The attorney for the ex-husband of the woman at the center of a felony charge against Governor Eric Greitens says he received two $50,000 cash payments from an anonymous source.
KMOV-TV reports attorney Al Watkins said the payments took place in early January, the day after the TV station interviewed the ex-husband for a story it broke the next day.
The story outed Greitens’ extramarital affair with the woman and his alleged attempt to blackmail her. As reported by KMOV, Watkins claims he does not know who the money came from and says the payments were dropped off at his office by courier service. He also said he had reported the payment to the FBI.
The TV station notes reporters have asked Watkins repeatedly about the payments, and that two weeks ago he denied any payments were made before making a plea for funds to pay his legal bills.
KMOV reports Watkins said Monday he hadn’t been untruthful, making a differentiation that only his firm had been paid, not him. He also said his client has not been paid at all.
The defense team for Greitens is attempting to acquire Watkins’ financial records, which he told a judge he plans to fight.
Greitens was indicted in February by a St. Louis grand jury for felony invasion of privacy for allegedly taking a nonconsensual photo in 2015 of the woman with whom he was having an affair in a partially nude state.
Greitens has said the affair was consensual and has denied any criminal wrongdoing. His trial is scheduled for May 14th in St. Louis Circuit Court.
On Friday, he was charged with a second, separate felony for allegedly using a donor list from a charity he founded. He’s accused of taking the list for his 2016 political campaign without the charity’s permission.
Greitens’ defense team is asking Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison to disqualify the St. Louis Circuit Attorney from trying the second case, and a hearing on that request is scheduled for Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Cole County Circuit Judge Jon Beetem has scheduled a hearing Thursday on a separate petition from Greitens’ team to prevent state Attorney General Josh Hawley from investigating the governor.
They claim Hawley has a bias after he called on Greitens to resign this month. Hawley was reacting to a House special committee report which includes testimony from the woman alleging physical assault and sexual coercion on the part of Greitens.