Speed Reads

skeletons in the closet

Eric Greitens, ex-governor and a leading Missouri Senate candidate, accused of abuse

Former state governor and a leading GOP Missouri Senate candidate Eric Greitens has been accused by his ex-wife of physical abuse and "unstable and coercive behavior," according to court records revealed Monday, The Associated Press reports.

The sworn affidavit from Sheena Greitens, the candidate's former wife, "is part of an ongoing child custody dispute in Missouri," AP writes. She is asking the court to move the custody case to Austin "in part to spare her children from renewed public attention as Eric Greitens tries to mount a political comeback."

"Prior to our divorce, during an argument in late April 2018, Eric knocked me down and confiscated my cell phone, wallet and keys so that I was unable to call for help or extricate myself and our children from our home," Sheena said in the filing. "I became afraid for my safety and that of our children at our home," she added, later continuing that her then-husband's behavior "included physical violence toward our children, such as 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."

Among other accusations, Eric Greitens' former spouse also alleged he purchased a gun but refused to reveal its whereabouts, even allegedly threatening suicide unless Sheena "provided specific public political support," she said.

After the fact, on three separate occasions, multiple people out of concern moved to limit Eric Greiten's access to firearms, she noted.

The former governor was once a "rising GOP star," AP writes, though everything changed after he was "indicted on an invasion-of-privacy charge in February 2018 in St. Louis." The new allegations from his former wife may jeopardize his chances at a political comeback out of Missouri's Aug. 2 primary. 

GOP Pennsylvania Senate candidate Sean Parnell was also accused by his ex-wife of abuse. He later suspended his campaign.