Government & Politics

Missouri Democrats want Greitens to attest that he did not try to blackmail woman

Listen to woman describe her interactions with Gov. Eric Greitens

The allegations surfaced shortly after the governor delivered his annual State of the State address. Audio from The Associated Press.
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The allegations surfaced shortly after the governor delivered his annual State of the State address. Audio from The Associated Press.

Missouri Democrats are calling on Gov. Eric Greitens to sign an affidavit legally certifying that he did not attempt to blackmail a woman with whom he had an affair in 2015.

Greitens, a Republican, has admitted that he cheated on his wife in 2015 while he was laying the groundwork for his successful campaign for governor. He has vehemently denied allegations that he threatened to release a nude photograph of the woman, taken while she was blindfolded and her hands were bound, if she spoke about the affair.

Yet in interviews with select media and at a news conference Monday, Greitens has repeatedly refused to answer directly whether a photo was ever taken.

The blackmail allegations are being investigated by the St. Louis prosecutor.

The Missouri Democratic Party released a statement Wednesday calling on Greitens to attest, under penalty of perjury, that he never threatened to blackmail the woman, that he never took any compromising photos of the woman and that taxpayer money was never used to facilitate or conceal the affair.

Parker Briden, the governor’s press secretary, declined comment.

Oddly enough, this isn’t the first time Missouri politicians have been asked to sign affidavits regarding their sex life.

In 1998, then-Missouri Attorney General Jay Nixon signed an affidavit stating that he had been “completely sexually faithful to my wife.”

Nixon was running against then-U.S. Sen. Kit Bond that year. With the U.S. House just three months away from impeaching President Bill Clinton over matters related to his affair with a White House intern, one of Nixon’s donors publicly called for Bond and Nixon to sign affidavits saying they had never committed adultery.

Nixon, who was running television ads portraying him as a solid family man, agreed to sign.

Bond, who had divorced three years earlier and not remarried, declined, calling the affidavit “trash tactics.”

Bond went on to decisively beat Nixon that fall by more than 140,000 votes. Ten years later, Nixon was elected governor.

Jason Hancock: 573-634-3565, @J_Hancock

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