A Missouri House special investigative committee has released a report on allegations against Governor Eric Greitens, which includes testimony from a woman who says that—among other things—Greitens “touched her crotch without her consent,” sexually coerced her, slapped her when he found out she was sleeping with her estranged husband, and threatened to blackmail her if she revealed their relationship.
Greitens, a former Navy SEAL who was elected as a Republican in 2016, was charged with felony invasion of privacy in February for blackmailing the woman by threatening to publish a nude photo of the woman if she told anyone about their relationship.
According to the report, the woman testified that she met Greitens in 2013 as a customer of her hair salon. She said she had a crush on Greitens but was shocked when he ran his hand up her leg and touched her crotch without her consent during a March 2015 hair appointment. He later invited her to his St. Louis home while his wife was out of town.
After she arrived through the back door, the report said that the woman testified Greitens searched her purse and “patted her down from head-to-toe.” He then asked if she had exercised and had her change into a white T-shirt with a slit on the top and pajama pants.
But once in his basement, Greitens taped her hands to pull-up rings, blindfolded her, started kissing her, ripped open the shirt and pulled down her pants, the woman testified. She didn’t give consent to be disrobed or kissed, the report said. The woman testified that she then heard a click, like of a cellphone picture, and saw a flash.
Greitens then allegedly told the woman, “Don’t even mention my name to anybody at all, because if you do, I’m going to take these pictures, and I’m going to put them everywhere I can. They are going to be everywhere, and then everyone will know what a little whore you are.” When the woman didn’t respond, Greitens spanked her and asked her, “‘Are you going to mention my name?’”
“I was definitely fearful,” the woman told the committee.
In another incident, Greitens slapped the woman in the face:
I went out with a few of my girlfriends after work and then went over to his house afterwards. So this – my guess would have been 10:00 p.m., kind of later. And at first was consensual, you know – he has a spare bedroom upstairs and took me up there, and we were, like making out at this point. My guess is at least seminude at this point. And he looks at me and asked me … have you been intimate with anybody? And I said, What do you mean? And he said, Well, since you and I started – because he knew that I had been separated from my husband. And I said, Well, I slept with my husband – because I know at some point I had. And he slapped me across my face, just like hard to where I was like, What? Eric, what in the heck? You’re married. Why would – what do you mean? And he just said, No. Like, that was – you’re mine. This is – what do you mean you slept with your husband? You are not supposed to be sleeping with him, you know? And I said, I think you’re screwed up from being in the Navy.
“Witness 1 testified that she did not believe the slap was intended to physically hurt her,” the report says. “Instead, she said, ‘I felt like he was trying to claim me.’ The slap did not leave a mark but ‘was just jarring. It wasn’t sweet and gentle; it was forceful.’”
The committee to investigate the allegations was formed in February after the indictment. In addition to the woman, the committee—made up of five Republicans and two Democrats, and chaired by Republican Jay Barnes—spoke to three other witnesses who knew the woman who corroborated her testimony. The committee also called the woman a “credible witness.”
Greitens admitted to having the affair in January after the woman’s ex-husband provided an audio recording of the woman talking about the blackmail incident to KMOV, a St. Louis TV station.
Greitens, however, has so far maintained that their relationship wasn’t violent and that he never blackmailed the woman. “[T]his was a consensual relationship. There was no blackmail. There was no violence. There was no threat of violence. There was no threat of blackmail. There was no threat of using a photograph for blackmail. All of those things are false,” Greitens said on January 20, according to the report.
Greitens, who declined to testify or turn over documents to the committee, told reporters before the report was released today: “This is a political witch hunt...This is exactly like what’s happening with the witch hunts in Washington, D.C.”
Also Greitens, from his 2016 self-help book Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom For Living a Better Life: “The first step to building resilience is to take responsibility for who you are and for your life. If you’re not willing to do that, stop wasting your time reading this letter. The essence of responsibility is the acceptance of the consequences—good and bad—of your actions.”
You can read the full report here.