50 shades of Greitens? Missouri governor indicted over naked bondage photo

Governor Eric Greitens of Missouri has been indicted on a felony charge of invasion of privacy, over the alleged blackmail of his mistress in a nude bondage photo. He is said to be out of custody on a personal recognizance bond.

The charges stem from an affair Greitens had with his hairdresser in 2015, while his wife was either pregnant or had just given birth to their second child. Greitens admitted to the affair and apologized, but denied reports that he had tried to blackmail the mistress into silence by threatening to release a sexually explicit photo of her.

A grand jury in St. Louis indicted the governor on Thursday, accusing him of knowingly taking photographs of the woman and transmitting the image “in a manner that allowed access to that image via a computer.” He was reportedly taken into custody but soon released on a personal recognizance bond, pending a hearing scheduled for March 16, 2018. 

Last month, the ex-husband of the governor’s paramour provided the St. Louis TV station KMOV an audio recording in which she confesses to having the affair and accuses the governor of taking photos of her naked, blindfolded and tied up in his basement. The confession was recorded without her knowledge and released to the media by her ex-husband without her consent, according to the Kansas City Star.

St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner opened a criminal investigation last month, shortly after the charges became public.

Citizens of Missouri “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,” Gardner said in a statement on Thursday. “Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”

Greitens is a highly decorated US Navy SEAL with deployments in Iraq, Afghanistan, Southeast Asia and the anti-piracy operation off the coast of Somalia. He is a lieutenant commander in the US Navy Reserve. Previously a Democrat, he became a Republican in 2015 to run for governor.

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