Top GOP Senate Candidate’s Ex Says He Hit Their 3-Year-Old, Threatened Her

The new accusation could threaten Eric Greitens’ political comeback after he was forced to resign in disgrace in 2018.
Cameron Joseph
Washington, US
Eric Greitens, U.S. Republican senate candidate for Missouri, speaks during the Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) in Orlando, Florida, U.S., on Thursday, Feb. 24, 2022. (Photo: Tristan Wheelock/Bloomberg via Getty Images)

Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’ ex-wife has accused him of knocking her down, hitting their 3-year-old child, and showing such “unstable and coercive behavior” that others stepped in to try to limit his access to firearms, in a new legal affidavit obtained Monday by the Associated Press.


It’s a new accusation that could threaten Greitens’ political comeback after he was forced to resign in disgrace in 2018.

“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 Greitens, his ex-wife, wrote in the filing obtained by the AP. “I became afraid for my safety and that of our children at our home.”

She also accused Greiteins of “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.”

Greitens fired back, insinuating his ex-wife was mentally ill and working with his political enemies.

Greitens resigned from the governorship in 2018 after being indicted for allegedly taking compromising photos of a woman with whom he was having an affair and then using them to attempt to blackmail her to keep quiet. That woman also accused him of physical abuse. 

An investigation by the Missouri Ethics Commission into this and unrelated campaign finance issues found “probable cause” that Greitens’ campaign broke campaign finance law but didn’t find him personally liable. Prosecutors also charged him with felony invasion of privacy but later dropped that charge


Greitens has claimed he’s been completely exonerated, and is seeking a political comeback by running for retiring Republican Sen. Roy Blunt’s seat. Polls have shown he has an early lead ahead of the August primary: a recent Trafalgar Research survey found him leading with 31 percent support to 23 percent for Missouri GOP Attorney General Eric Schmitt and 17 percent for Republican Rep. Vicki Hartzler among GOP primary voters.

Greitens has run hard as a MAGA conservative, and former President Donald Trump has been warming up to potentially endorsing him—the two met at Mar-a-Lago earlier this month.

But this new affidavit, which paints Greitens as unstable and abusive, could change that—while further damaging Greitens as a general-election candidate should he win the primary.

Greitens’ ex-wife claims he bought a gun during this time but refused to tell her where it was and threatened to kill himself if she didn’t politically support him. She also claimed that “multiple people other than myself were worried enough to intervene to limit Eric’s access to firearms” on three separate occasions in early 2018, shortly before he resigned from office.

And Sheena Greitens writes that he threatened to accuse her of child abuse if she didn’t delete emails she’d sent to the family therapist, threatened to try to have her arrested for kidnapping when she planned to fly her children to visit her parents, and threatened to try to get her new job offer revoked. 

The affidavit was filed as part of a custody battle over their children, as she is attempting to move the case to her current home state of Texas, where she says “the reach of his power and influence” over local judges and officials “is significantly less.”

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