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

  • 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
Eric Greitens and his wife, Sheena, celebrate his victory in the 2016 election for Missouri governor.

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.