Missouri governor acknowledges affair; attorney refutes blackmail claims

Gov. Eric Greitens has admitted to an affair before he ran for office in 2015

Gov. Eric Greitens has admitted to an affair before he ran for office in 2015. File Jason Rosenbaum St. Louis Public Radio

"Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately", Sheena Greitens said.

Greitens, 44, is a relatively new bright star in the Republican Party who boasts an extraordinary resume: Former Navy SEAL and lieutenant commander, attended Duke University on scholarship; Rhodes scholar at Oxford; PhD, author and White House Fellow during the administration of former president George W. Bush.

But the man, a prominent St. Louis entertainer, declined to proceed.

Sheena Greitens is an assistant professor in the political science department at the University of Missouri and co-director of the university's Institute for Korean Studies.

"The serious allegations against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens are very troubling", Kimberly Gardner said in a statement, adding that "both parties and the people of St Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations". As long as Greitens is governor, he could prevent that popular incentive from being issued for years - a decision worth hundreds of millions of dollars to banks, developers and syndicators that depend on the program.

The wife of Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens says she has "a loving marriage and an awesome family", despite her Republican husband's admitted infidelity before he was voted into office. He was fined $1,000.

It also points to Greitens' use of a secretive messaging app, Confide, that erases correspondence after it's been read. KMOV, which broke the news of the affair, has not broadcast that claim, as of Thursday afternoon.

As the 2016 campaign entered its closing stretch, the man signed up Watkins to be his attorney.

The governor and his wife released a statement late Wednesday after St. Louis television station KMOV reported that he had a sexual relationship with his former hairdresser in 2015.

Greitens has denied more lurid allegations contained in the recorded conversation between the woman and her ex-husband. The station aired portions of the recording.

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'There was no blackmail, and that claim is false, ' Bennett said in a public statement. "The outrageous claims of improper contact regarding these nearly three-year-ago events are a lie".

Afterward, the ex-husband went on social media calling Greitens a "homewrecker", according to KMOV. It became clear that this was not a story that was going to go away.

State Sen. Doug Libla, another Republican who lobbied for an investigation into the governor, told CNN that Greitens called him Thursday and that the two men had a "short conversation".

While Romine said that "all people are innocent until proven guilty" and that he is eager for the investigation to commence, he also suggested that his patience is not limitless.

Now that the scandal is public the governor is in damage control mode.

Greitens has confirmed that he engaged in an affair but strenuously denied any reports that he attempted to blackmail or slap the woman. I am not a part of anything. I need to move forward in my life as I know you are doing as well.

He claimed to have been contacted by law enforcement authorities and members of the media. The statement continued, "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".

Vince Harris, from the small town of Trenton, northeast of Kansas City, took to Greitens' Facebook page to defend him against commenters who labeled the governor a hypocrite for campaigning on family values in 2016 though he had cheated on his wife in 2015.

Alabama had Roy Moore and a governor who resigned due to a sex scandal.

"I don't see how he can weather this political storm", Schaaf said.

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