ST. LOUIS, MO — Missouri Governor Eric Greitens is under fire for an extramarital affair. He sat down with FOX 2 to answer questions about blackmail, violence, and investigations. The governor had not answered any questions in person until our interview.
Reporter Vic Faust has known Eric Greitens for the past 30 years. They reconnected when Faust moved back to St. Louis. He made it clear that nothing was off the table when they sat down in Jefferson City Saturday for this exclusive broadcast interview.
"I'll ask you right off the bat, whats going on? We know about the affair you admitted to, but was there some sort of threats with her or blackmailing?" asks FOX 2 reporter Vic Faust.
"There's no blackmail, there's no violence. The mistake I made was that I engaged in a consensual relationship with a woman who wasn't my wife. It's a mistake that I'm deeply sorry for. Sorry to Sheena, the boys, and everybody who relied on us," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
Faust asks, "This woman, was she restrained or photographed against her will?"
"This was a consensual relationship, no violence, all consensual. All of these allegations. There was no hush money, no violence, no blackmail, no threat of blackmail, no threat of photograph and blackmail. Those things are absolutely false," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Are there other women? Are we going to hear reports of other women interfering with the job?" said Faust.
"Vic, I made a mistake with one woman years ago. Years ago and Sheena and I dealt with it, privately, together. Because of her forgiveness, God's love, mercy and family, we made it through and are stronger today," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Rumors are that there are problems. How are you guys doing?" said Faust.
"It is hard on our family when people report things that are false. There was a report that while Sheena was giving birth I was with a woman and beat her. It's absolutely false. We didn't even have a child that year," said Gov. Eric Greitens. "Sheena and I love each other. We have an awesome family. I think Sheena said it best, 'We have a loving marriage and awesome family and anything else is between us and God."
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner says she is conducting an investigation into possible criminal charges against the Governor for accusations regarding his affair. Greitens also addressed reports of a FBI investigation.
"The fact is, we have never been contacted. I know there are rumors out there. We've never been contacted by the FBI. I never have, on this or any matter. So, that's false. No violence, blackmail, nothing to investigate. You have rumors and falsehoods being reported," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Why has this come out now? Who is behind this and what motivation is there?" asks Faust.
"That's a question for another day. One thing I will tell you, for Sheena and I. You have to make a choice in life. You have to decide if you focus on people who are tearing you down or people who are lifting you up," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Why did you respond so swiftly to the report KMOV brought out the night they did?" asks Faust.
"Because we had already dealt with it years ago, Sheena and I did years ago. It was a private thing," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Your critics say, 'how can we trust a man who ran on family Christian values and principles. How can we trust him to run our state?'" said Faust.
"For anyone who has been affected by this I ask for their forgiveness as well. They need to know I'm working every day to be the governor they deserve me to be," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
Since the governor admitted the affair, there have been calls for his resignation from both parties.
"There were two senators I spoke with who experienced pain in their lives, people I have had disagreements with. They have been the most thoughtful and kind people during this process. This has reset our relationship to move forward," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"So there's no doubt in your mind, impeachment is ridiculous?" said Faust.
"Absolutely not. Vic we're staying here, moving forward, there is a lot of work to be done," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Is there any doubt in your mind that you're the best man to lead the state of Missouri?" asks Faust.
"Vic, I'm staying and we're moving forward. Sheena and I are strong. We have a strong team and people in Missouri are counting on us," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"Has this been the most difficult thing you have gone through, even though you brought it on yourself?" asks Faust.
"What's been so hard about this, I know I caused pain to the people who love me the most, and that's been hard," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
"What have you learned?" asks Faust.
"One of the things I have been reminded of is Sheena's love and the power of forgiveness, I've been reminded of that," said Gov. Eric Greitens.
Greitens, in the roughly 30 minutes I saw him, spoke repeatedly of how much he loves his wife and is grateful for her forgiveness. He said over and over how wonderful his family and friends are. Sheena was not present for the interview. We've been told she was on a pre-planned vacation with her parents.