In his first interview since acknowledging an extramarital affair, Gov. Eric Greitens said Saturday that there was “no blackmail” and “no threat of violence” by him in what he described as a months-long “consensual relationship” with his former hairdresser.
Greitens told The Associated Press that he has no plans to resign from office as a result of the affair, despite calls to step aside from several Republican and Democratic state lawmakers.
“I’m staying. I’m staying,” he said twice for emphasis, adding about his relationship with his wife, staff and supporters: “We’re strong.”
Greitens, 43, has remained out of the public eye since shortly after delivering his State of the State address on Jan. 10. Later that night, St. Louis television station KMOV reported that Greitens had an extramarital affair in 2015 as he was preparing to run for governor. He firmly denied that he had attempted to coerce the woman, or that he or anyone associated with him had paid her to be silent.
“This was a consensual relationship,” Greitens said. “There was no blackmail, there was no violence, there was no threat of violence, there was no threat of blackmail, there was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail. All of those things are false.”
The governor said he has had no other romantic or sexual relationships with anyone else while he’s been married.