19:30 GMT +320 July 2018
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    Eric Greitens

    Missouri Governor Denies Assaulting, Threatening to Blackmail Former Lover

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    Late Wednesday, Republican Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admitted to having an affair in 2015 before he became the Show-Me State's governor.

    Greitens' admission came after local news station KMOV did a segment Wednesday that detailed a conversation between Greitens' former lover and that woman's now ex-husband, who secretly recorded her confession about the affair days after it began.

    "A few years ago, before Eric was elected governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage," a joint statement from both Greitens and his wife Sheena reads. "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."

    In a separate statement, Sheena Greitens wrote, "We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children."

    In the recordings, which the ex-husband released to the station so he could "move on with [his] life," Greitens' lover described how she'd met the then 40-year-old politician and later how the two became intimate in March 2015 at his St. Louis home.

    "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. 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," the woman told her husband at the time. "I didn't even know. I feel like I don't even know. I was just numb. I just stood there and didn't [expletive] know."

    But then things took a turn — Greitens allegedly threatened to blackmailed the woman with nude photos.

    The woman said Greitens threatened to spread pictures of her "everywhere" if she tried to expose his actions. "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 said.

    However, the woman later told her soon-to-be-ex-husband that Greitens had deleted the photo.

    "He took a picture of my wife naked as blackmail. There is no worse person," the ex-husband told the station after releasing the conversation. "I think it's as bad as it gets, it's as bad as it gets when someone takes advantage of something."

    Although the Greitens came forward about the extramarital affair, the claims of blackmail were immediately shot down in a statement released by James Bennett, Eric Greitens' attorney.

    "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," Bennett wrote. "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."

    But the story doesn't end there. According to Talking Points Memo, Greitens also "slapped [the woman] against her will" after she informed him that she'd had relations with her husband.

    Despite Greitens' lawyer denying the claims of assault and blackmail, a St.Louis circuit attorney launched an investigation Thursday to see if the politician committed any crimes linked to the affair.

    The woman at the center of the allegations refused to make an on-the-record statement to KMOV, and it's unclear if she will be coming forward.

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