Governor Eric Greitens.
The St. Louis-area woman who had a sexual relationship with Missouri Governor Eric Greitens has broken her silence with a simple plea: Leave me alone.
In a statement released to media this afternoon through her attorney, Scott Simpson of Knight & Simpson, the woman said that her ex-husband had "betrayed her confidence" and asked that reporters respect her privacy.
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 to not 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.
The statement then thanked reporters who had honored the woman's 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," the statement continued. "We are asking the media and the public to continue respecting her privacy."
News of the affair — and some troubling allegations about a photo supposedly snapped by Greitens — first broke Wednesday night, just one hour after the governor's state of the state address.
The local CBS affiliate, KMOV, broke the news using an audio recording of the woman confessing some details to her then-husband. The man, who is now her ex, made the recording without her knowledge and also gave an on-camera interview to KMOV for its story, although the station blurred his face. The woman did not comment for the piece and has repeatedly declined to discuss the matter with reporters
See also: Eric Greitens Is in the Hot Seat. But We're Wrong to Let a Spurned Ex Drive This Story
In the recording distributed to the media by her ex, the woman describes her first sexual encounter with Greitens. After the man pleads with her for details, the woman says on the recording that the former Navy SEAL took a photo of her while she was blindfolded. "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." The woman recounts being troubled by Greitens' actions, and says that he quickly apologized. He also told her that he'd erased the photo, she says on the recording.
The two went on to see each other again. The woman's ex, however, has suggested that Greitens' conduct amounted to blackmail. (Greitens has denied taking the photo and denied all allegations of blackmail.) St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner opened an investigation yesterday into whether any criminal conduct occurred.
Numerous legislators, including some Republicans, have called for the governor's resignation
The woman told her ex-husband about her encounter with Greitens in March 2015, which appears to be not long after it happened. Her husband filed for divorce that December, court records show.
Greitens was elected governor in November 2016, besting a crowded field of Republican contenders in the primary and beating then-Attorney Chris Koster in the general election
Albert Watkins, the attorney for the woman's ex-husband, has released a statement of his own responding to her statement.
It reads in part, "Our client has no intention of getting into a war of words with the mother of his children about betrayal, especially in light of the underlying circumstances involved. .... Our client remains committed to doing that which is necessary to protect the interests of his family in general and his minor children in particular. Our client simply seeks to finally get this epic real life drug store novel in his rear view mirror."
We've included the statement in its entirety below:
While acknowledging the irony of the statement issued on behalf of our client’s former wife, our client has no intention of getting into a war of words with the mother of his children about betrayal, especially in light of the underlying circumstances involved.
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Our client remains committed to doing that which is necessary to protect the interests of his family in general and his minor children in particular. Our client simply seeks to finally get this epic real life drug store novel in his rear view mirror.
Our client has tried valiantly at great personal, emotional and fiscal expense to keep the actions of others from compromising the integrity of the image of his former spouse in the eyes of their children. It became clear that this was not a story that was going to go away. It became clear that our client was without the ability to protect his minor children. It was clear that damage was imminent.
In this era of national heightened awareness and introspection on the treatment of victimized persons in our society, my client seeks to heighten the awareness of the reality that for every woman who has been exploited, victimized, and used by a man in a position of power and authority, there are scores of others, including spouses, significant others, friends, and minor children who become nothing short of forgotten collateral damage, carnage at the side of the interstate.
Our client respectfully suggests the national introspection referred to in his former spouse’s statement be broadened to encompass awareness of the innocents who suffer as mightily as the direct victim.
On a more specific level, our client has no interest in Governor Greitens, his political aspirations, or his future. Our client seeks nothing more than the exposure of the truth so as to permit this tragedy to allow all who have been used and victimized to commence the healing process.