Missouri’s Republican Governor Eric Greitens, a former Navy SEAL and ardent Donald Trump supporter, on Wednesday admitted he had an extramarital affair with a woman in March 2015, News 4 reports. According to the report, the unnamed woman alleges Greitens threatened to blackmail her if she shared information about their relationship.
In a recording provided to News 4 by the woman’s ex-husband, she described her affair with Greitens, and also alleged the governor threatened to disseminate a photo of their encounter if she told people about the affair. In the recording, the woman describes Greitens’ actions as “horrible and disgusting.”
Describing an encounter with Greitens to her then-husband, the woman explained that he invited her over to his house to “talk.”
“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,’” she said, News 4 reports. “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.”
“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,” she alleged.
The woman’s ex-husband told News 4 that statement sickened him. “He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail,” the ex-husband said. “There is no worse person. I think it’s as bad as it gets, It’s as bad as it gets when someone takes advantage of something.”
According to the woman, Greitens eventually apologized and said he deleted the picture.
In a statement, Greitens acknowledged the affair, but did not mention the alleged threat to spread photographs of the woman.
“A few years ago, before Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage,” a statement by the governor read. “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.”
Greatens’ wife, Sheena Greitens, called her marriage to the governor “loving,” and told “the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.”
Read the full statement from the Greitens below:
After KMOV’s report that Gov. Eric Greitens admitted to having an extramarital affair before taking office, an attorney for the governor and his wife provided these statements. #moleg #mogov pic.twitter.com/UpGv4pNTiq
— Will Schmitt (@ws_missouri) January 11, 2018