The ex-wife of embattled former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens accused him of abuse in a sworn affidavit from a child custody battle, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reported Monday.
According to court records, Sheena Greitens alleged that her ex-husband abused both her and their children while they were married in 2018, the report said.
“Prior to our divorce, during an argument in late April 2018, Eric knocked me down and confiscated my cellphone, wallet and keys so that I was unable to call for help or extricate myself and our children from our home,” she wrote, according to the Post-Dispatch.
“I became afraid for my safety and that of our children at our home,” Sheena Greitens said.
She also detailed instances of “physical violence” against their children, accusing her ex-husband of “cuffing our then-3-year-old son across the face at the dinner table in front of me and yanking him around by his hair.”
Eric Greitens, one of the leading Republican U.S. Senate candidates in Missouri, has been plagued by scandals throughout his political career.
He resigned as governor in June 2018 after a local hairdresser accused him of taking compromising photos of her without her consent and threatening to release them.
While Greitens admitted to having an affair with the woman, he denied the allegations of attempted blackmail, The Washington Post reported. Nonetheless, he was charged with felony invasion of privacy in early 2018 after a probe by Democratic St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner.
Soon after that charge, Gardner charged Greitens with another felony for allegedly using a donor list from his nonprofit foundation in an attempt to help his campaign.
Should Greitens drop out of the Missouri Senate race?
Missouri Republicans held a meeting to discuss possible actions against Greitens in May 2018, but he resigned in June before any official proceedings to remove him from office.
Yet when his political career was at its lowest point, Greitens’ fortunes suddenly began to change. Both felony charges fell apart not long after he resigned, and a private investigator Gardner hired for the invasion-of-privacy case was charged with lying in a deposition, the Post reported.
In February 2020, the Missouri Ethics Commission determined Greitens’ campaign had violated campaign finance law, but it “found no evidence of any wrongdoing on the part of Eric Greitens, individually,” the Post-Dispatch reported.
One year later, his ex-wife’s allegations might derail that effort.
If you hit a woman or a child, you belong in handcuffs, not the United States Senate. It’s time for Eric Greitens to leave this race https://t.co/RgCow67dDW
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 21, 2022
The GOP does not need a candidate with this kind of baggage going forward. I don’t care if it’s true or not. It’s not about that. It’s about winning this critical seat and saving our country. Greitens doesn’t have the character to drop out. So we have to drop him. @hughhewitt https://t.co/GLuR9tAoyW
— Kurt Schlichter (@KurtSchlichter) March 21, 2022
Sheena Greitens’ claims about the months toward the end of his governorship painted a darker picture than previously reported.
According to the Post-Dispatch, she said her ex-husband had a gun hidden somewhere in the house and threatened to commit suicide if she did not publicly support him.
Three times between February and May 2018, she said, “multiple people other than myself were worried enough to intervene to limit Eric’s access to firearms.”
Sheena Greitens said she emailed a family therapist for help, but Eric Greitens threatened her into deleting the emails.
“Eric threatened to accuse me of child abuse if I did not delete the emails and convince the therapist to delete them,” she wrote in the affidavit.
She said the reason she’s bringing up these allegations now relates to her ex-husband’s attempted political comeback. She lives in Austin, Texas, and is seeking to move the child custody dispute to that state.
“Now that Eric is a candidate for federal office, public interest in my life, my relationship with Eric and the breakdown thereof, and the existence of issues of custody between Eric and me are being re-kindled and brought back into central public discussion,” Sheena Greitens wrote, according to the Post-Dispatch.
For that reason, she requested the move case be moved to Texas, where she said “the reach of his power and influence is significantly less.”