Associated Press

Missouri Governor Eric Greitens and his wife Sheena released a joint statement Wednesday night confirming that the governor engaged in an extramarital affair in 2015, two years before he took office.

CBS News’ St. Louis affiliate KMOV conducted a months-long investigation into claims that the Republican had an affair and used nude photographs of his partner to blackmail her into staying quiet. The station apparently obtained a recording of the woman confessing to the affair to her own ex-husband, who secretly recorded the conversation and turned the tape over to KMOV.

The woman, whose name has not been printed and who did not provide the station with an on-the-record comment, was Greitens’ hair stylist, according to the Washington Post. In the audio obtained by KMOV, she recalled feeling sickened by the encounter with Greitens:

Woman: “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. 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 went on to say that some of his actions scared her.

Woman: “I didn’t even know. I feel like I don’t even know. I was just numb. I just stood there and didn’t (expletive) know.”

She went on, describing what Greitens allegedly did next that made her feel sick.

Woman: “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.”

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In a statement, Greitens and his wife, Sheena, confirmed that an affair had taken place.

Greitens’ lawyers denied the blackmail allegations.

Update, 7:35 PM ET, 01/11/2018: 

St. Louis city prosecutor Kimberly Gardner announced Thursday she would launch “a formal investigation” into allegations that Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens blackmailed a former sex partner.

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“It is essential for residents of the City of St. Louis and our state to have confidence in their leaders,” Gardner wrote in a statement published on the city prosecutor’s website. “They 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. Both parties and the people of St. Louis deserve a thorough investigation of these allegations.”