On a night when Missouri Governor Eric Gretiens was set to display leadership and strength, a salacious story overtook his message.
Shortly after delivering his State of the State address calling for tax cuts and ethics reform, Greitens, his wife, and their attorney released a Facebook statement confirming an extramarital affair on the part of the governor. Their lawyer, James Bennett, denied Greitens had threatened to blackmail a woman after a consensual sexual encounter with her in his home.
KMOV-TV released an audio conversation in which an unnamed woman described to her now ex-husband how Greitens had asked her to come downstairs, where he tied her hands to rings and blindfolded her. The woman, who KMOV reports was Greitens hair stylist, then described seeing a flash through her blindfold and said Greitens told her to never mention his name, or there would be photos of her everywhere.
In the Facebook statement, the governor and his wife Sheena Greitens admitted he’d been unfaithful in their marriage and had made a deeply personal mistake. Bennett, their attorney, said outrageous claims of improper conduct over the “almost three-year-ago events are a lie”. KMOV quoted the attorney for the woman’s ex-husband as saying he’d turned over the audio recordings to law enforcement personnel.