JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — The Missouri General Assembly went about business as usual Thursday morning, with one caveat — leadership is calling for accountability as other wait to see how the situation with the governor’s extramarital affair unfolds.
“We just have to see how it plays out,” Sen. Jay Wasson, R-Nixa, said. “I hope for the families sake that this works out well, in some regard for them, that they endure this as well as they can.”
Secretary of State Jay Ashcroft said that the concerning, complex allegations must be taken seriously and that he “will continue to pray for the Greitens family and ask the people of Missouri to join me in doing the same.”
“Like many Missourians, we find these serious allegations shocking and concerning,” in a joint statement, Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard, Majority Floor Leader Mike Kehoe and Assistant Majority Floor Leader Bob Onder said. “As this situation is evolving, we expect the governor to be honest and forthright.”
The statement released by Missouri House leadership ecod the Senate’s.
“While the details of the story continue to emerge, the allegations made against the governor last night are deeply concerning,” House Speaker Todd Richardson, Speaker Pro Tem Elijah Haahr, and Floor Leader Rob Vescovo said. “The governor must be forthright and accountable for his actions.”
On Wednesday night, just hours after the State of the State address, the St. Louis television station KMOV reported that Gov. Eric Greitens engaged in an affair with his former hairdresser and the woman’s ex-husband alleged he tried to blackmail her.
“A few years ago, before Eric was elected governor, there was a time when he was unfaithful in our marriage,” Eric and Sheena Greitens said in a joint statement.
In a recording made available to KMOV by the woman’s ex-husband, the woman gives details about a sexual encounter she says happened with Greitens in March 2015 at his St. Louis home. Neither party was named, the woman did not comment on the record and the woman was unaware her then-husband was recording the conversation.
During the alleged encounter at the Greitens’ St. Louis home, the woman says on the tape “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.
“I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said, ‘You’re never going to mention my name.’”
According to the husband, law enforcement had been in touch.
Greitens denies the allegation of blackmail.
“The claim that this nearly three-year old story has generated or should generate law enforcement interest is completely false,” a statement, released through the Greitens attorney after KMOV’s report aired, said. “There was no ‘blackmail,’ and that claim is false.”
In a joint statement, Democratic Sens. Gina Walsh and Kiki Curls said: “In light of the very serious allegations made against the governor, there are many questions still left unanswered. But let’s be clear – violence and threats against women are never acceptable. Allegations of extortion, coercion, or threats of violence must be investigated by the proper authorities. People accused of these egregious acts do not get to waive off the scrutiny of law enforcement simply because they are in a position of power; and victims of these crimes deserve our full support.”
Alisha Shurr is a reporter for the Missouri Times and Missouri Times Magazine. She joined the Missouri Times in January 2018 after working as a copy editor for her hometown newspaper in Southern Oregon. Alisha is a graduate of Kansas State University. Contact Alisha at firstname.lastname@example.org.