Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admitted he cheated on his wife, Sheena, in 2015 but denied accusations of blackmail after a Wednesday news report accused him of having an affair with his former hairstylist.
Greitens, 43, revealed this information Wednesday evening after the KMOV TV station reported Wednesday night that the Missouri governor had a sexual relationship with the hairdresser in 2015 and that the woman’s ex-husband claimed Greitens took nude photos of her and threatened to blackmail her if she revealed the affair.
The ex-husband reportedly gave the TV station secretly taped recordings of his ex-wife saying where and when she encountered Greitens.
The TV station declined to name the ex-husband and the woman accusing Greitens of blackmail and having an affair, saying the woman refused to comment.
The governor made the admission hours after he gave his annual State of the State address at the Missouri State Capitol in Jefferson City.
Both Greitens and his wife addressed the allegations in a joint statement.
“A few years ago, before Eric was elected Governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage,” the statement said. “This was a deeply personal mistake. Eric took responsibility, and we dealt with this together honestly and privately.”
Greitens, a former Navy SEAL, married Sheena in 2011 in Spokane, Washington, according to a wedding announcement published in the New York Times. It is the Missouri governor’s second marriage. The couple has two sons, Joshua and Jacob.