The ex-wife of Missouri GOP Senate nominee Eric Greitens has accused him of abuse
Former wife of former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens, now a leading Republican nominee for the US Senate, has accused him of physically abusing her and their children at the end of their marriage, court documents filed Monday reveal.
Sheena Greitens claimed in court filings that her ex-husband punched her, stole her phone, hit her children and threatened suicide if she did not publicly support him during the 2018 sex scandal that led to his resignation as governor.
She first made the troubling allegations public in an affidavit amid an ongoing custody battle with Greitens in Missouri over their two young sons.
“Prior to our divorce, Eric punched me during an argument in late April 2018 and confiscated my cell phone, wallet and keys, leaving me unable to call for help or extricate myself and our children from our home,” Sheena claimed, per the filing.
“Because of Eric’s unstable and compulsive behavior, I became afraid for my safety and that of our children in our home, which was quite isolated,” she added. “This behavior included physical violence towards our children, such as handcuffing our then three-year-old son at the dining table in front of me and pulling his hair.”
Greitens’ campaign manager, Dylan Johnson, dismissed the allegations as “completely false” and “politically motivated”.
“His ex-wife is in a last-ditch effort to vengefully destroy her ex-husband,” Johnson said in a statement. “Eric has always been a great dad who loves his boys and has always put them first and that is why he is seeking sole custody of his children.”
Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt, one of Greitens’ rivals, tweeted in response on the file: “These abuse allegations are disgusting and disgusting. As Missouri Attorney General, I know a predator when I see one, and I’ve fought for victims at every turn. The conduct described in this affidavit is the reason Eric Greitens is in prison and not running for US Senate. He should end his campaign immediately.”
Eric and Sheena Greitens’ relationship fell apart four years ago when he was accused of taking a compromising photo of his hairdresser without her consent when they were in the middle of an extramarital affair in 2015.
Greitens was charged with invasion of privacy after the photo showing the undressed woman blindfolded and tied up was released in January 2018. The charges against Greitens – a former Navy SEAL and Rhodes Scholar – were later dropped by prosecutors.
A Missouri House committee then began investigating campaign finance issues, and Greitens faced a second felony indictment in St. Louis, alleging that he tagged his political fundraiser with his veterans’ charity’s donor list.
In the affidavit, Sheena claimed her scandal-plagued husband admitted to taking his mistress’ compromising photo, but warned she could face legal trouble if she ever revealed the fact to anyone – even her therapist.
Ahead of his resignation as governor in May 2018, Sheena claimed Greitens bought a gun but refused to tell her where it was. She also claimed he threatened to kill himself “unless I provided specific public political support.”
Sheena claimed his behavior had become so alarming that on three separate occasions in February, April and May 2018, “several people besides me were concerned enough to step in to limit Eric’s access to firearms.”
Sheena claimed Greitens also threatened her when he tried to convince her to delete emails she had sent to her therapist seeking help.
“Eric has threatened to accuse me of child molestation if I don’t delete the emails and convince the therapist to delete them,” she wrote in the affidavit, which also claimed Greitens described them as “hateful, disgusting, mean, vicious… lying b-h,” as he accused her of leaking information about him and his scandals to prosecutors and the media.
Sheena further alleges Greitens threatened to use his political connections and influence to tarnish her reputation and gain custody of their children after their divorce was finalized in 2020.
While Greitens largely kept a low profile following his resignation, that changed when the Missouri Ethics Committee personally acquitted him of any wrongdoing last year — though he found a probable cause his campaign violated the campaign finance law.
Then, in March of last year, the once-rising GOP star announced he would be running for the Senate seat being vacated by fellow Republican Roy Blunt.
Sheena is attempting to move the custody case to Austin, Texas – where she now lives with her sons – to keep the children from renewed publicity in the wake of Greitens’ bid for a political comeback.
She wrote in her affidavit that Greitens’ return to politics had been a drain on her and that the power he would attain as a senator was “extremely intimidating.”
“Now that Eric is a candidate for federal office, public interest in my life, my relationship with Eric and its breakdown, and the existence of custody issues between Eric and I are being reignited and brought back into the central public discussion. ‘ Sheena wrote, before urging a judge to move the matter to where ‘the reach of his power and influence is markedly narrower’.
With mail wires