ST. CHARLES, Mo. — A St. Louis-area attorney has released a statement on behalf of the unnamed woman involved in the recent affair and blackmail allegations against Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens.
The Republican governor acknowledged Wednesday night that he’s been “unfaithful” in his marriage but denied allegations that he blackmailed the woman to stay quiet.
In the statement released Friday, Knight & Simpson law firm frequently ask for privacy for the woman who St. Louis-based TV station KMOV reported had an affair with Greitens in 2015.
“Our law firm represents the unnamed woman in the recent story involving Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens. We are reaching out to you today to ask the media and the public to respect our client’s request for privacy. This story has taken an emotional toll on our client and she is extremely distraught that the information has been made public. It is very disappointing that her ex-husband betrayed her confidence by secretly, and without her knowledge, recording a private and deeply personal conversation and then subsequently released the recording to the media without her consent.
“Prior to releasing the story, a number of reporters made contact with our client asking her to comment on the information provided by her ex-husband. In response, she has consistently and continuously asked the reporters not to publish the story. Any comments that were made ‘on the record’ or ‘off the record’ have consistently been requests for privacy. Our client is a single mother working hard to raise a family. She is saddened that during this time of national introspection on the treatment of women in our society, allegations about her private life have been published without her permission.
“At this time, our client would like to thank each reporter and media outlet who honored her request for privacy prior to the story’s release. She wants to remain a private citizen and does not want to be a part of this story. We are asking the media and the public to continue respecting her privacy.”
In the story that aired on KMOV-TV in St. Louis, the woman’s ex-husband claimed Greitens blindfolded the woman, led her downstairs and then took a picture of her, which the ex-husband says he then used for blackmail.
In response to the circuit attorney’s investigation, Greitens’ attorney James Bennett issued the following statement:
“The Governor is very confident he will be cleared in any investigation. This is a three-year-old personal matter that presents no matters of public or legal interest. The facts will prove that fully. As we learned today, these false allegations are being advanced by political adversaries.”
The identities of the woman and ex-husband were not released in KMOV’s report. The woman allegedly involved did not comment on the record to the station, but her ex-husband provided an audio recording he made to KMOV in which a woman gives details about a sexual encounter.
The ex-husband claimed she was talking about herself and Greitens when she went to the Greitens’ St. Louis home in March 2015. The woman did not know her then-husband was recording their conversation.
Several other St. Louis media outlets, including Fox 4’s sister station Fox 2, also had the recording, but chose not to release it because the woman refused to comment. Once the recording became public, those St. Louis outlets felt compelled to release it as well.
Bennett said any allegations of violence are false, and the relationship was consensual.
“This was a consensual relationship that lasted multiple months and was years ago before Eric was elected Governor,” Bennett said.
Greitens’ attorney said Thursday that they believe the report was the result of a “political hit piece.”
“The latest reporting has finally disclosed that the reporting was being driven by a ‘source’ who is the former Democrat state party chairman and who apparently has not spoken to the person in question,” Bennett said. “This goes a long way to explaining what is going on. It’s become clear this is a political hit piece. This is and remains an almost three-year-old private matter with no matter of public interest at stake.”
On Thursday, some groups and individuals began calling for Greitens’ resignation. But Bennett said the governor will not resign.
“The governor is not resigning and his plans are to continue to serve the people of Missouri,” Bennett said Thursday.
A St. Louis circuit attorney said Thursday she has launched an investigation to determine if Greitens committed crimes.