 has spoken to the woman's attorney who has stated: "No Comment."
His now ex-wife wife didn't know he was recording their conversation as she confessed intimate details to him.
Ex-Husband: "Tell me the truth. The truth. Only the truth.
Woman: So, on Saturday morning, before my first client, I did go to his house.
Ex-Husband: For the first time?
Woman: For the first time. Ever. Like I said, nothing, period, had ever happened or taken place until this snowball. This (expletive) tornado just happened. I know I brought this on."
The woman explains that her interactions with Greitens were sometimes initiated by herself. They met-because she cut his hair.
Woman: "I met Eric a year ago and I instantly had a big crush on him."
She said she felt drawn to talk to him. But when he told her, "I want you to come over" to his house, she first said no. She wanted to meet for coffee.
But Greitens said "I can't, I can't be seen with you. This is wrong."
Woman: "I said, I know. So he said. Just, please come to my house."
She stated she agreed to go to his house to "talk." It's unclear where Greitens' wife or children were at this time.
The woman said that when the sexual encounter began that Saturday and said it was consensual.
Woman: "He said: "I'll make you feel better. I'll make you feel good. Come downstairs. I want to show you how to do a proper pull-up. And I knew he was being sexual and I still let him. And he used some sort of tape, I don't what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me."
She went on to say that some of his actions-scared her.
Woman: "I didn't even know. I feel like I don't even know. I was just numb. I just stood there and didn't (expletive) know."
She went on, describing what Greitens allegedly did next that made her feel sick.
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."
Her now ex-husband said that statement upset him.
"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.
She claims they had at least one more physical interaction later that day.
After the tearful confession, the man and his wife tried reconciling, but according to the man, Greitens was still in her life.
In October 2015, the woman allegedly sent an email to a Gmail account she told her husband she had previously used to get in touch with Greitens.
It stated "Eric, I am asking you to please consider all who are involved and the circumstances around us. I need you to not book at the salon anymore. This isn't fair to me, nor anyone close to us. Please respect me and my wishes."
As for the motivation of the ex-husband in speaking on-camera, he told News 4 "I am not after anything, I am not a part of politics, I am not a part of anything, I just want to move on with my life."
The man says he didn't want to speak out before, but says recently, he's been contacted by law enforcement authorities and members of the media. He says he wanted to get in front of a story he believed would come out eventually and he wants to protect his family.
"Something happened, churned this, and had people hounding me, even leaving a voicemail on my daughter's phone - when that happened, everything changed," said the ex-husband.
The ex-husband's attorney, Al Watkins confirms, he too has been in contact repeatedly with law enforcement agencies about this.
"My knowledge and my experience leads me to believe that at least, there is an elevated degree of interest in what is going on," said Watkins.
The man and his wife sought a divorce in March of 2016.
By Election Day in November 2016, he was on social media, calling Greitens-a quote "homewrecker."
He told News 4, "this didn't just destroy our marriage, it destroyed an environment, an ecosystem, this destroyed it all."
Late Wednesday, James Bennett, an attorney for Gov. Greitens released the following statement:
"The governor has now seen the TV report that ran tonight. The station declined to provide the tape or transcript in advance of running their story, which contained multiple false 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. 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."
When questioned by News 4, Greitens did not address the issue of the photograph but the Governor and his wife did release the following statement:
"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. 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. 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."
Sheena Greitens added:
"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."