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Woman at center of Greitens story asks for privacy; he asks lawmakers for forgiveness

Jack Suntrup and Kurt Erickson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch on

Published in News & Features

JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. -- The woman at the center of possible blackmail allegations aimed at Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens asked the media and the public for privacy Friday.

Through her attorneys, she asked reporters to leave her alone.

"This story has taken an emotional toll on our client and she is extremely distraught that the information has been made public," a statement from the law firm, St. Charles-based Knight & Simpson, said. "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.

"She wants to remain a private citizen and does not want to be a part of this story," the statement read. "We are asking the media and the public to continue respecting her privacy."

On Wednesday, hours after delivering his second State of the State address, Greitens admitted to a past extramarital affair in a statement first delivered to KMOV-TV. The governor has subsequently denied any violence or blackmail against the woman with whom he had an affair -- a defense spawned by allegations in an account and an audio recording released by her ex-husband.

The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has not identified the woman, who has declined repeated interview requests.

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St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner has launched a criminal investigation into Greitens. In an audio recording the woman's ex-husband said he surreptitiously made in 2015, the woman said Greitens took a compromising photo of her and said he would release it if she told anyone of their affair.

A spokeswoman for the prosecutor's office decline to discuss the investigation Friday. The woman's statement did not note whether she was prepared to cooperate with the probe, and an attempt to reach her attorney was not successful late Friday afternoon.

The statement issued by her attorneys did not refute or endorse the allegations made in the audio recording.

In response to the woman's statement, an attorney for the ex-husband said his client is committed to protecting the interests of his family.


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