Politics

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens acknowledges extramarital affair but denies photo blackmail allegation

Key Points
  • Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens asks for forgiveness for 2015 sex encounter.
  • In a statement with his wife, the Republican governor says the extramarital affair "was a deeply personal mistake."
  • He denies a claim that he tried to blackmail the other woman into silence by taking a photo of her.
Eric Greitens and his wife, Sheena, celebrate his victory in the 2016 election for Missouri governor.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Getty Images

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens acknowledges he had an extramarital affair with an unidentified woman but denies a claim that he tried to blackmail her into silence.

The 43-year-old Republican tweeted a statement hours after a St. Louis television station reported the 3-year-old encounter Wednesday.

CBS affiliate KMOV reported that the woman said in a recording that she had a sexual encounter with Greitens and that he tried to blackmail her to keep the matter quiet.

The woman's ex-husband told the station the recording took place just after their encounter in March 2015. The man also said Greitens photographed the man's ex-wife in a bid to keep her from telling other people.

"There was no blackmail and that claim is false," the governor's attorney, James Bennett, said in a statement.

The governor, in a statement with his wife, said the extramarital affair "was a deeply personal mistake."

"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."

Greitens, a Democrat who switched to the GOP, was elected governor in 2016.

KMOV noted that when he announced his candidacy, he said: "I'm Eric Greitens, I'm a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father."

Read KMOV's full story here.

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