A woman who had an affair with Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens is defending her account that he coerced her into unwanted sexual activity at Greitens' home several years ago.
The woman, who has been identified in court filings by her initials K.S., spoke to St. Louis television station KSDK for a story that aired Monday — one week after a prosecutor dismissed a felony charge against Greitens stemming from the affair.
During the interview, the woman was asked if she stood by her testimony to a special legislative committee that Greitens coerced her into a sexual act while she was crying and lying on his basement floor.
"They were hard to talk about. Really, really, really hard to talk about, but I absolutely stand by it," she told KSDK in her first interview since TV station KMOV broke the news of the affair in January.
Asked specifically if Greitens coerced her into something she didn't want to do, she responded: "I mean, ultimately yes. Looking back, it's so hard. I see myself as so vulnerable."
Greitens has acknowledged having an affair more than a year before his November 2016 election, but he denied any criminal wrongdoing.
A special prosecutor was appointed Monday to determine whether to refile an invasion-of-privacy charge accusing Greitens of taking and transmitting a partially nude photo of the woman without her consent. That prosecutor also has discretion to file other charges stemming from the affair, which began in March 2015 and continued through that summer.
The woman has acknowledged that she had subsequent consensual sexual encounters with Greitens after that initial one, but she said Greitens forcefully slapped and shoved her during some of those. Greitens has denied any violence.
Asked why she continued to see Greitens if the first encounter felt coerced, she responded: "I just wanted to feel better. I felt so awful about myself. I wanted to forget whatever happened. I didn't want to believe that actually happened, and so, if he really likes me then, 'Yeah, yeah, it didn't happen like that.'"
The woman's testimony also is being considered by a special Missouri House investigatory committee that will recommend whether to pursue impeachment proceedings against Greitens. That committee was meeting Tuesday to discuss its rules and procedures for a monthlong special session devoted to determining whether to discipline Greitens.
In addition to allegations of sexual misconduct, the House committee also has been looking into Greitens' alleged misuse of a charity donor list for political fundraising and other campaign-related allegations.
Greitens faces a felony charge in St. Louis of tampering with computer data for disclosing a donor list of The Mission Continues to his political fundraiser in 2015 without permission from the St. Louis-based veterans' charity he founded. A judge on Tuesday postponed proceedings in that case until July 2.
Greitens' attorney, Jack Garvey, said the postponement was because a grand jury is still considering the case, which is standard procedure in St. Louis. Though a charge has already been filed, the grand jury could issue an indictment that would take precedence over the original charge.
Garvey said defense attorneys will ask that a special prosecutor also take over the second case if it proceeds. He said William Tisaby, the private investigator accused of lying to the court and hiding evidence in the invasion of privacy case, also was involved in the computer data tampering investigation.
"As much as the circuit attorney wanted to downplay his role, he was all over that case," Garvey said of Tisaby.
Susan Ryan, a spokeswoman for Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner, said Tisaby facilitated only one interview in the second case.
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