Another troubling claim has been lodged against Missouri Republican Gov. Eric Greitens by the ex-husband of the woman with whom he politician admitted to having an affair.
The ex-husband said Greitens slapped his ex-wife after she told him she and her then-husband had sex, the anonymous man says through his attorney, Albert Watkins. HuffPost confirmed the claim, first detailed in Talking Points Memo, with Watkins. The woman involved in the affair has not been named. She used to be Greitens’ hairdresser.
Her ex-husband provided a recording to local CBS affiliate KMOV earlier this week containing other shocking accusations allegedly made by his ex-wife: that Greitens taped the woman’s hands together while she was nude and blindfolded her before taking a photograph he threatened to use as blackmail if she ever disclosed the relationship.
Greitens is married with two children. The affair allegedly took place in 2015.
Although the governor admitted late Wednesday to being “unfaithful” in his marriage, he strongly denied any accusation of violence or blackmail through his attorney, James Bennett. Greitens also claims the photograph does not exist, and denies the quote attributed to him on the recording.
According to the woman involved in the affair, whose voice is allegedly heard on the tape, Greitens said after taking the compromising photo, “You’re never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of [you] everywhere.”
“Any allegation of violence is completely false. It never happened,” Bennett said in a statement on the governor’s behalf.
“There was never any violence,” he said. “Anything reported otherwise is untrue and we will explore pursuing all legal action. This was a consensual relationship that lasted multiple months and was years ago before Eric was elected governor.”
Greitens was elected governor in November 2016.
In a follow-up statement, Bennett called the Talking Points Memo report a “political hit piece” because it cites Roy Temple, former chairman of the Missouri Democratic Party, as one of two sources for the ex-husband’s slapping claim. The other source is the ex-husband’s lawyer, who is not mentioned in Bennett’s statement.
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner on Thursday announced plans for a formal investigation into the allegations against Greitens. A bipartisan group of Missouri state senators also asked the state’s attorney general to investigate the governor.
Greitens and his wife, Sheena, issued a joint statement on Wednesday acknowledging the affair.
“A few years ago, before Eric was elected governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage,” the statement read. “This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately. While we never would have wished for this pain in our marriage, or the pain that this has caused others, with God’s mercy Sheena has forgiven and we have emerged stronger.”
Greitens, who had never before held public office, won the governorship largely on a platform of ethics reform. He has close ties with at least two other accused sexual abusers.