Bondage and Blackmail: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Busted

Bondage and Blackmail: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens Busted

The governor, who billed himself as a values-based family man, said in a statement that being unfaithful in his marriage was a "deeply personal mistake".

Greitens, a Republican, made his admission on Wednesday following a report by a St. Louis television station that included a recording of a woman confessing to a sexual encounter with him to her now ex-husband. They did not address the blackmail allegation, but their attorney, James F. Bennett, did.

The investigation comes after a report from KMOV in which Greitens' admitted to having an extramarital affair "a few years ago". Before engaging in sex, Greitens asked if she had had sex with anyone since their last encounter.

A St. Louis prosecutor on Thursday said she would investigate allegations that Greitens threatened to blackmail the woman. "It never happened", Bennett said in a statement on the governor's behalf.

The Missouri Chamber of Commerce and Industry praised Greitens' call for tax cuts, but Democrats generally have remained skeptical.

The recording is a conversation between the woman and her ex-husband, who secretly recorded the conversation as he pushed her to confess to the affair.

She also said, "as hard it is not just to want to drop in and say, 'Throw him out.' I don't want to do that".

Within 24 hours of acknowledging the affair in a contrite statement late Wednesday, Greitens' camp had shifted to suggesting he was the target of "a political hit piece" - even as the St. Louis circuit attorney launched a criminal investigation. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this.

In a separate note, Sheena Greitens added, "We have a loving marriage and an awesome family, anything beyond that is between us and God".

Eric Greitens Founder and CEO, The Mission Continues speaks at the Robin Hood Veterans Summit at Intrepid Sea-Air-Space Museum on May 7, 2012 in New York City.

Greitens is a former Navy SEAL and has two children with his wife, Sheena, whom he married in 2011.

Bennett also said any allegation of violence is "completely false" and that Greitens had a consensual relationship with the woman. 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. "These alleged actions have cast another dark shadow over the Missouri State Capitol".

Greitens met with Cabinet members and placed phone calls to rally support Thursday while his attorney fended off with firm denials a smattering of accusations that Gretiens had acted violently, taken a revealing photo or tried to blackmail the woman to remain silent about their 2015 affair. "The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these nearly three-year-ago events are false", the statement issued after Greitens had seen the TV report said.

The governor's lawyer told Inside Edition the governor denies a picture was taken and says he didn't say what's attributed to him on the tape and claims there was no attempt at blackmail. Anything reported otherwise is untrue and we will explore pursuing all legal action.

A spokeswoman for the FBI's St. Louis office said the agency could not confirm or deny that it was investigating.

GOP leaders in the Missouri Senate released a joint statement urging Greitens to be "honest and forthright". He and his senior staff have also come under fire for using an app that deletes text messages after they've been read, raising concerns about trying to subvert Missouri open records law.

"I feel the same way about the governor today than I did a month ago", Schaaf said.

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