For Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens the easy part to explain is the affair. From there, the explaining gets a whole lot more difficult.
News 4 KMOV in St. Louis has been investigating the Greitens extramarital affair for months. On Wednesday night Greitens confirmed to News 4 he had the affair, an admission prompted by the investigation.
The affair, however, is just the half of it, actually just about the tenth of it. On a recording, the woman, still unnamed, claims that Greitens tried to blackmail her to keep the encounter quiet. The woman’s now ex-husband made the recording surreptitiously.
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, who cut Greitens hair, then explains that she was responsible for initiating the exchanges with Greitens. “I met Eric a year ago and I instantly had a big crush on him,” she tells her husband. Greitens allegedly asked her to come to his house because he could not afford to be seen with her in public. She concedes their interaction was consensual but kinky.
Greitens led the woman down to his gym. “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.”
Now here’s the career ender: “He stepped back. I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said, ‘You’re never going to mention my name or there will be pictures of [the woman] everywhere.'” The woman says Greiten apologized, and they had other encounters after this.
“He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail,” the ex-husband tells News 4. “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.”
Greitens’ attorney James Bennett 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.”
Greitens and his wife Sheena added their own 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.”
Added Sheena Greitens: “We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God.”
To God, to Sheena, to the citizens of Missouri, Greitens has a whole lot of ‘splaining to do.