Greitens' attorney: Governor 'confident' he'll be cleared after - KCTV5 News

Greitens' attorney: Governor 'confident' he'll be cleared after investigation announced

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File photo of Governor Eric Greitens. (AP) File photo of Governor Eric Greitens. (AP)

UPDATE: On Thursday evening, Kimberly M. Gardner, the circuit attorney for the city of St. Louis, released a statement saying that she has decided to launch a formal investigation into the allegations against Governor Greitens. 

Her statement said: 

The serious allegations against Missouri Governor Eric Greitens are very troubling. After further consideration, I have decided to launch a formal investigation into the alleged actions of Governor Greitens. 

It is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders. They must know that the Office of the Circuit Attorney will hold public officials accountable in the same manner as any other resident of our city. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations. 

If anyone has any information related to this matter, I encourage them to contact my office immediately. 

Greitens' attorney, Jim Bennett, says in an email statement to The Associated Press that the affair is a personal matter "that presents no matters of public or legal interest." He says the facts "will prove that fully."

An attorney for the woman's ex-husband says he has been interviewed multiple times by the FBI. An FBI spokeswoman declined comment.

Previous coverage:

The big political question for Missouri’s governor is what happens now that Eric Greitens has admitted he had an affair, but strongly denies sexual extortion.

The bombshell was dropped last night by our sister station KMOV in St. Louis.

Today, the reaction has been strong:

"I hate bullies!"

"This is disgusting!

"I think the governor has seen 50 Shades of Grey too many times!"

It was the talk on The Talk and on the CBS Morning Show

The Republican governor acknowledged a months-long extramarital affair late Wednesday after KMOV reported he had a sexual relationship with his hairdresser in 2015. Greitens denied claims that he took nude photos of her and threatened to release them publicly if she disclosed the relationship.

For some, it's political fuel. An online petition calling for his removal is circulating on Twitter. Also, Missouri Senate Democratic leaders released this statement:

"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.”

It is unclear at the time of publication if any agency is officially investigating the allegations.

The unnamed woman did not make the accusations of blackmail public.

It was her ex-husband that leaked a phone recording to the media and authorities, claiming his family was under pressure. He denied politics played any role, but said Greitens destroyed his family.

There's a good chunk of people out there who feel this is a private personal matter and point out the governor's wife has obviously forgiven him.

Others say it's not the affair, but the allegations of sexual blackmail they want to be investigated.

KCTV5 News does want to emphasize that these are still allegations and that the governor, through his lawyer, strongly denies them.

On Thursday evening, Greitens' attorney released a new statement: 

"We have been asked repeatedly by reputable news outlets why we believe this nearly three-year-old news story is coming out now. The latest reporting has finally disclosed that the reporting was being driven by a 'source' who is the former Democrat state party chairman and who apparently has not spoken to the person in question. This goes a long way to explaining what is going on -- this is a political hit piece.

This is and remains an almost three-year-old private matter with no matter of public interest at stake. Eric and Sheena have worked through those issues long ago and I think that Sheena put it best: 'We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God. I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children.' Now we know who has been peddling that gossip."

Copyright 2017 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved. The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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