Investigation launched after Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens admits extramarital affair

Missouri governor allegations

Last Updated Feb 23, 2018 12:45 PM EST

NEW YORK -- Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens campaigned as an outsider and a family man.

"I am a Navy SEAL and I take dead aim at politics as usual," he said in one campaign ad. "Most importantly, I am a proud husband and father."

First-time candidate Greitens, a Republican who used to be a Democrat, appealed to a cross-section of voters with his brains and brawn.

Now, just a year after being sworn in, the governor finds himself under siege.

Audio recordings from March of 2015 obtained by CBS St. Louis affiliate KMOV-TV, which CBS News has not independently verified, appear to show an unnamed woman -- allegedly the governor's hairdresser -- admitting a consensual sexual encounter with the governor to her then-husband.

"He said, 'I'll make you feel better. I'll make you feel good. Come downstairs. I want to show you how to do a proper pull-up.' And I knew he was being sexual and I still let him," she says in the recording. "And he used some sort of tape, I don't what it was, and taped my hands to these rings and then put a blindfold on me."

She continued: "He stepped back. I saw a flash through the blindfold and he said, 'You're never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere.'"

That alleged blackmail threat, she said, scared her.

The woman said she "was just numb. I just stood there and didn't [expletive] know."

St. Louis prosecutor Kimberly Gardner said Thursday she is launching an investigation into the incident.

Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens
In this Jan. 10, 2018, file photo, Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens delivers the annual State of the State address to a joint session of the House and Senate in Jefferson City, Mo. AP

While acknowledging the affair, Greitens denies all other accusations, demanding he be shown proof.

"We have not been provided the tape or the transcript and know about the circumstances about how or why it was made," Greitens' attorney, Jim Bennett, said in a statement. "The Governor is very confident he will be cleared in any investigation. This is a three-year-old personal matter that presents no matters of public or legal interest. The facts will prove that fully. As we learned today, these false allegations are being advanced by political adversaries."

In a separate statement, first lady Sheena Greitens -- who has apparently forgiven her husband -- also weighed in.

"We have a loving marriage and an awesome family; anything beyond that is between us and God," she said. "I want the media and those who wish to peddle gossip to stay away from me and my children."

As for the woman on the tape, the former hairdresser, she has not commented publicly. And according to KMOV-TV, she was not aware at the time that her ex-husband was recording her confession.