Missouri governor denies blackmailing woman

Gov. Eric Greitens. (Photo by Craig Barritt/Getty Images for The Robin Hood Foundation)

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo.  – Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says he did not take nude photos of a woman or threaten to blackmail her if she disclosed their relationship.
Greitens’ attorney, Jim Bennett, also on Thursday said allegations of violence are “completely false.” Bennett says anything reported otherwise is untrue and that they will pursue legal action.

Greitens acknowledged a months-long extramarital affair late Wednesday after a television station reported he had a sexual relationship with his hairdresser in 2015. Bennett released this statement Thursday afternoon:

“The governor denies that the picture was taken and denies stating the words attributed to him by her on the recording.  Any allegation of violence is completely false. It never happened. There was never any violence. Anything reported otherwise is untrue and we will explore pursuing all legal action. This was a consensual relationship that lasted multiple months and was years ago before Eric was elected Governor.

We have not been provided the tape or the transcript and know nothing about the circumstances of how or why it was made and so are not commenting on any motives of any person who is claimed to have been recorded.

There is no agreement, written or otherwise, related to these matters and no effort to enter any kind of non-disclosure agreement.”

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens confirmed a broadcast report that he had an affair. He and his wife Sheena issued a joint statement Wednesday night.

“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 in another statement, “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.”

Democrat State Senator Jamilah Nasheed tweeted, “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.”

The Kirksville Daily Express quotes Republican State Representative Nate Walker as saying he is extremely disappointed in Governor Eric Greitens. “I believe he has hoodwinked us, the citizens of Missouri.”