The hair stylist who claims Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens used partially nude photos of her to blackmail her into keeping quiet about their love affair told a St. Louis TV station, "I'm not lying."
In her first media interview, the woman told NBC affiliate KSDK-TV that she regrets having the brief fling with Greitens and wishes she could apologize to the Republican governor's wife.
"I'm in the middle of the most difficult, crazy fight that I didn't ask to be a part of," she said. "And I feel like I'm this easy punching bag, yet I haven't thrown any punches.
"I didn't want this," said the woman, who was only identified in court filings by her initials as K.S. and declined to show her face on camera. "I wasn't out to get anyone. I really was just trying to live my life."
Greitens, the married father of two young children, has admitted to having a consensual sexual relationship with the woman in 2015, months before he successfully ran for governor on a platform of family values. He has adamantly rejected any criminal wrongdoing, denying his accuser's allegation that he surreptitiously took cellphone photos of her blindfolded and partially nude during a rendezvous in the basement of his home on March 21, 2015.
"There's no blackmail. The mistake I made was I engaged in a consensual relationship with a woman who wasn't my wife. It is a mistake that I'm deeply sorry for. Sorry to Sheena, my boys and everybody who relied on us," Greitens said in a January interview with Fox affiliate KTVI-TV.
Greitens' former mistress said the governor's denials about parts of their relationship prompted her to speak out.
"The second that he denied the things that were the most hurtful, that were the most hurtful for me to now have to relive, I just realized: now I have this decision," the woman told KSDK. "The only ethical thing I felt that I could do was to tell the truth."
While the compromising photos have never surfaced, Greitens had been scheduled to go on trial this month on a felony invasion of privacy charge stemming from the allegations. The case against Greitens was dropped May 14 by St. Louis prosecutors.
A special prosecutor was appointed this week to determine if the case should be re-filed against Greitens, a former Navy SEAL.
The woman's affair with Greitens was first publicly exposed by her ex-husband, who secretly recorded her admitting to the affair.
Earlier this year, she testified behind closed doors to the Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight. The committee released excerpts of her testimony this month and said she was a credible witness.
In her testimony, she claimed that Greitens blindfolded her and bound her hands to pull-up rings before he allegedly ripped open her shirt and pulled her pants down. She claimed she then heard what sounded like a picture being taken.
She testified that Greitens later told her, "Don't even mention my name to anybody at all because if you do, I'm going to take these pictures, and I'm going to put them everywhere I can."
In the interview with KSDK, she stood by her story.
“Yes, I do stand by them. They were hard to talk about. Really, really, really hard to talk about, but I absolutely stand by it,” she said. "I have no ill intention, other than not being made to be a liar. I'm not lying. This was hard. It was hard at the time, it's hard to talk about now. I'm not lying. That's it. I want to move on. I want to heal."
She said her one big regret is that she hurt Greitens' wife, Sheena Greitens.
"I would absolutely apologize," she said when asked what she would say if she could speak to the governor's wife. "I shouldn't have been involved with him. I shouldn't have gone into her home. I know that."