- Eric Greitens was indicted by a grand jury on Thursday and taken into custody
- Charges say he took and shared a nude photo of his mistress without consent
- The Republican father-of-two admitted to the affair but denies the charges
- His former mistress also claims he blackmailed her and assaulted her
- The father-of-two, 43, who assumed office in January 2017, had a sexual relationship with the unidentified also married woman in March 2015
Missouri governor Eric Greitens has been arrested on felony invasion of privacy charges related to an extramarital affair with his married hairdresser, state authorities announced.
The married father-of-two, 43, was indicted on Thursday for taking a nude photograph of his former mistress while she had ‘reasonable expectation of privacy’ and transmitting the image, according to court documents.
The Republican was taken into custody at the Carnahan Courthouse in downtown St. Louis, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported.
An investigation was launched in January after Greitens admitted to a March 2015 affair with the unnamed woman, who has also accused him of threatening to share the image if she exposed their relationship.
She also claims the governor slapped her during an encounter in the same hospital where his wife was giving birth to their child.
Greitens admits the affair but denies allegations of blackmail and assault.
‘As I have stated before, it is essential for residents of the city of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders,’ St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner said in a written statement.
The woman’s allegations became public last month, when KMOV aired an interview with her ex-husband, who recorded a conversation with his then-wife where she discussed the affair.
In the 2015 audio recording, the woman purported to be Gretiten’s lover is heard telling her husband about a physical interaction she had with the lawmaker just days earlier.
The woman said she met Greitens, a client, at her hair salon roughly one year before – when she revealed she was ‘instantly’ attracted to him.
One Saturday morning in March of the following year, she went to his house, where the two had sex for the first time.
Then, he allegedly threatened to expose naked images of her if she told anyone what happened.
The distraught woman can be heard weeping in the audio tape as she explains the disturbing parts of the encounter that went from fun to frightening.
‘He used some sort of tape, I don’t know what it was… and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me,’ she first explained.
Then, ‘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 you everywhere,”‘ she added, tearfully.
The woman also said Greitens since apologized over the aggressive encounter, and confirmed: ‘I wanted to tell you, I erased it.’
However, the indictment accuses Greitens of sharing the nude photo – which is a felony.
Following the fallout, the woman revealed the two had one more physical encounter later in the day – but did not include further information on what that entailed.
The ex-husband’s attorney, Albert Watkins, made another explosive allegation, accusing the governor of slapping his client after she told him she and her husband had sex during their attempt at reconciliation.
The attorney said that the governor first assaulted his client when they met face-to-face in a hospital where Greitens’ wife was delivering their child.
KMOV reported that in October 2015, the woman used the same gmail account formerly used to secretly talk to Greitens, and asked him to no longer see her at work.
The email read: ‘Eric, I am asking you to please consider all who are involved and the circumstances around us. I need you to not book at the salon anymore.
‘This isn’t fair to me, nor anyone close to us. Please respect me and my wishes. I need to move forward in my life as I know you are doing as well. Take care.’
Her ex-husband said although she attempted to reconcile, he was ready to move forward. The couple sought divorce in March 2016.
Meanwhile, Greitens’ wife Sheena Elise Chestnut has stood by his side, over what the lawmaker calls a ‘deeply personal mistake’ of his past.
The woman’s ex-husband, who spoke openly on the matter with the news station, added: ‘I don’t want to be a part of politics, I don’t want to be a part of anything.’
While the politician has come forward to admit to the affair, his attorney, James F. Bennett, has denied the blackmail claims.
‘There was no blackmail, and that claim is false,’ Greitens’ attorney, James F. Bennett, said in a public statement. ‘This personal matter has been addressed by the Governor and Mrs. Greitens privately years ago when it happened.
‘The outrageous claims of improper conduct regarding these almost three-year-ago events are false.’
Greitens was elected governor in November 2016. He emphasized both his past military service and his outsider status during his campaign, portraying himself as a family man, saying in his announcement: ‘I’m a Navy SEAL, native Missourian and most importantly, a proud husband and father.’
He is a former Rhodes scholar who joined the Navy in 2001 and had tours of duty in Afghanistan, Southeast Asia, Africa and Iraq.
His last deployment came while he was serving as a White House fellow in President George W. Bush’s administration. He once was chlorine-gassed in a suicide bomb attack but returned to duty three days later.
He’s been awarded the Bronze Star and the Purple Heart. He later founded and ran a veterans’ charity, The Mission Continues, and became a motivational speaker and best-selling author.
Source: Daily Mail UK
Featured Image: Patch