The big political question for Missouri's governor is what happens now that Eric Greitens has admitted he had an affair, but strongly denies sexual extortion.
The ex-husband says he's now releasing that recording to protect his family. But his lawyer denied sensational allegations aired by a local TV station that Greitens threatened to distribute naked photos he took of the woman with whom he was having a relationship if she ever said anything about it. The station, which broadcast the story Wednesday night, has not identified the woman, nor has the St. Louis Post-Dispatch, which also obtained the audio, reportedly recorded without her permission.
Some Republicans also expressed their concerns about the sordid details off Greitens illicit affair. Sen.
The whole story, which had been the stuff of wild rumors for weeks, originated with the spurned ex-husband, who told KMOV that the relationship between Greitens and the man's then-wife had led to the breakup of their marriage.
In the recordings, she revealed a sexual encounter with Greitens inside his home where he blindfolded her and bound her hands.
Greitens' attorney James F. Bennett has denied any allegations of blackmail.
Greitens' attorney, Jim Bennett, said the governor was "very confident he will be cleared in any investigation. The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these nearly three-year-ago events are false".
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner announced Thursday that she planned to launch a criminal investigation into the accusations.
Democratic Caucus Chair Michael Butler is just one of many lawmakers calling for an investigation regarding the allegations against Governor Eric Greitens.
"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".
The governor released a series of statements to the media.
Missouri Governor Eric Greitens, who was elected in 2016 after running weird ads that essentially fetishized gunfire (like the Dan Bilzerian of politicos), has already found himself in a public relations nightmare.
The governor, who billed himself as a values-based family man, said in a statement that being unfaithful in his marriage was a "deeply personal mistake". Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this.
He thanked "God's mercy" for helping his wife Sheena forgive him. "We understand that there will be some people who cannot forgive - but for those who can find it in your heart, Eric asks for our forgiveness, and we are grateful for your love, your compassion, and your prayers".
Eric Greitens and his wife, Sheena, were at a hotel watch party with their sons when he was declared the victor in the Republican primary in August 2016. They have two children. The governor was married once before and divorced in 2003. His GOP campaign for governor in 2016 promoted, in part, his character and his belief in family values. He is a former Navy SEAL and Rhodes scholar.
Greitens graduated from Duke in 1996. His wife, Sheena Chestnut Greitens, is an assistant professor of political science at the University of Missouri, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Center for East Asian Policy Studies at the Brookings Institution in Washington. While at Oxford, he volunteered as a documentary photographer and researcher in the Gaza Strip, Albania, Cambodia, Mexico, Bolivia and India. He formed a nonprofit that gives veterans a chance to continue their service, published four books and is a subject of a fifth.
St. Louis attorney Albert Watkins, who is representing the ex-husband, backed away from the term "blackmail" in an interview on Thursday.