Eric Greitens, the Republican governor of Missouri, admitted Wednesday to having an extramarital affair after a CBS affiliate St. Louis reported that Greitens had tried to blackmail his mistress with a picture showing her bound, blindfolded and partly undressed.
KMOV 4 obtained a recording of Greitens’ former hairdresser confessing the affair — from 2015 — to her husband. (They divorced in 2016.) She claims that Greitens bound her hands almost immediately after bringing her into his basement under the pretense of showing her “how to do a proper pull-up.”
“I knew he was being sexual and I still let him,” says the woman, who was not named in the report. “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.”
The woman then claims that Greitens took a photo of her.
“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,’” the woman says. She later adds that she takes some of the blame for the encounter, and that Greitens told her he had deleted the picture.
“He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail. There is no worse person,” the woman’s ex-husband said. During the 2016 gubernatorial election, the man took to social media to call Greitens a “home-wrecker.”
The ex-husband also claimed that law enforcement has “an elevated interest” in Greitens’ actions during the affair.
“There was no blackmail and that claim is false,” James Bennett, a lawyer for Greitens, said in a statement. “This personal matter has been addressed by the governor and Mrs. Greitens privately years ago when it happened.”
Greitens, elected in 2016, campaigned with Vice President Mike Pence and billed himself as a family man with traditional values. He is reported to have presidential aspirations.
“We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God,” Greitens’ wife Sheena said in a statement. “I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.”