Rauner campaign pulls TV ads featuring Missouri governor

U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad removes Gov. Greitens amid criminal investigation

U.S. Chamber of Commerce ad removes Gov. Greitens amid criminal investigation

The woman at the center of the investigation into alleged blackmail by Gov. Eric Greitens asked Friday for privacy through her attorneys as the scandal promises to dominate Missouri headlines for weeks.

The ex-husband claimed she was talking about herself and Greitens when she went to the Greitens' St. Louis home in March 2015.

The news raced across the internet and through the state's halls of power.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, a Democrat, initially said no criminal complaint had been filed against Greitens and no evidence of a crime was presented to her office.

Behind the scenes, many state political figures and journalists had been aware of rumors about Greitens' affair with the woman, some of them for months and even more than a year.

The couple released their Wednesday statement after St. Louis television station KMOV reported that the governor had a sexual relationship with his former hairdresser in 2015. The woman declined to comment for the story and has yet to speak on the record. 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.

"This is the worst-kept secret in the world", said St. Louis attorney Albert S. Watkins. "It became clear that this was not a story that was going to go away".

In his tweets, Greitens said his wife has forgiven him and their marriage is stronger than ever, so he hopes this will remain a "private" matter.

We have been asked repeatedly by reputable news outlets why we believe this almost three-year-old news story is coming out now. He said the blackmail allegations put to rest any hesitancy about proceeding, along with a "lengthy" off-the-record conversation with the woman.

She asked Greitens to "please consider all who are involved and the circumstances around us".

"He said, 'I'll make you feel better. There was a lot of discussion".

Rumors of an affair first got traction in the state's elite circles in September 2016 while Greitens, a bestselling author, former Navy SEAL and political novice, was running a maverick campaign for governor against Chris Koster, the state's Democratic attorney general.

In April 2017, Greitens was fined $1,000 by the Missouri Ethics Commission for violating state campaign finance law. Temple said Koster was aware of the rumor but didn't dispatch him to look into it further.

Through his attorney, Greitens, 43, also denied an allegation from the ex-husband that Greitens slapped the woman, saying any accusation of violence is "completely false".

Temple said he met with the ex-husband to see whether he'd be interested in publicly telling his story, which would have been a major development in the late stages of a competitive political campaign. I need to move forward in my life as I know you are doing as well.

But Watkins and his client decided not to go the media, because the man was concerned about his two children learning about the affair.