Woman who claims Missouri governor tried to blackmail her with nude photos breaks her silence

PHOTO: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stands off to the side before stepping up to the podium to deliver remarks to a small group of supporters near the capitol in Jefferson City, Mo., May 17, 2018, photo.PlayJeff Roberson/AP
WATCH Embattled Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens bracing for impeachment proceedings

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.

PHOTO: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stands off to the side before stepping up to the podium to deliver remarks to a small group of supporters near the capitol in Jefferson City, Mo., May 17, 2018, photo.Jeff Roberson/AP
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens stands off to the side before stepping up to the podium to deliver remarks to a small group of supporters near the capitol in Jefferson City, Mo., May 17, 2018, photo.

"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.

PHOTO: Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks at a news conference in Jefferson City, Mo., April 11, 2018, about allegations related to an extramarital affair with his hairdresser.Julie Smith/The Jefferson City News-Tribune via AP
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens speaks at a news conference in Jefferson City, Mo., April 11, 2018, about allegations related to an extramarital affair with his hairdresser.

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.

PHOTO: Afternoon sunlight on the state capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo., on a spring afternoon, April 28, 2015.Education Images/UIG via Getty Images
Afternoon sunlight on the state capitol building in Jefferson City, Mo., on a spring afternoon, April 28, 2015.

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."

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