Missouri Governor Eric Greitens.
The St. Louis hairdresser who had an affair with Eric Greitens in the year before he was elected Missouri governor says the former Navy SEAL spanked her, slapped her hard across the face and shoved her down the ground — in addition to taking a nude photo against her will.
The woman's testimony is reflected in a report by the Missouri House Special Investigative Committee on Oversight
, which was convened after the Republican was indicted on a felony count of invasion of privacy.
The committee interviewed the woman and her now ex-husband, as well as a trusted friend of the woman in whom she confided key details of her tortured relationship with Greitens.
The woman said she saw Greitens and had oral sex with him several times from March to June 2015. They never actually had sexual intercourse, she says.
When, in October 2015, as the woman's estranged husband began reaching out to Greitens' wife and others, the woman asked Greitens not to see her again. Greitens complied, she told House investigators.
As expected, the woman did confirm in detail the story at the center of the allegations against the governor: That he blindfolded her, taped her hands to pull-up rings and then pulled her pants down and ripped her shirt off before taking her photo. "You’re not going to mention my name. 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," she reports him saying.
However, the report also includes a number of disturbing details, many of them never previously reported. Here are the lowlights:
1) Greitens started the first hookup by spitting in the woman's mouth.
"He said, 'First, before we start a workout, you have to be hydrated' and puts water in his mouth and tries to spit it in my mouth, at which point I realized he’s trying to kiss me, but I don’t even want to kiss him. … So I just spit it out. He does it and he’s like, 'You’re not going to be a bad girl, are you?' Tries to do it again, to which I just let it dribble out, because I didn’t even want to kiss him."
2) Greitens slapped her while she was taped to the pull-up rings.
"I just stood there quietly, and then he came up close to me and he said, 'Are you going to say anything? Are you going to mention my name?' Of course, in my head, I was screaming, 'Fuck, all I want to do is tell people right now. I’m dying. This is the most embarrassing thing that’s ever happened to me.' So I just didn’t answer at all, and then he spanked me and said, 'Are you going to mention my name?' And I said – I just gritted through my teeth and I said, 'No.'"
3) While she was sobbing with shame after he let her loose from the pull-up bars, Greitens allegedly coerced her into giving him oral sex.
"I’m bawling my eyes out. And then he’s like – I can tell he’s still, like, in it – he’s still in this – in this thing that he’s got in his mind of whatever he’s doing, and he’s still like messing with me. He starts undoing his pants, and he takes his penis out and puts it, like, near where my face is. And I’m like – so this guy literally just wants me for this, and this is all he wants, and then he’ll let me – because at this point, too, I also know I have to be at work, and he’s not going to let me leave, because he’s obviously still horny. So I gave him oral sex at this point." After that, he let her leave.
4) He slapped her — hard.
"[H]e 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.'"
5) He was rough again during a time they were having oral sex.
"He was essentially, like fingering me and – but in that position, and out of nowhere, just, like, kind of smacked me and grabbed me and shoved me down on the ground. And I instantly just started bawling and was just like, 'What is wrong with you? What is wrong with you?' And I just laid there crying while he was just like…you’re fine, you’re fine. You know, not really – I think he was just – I don’t know. Maybe that’s normal, but, to me, it’s not."
6) The woman's ex-husband vowed to publicize the story against her will.
The House committee found that the woman's now ex-husband "repeatedly threatened her with release of information about [herself] and Greitens." The woman testified that her ex-husband told her, "Just wait, because your good reputation…your outstanding reputation is going to be ruined and so is Eric Greitens’. You guys are going to go down because I have proof of it.” She also told the House committee that her ex-husband repeatedly said, "I'm going to ruin this guy, I'm going to ruin this guy.”
7) A KMOV reporter trapped the woman into a conversation by booking an appointment under a false name.
More than two years after her relationship with Greitens ended, the woman says she got a visit from journalist Lauren Trager.
“[She] booked a fake appointment under a fake name, and … came in and announced that she wasn’t there for a haircut, that she was just working on a story about the governor.” The woman, according to the report, "testified that she cried and asked Trager not to run a story, saying, 'No, you do not understand how traumatic this whole thing is. I cannot go there. I have kids. My ex-husband is so, so vindictive, he wants to hurt me so bad. Please do not run this story… please do not do this to me. I have children. I’m in school full-time. I work full-time – my life is so busy.'"
8) The woman begged KMOV not to run the story — but they barely gave her a heads-up that it was set to air.
Per the report, "The next time [the woman] heard from Trager was the day before the story aired. Trager told her that she was in possession of a recording. Trager was soon informed by [the woman's lawyer] at the time that [the woman] 'does not want any part of this. Please do not do this.' Trager called [the woman's] lawyer three minutes before the story aired, stating that Greitens had admitted to the affair and that they would air the story."
The woman testified to the committee that dealing with the onslaught of publicity has been difficult.
"I’m angry that I’m in the middle of this. I am — of course, I’m upset with myself for any of my involvement with him. In particular, because he was married, but, also, because he didn’t share the same type of feelings. And also because I was still technically married.
"But I’m also dealing with things for the first time these past two months that I never did before. I just pushed them aside because it was too scary. I didn’t want to think about it. I didn’t want to talk about it. I just wanted it to go away, and then maybe it never happened like that. And knowing that I’m in the situation and knowing that at this point, the only parts that Eric has denied are the parts that were hurtful. The other parts weren’t traumatic to me at all. You know, it was – it was consensual, and those parts were not traumatic. The parts that he denies are the parts that I’m finally dealing with and going – I feel sad for that person I was. That was so vulnerable. I was so vulnerable. I just feel really taken advantage of, I think – and also by my ex-husband, hugely."
Greitens' criminal trial is scheduled to begin in St. Louis on May 14. He faces one felony count of invasion of privacy, stemming from the allegation that he took a photo of his hairdresser while partially nude in a manner that allows access to that image via a computer.
The circuit attorney's office opened the investigation after a KMOV report aired, relying on a recording provided by the woman's ex-husband. After Greitens' indictment in late February, the House then commenced its impeachment investigation.
While there's been plenty of speculation over the report's contents, some things were known in advance of today's release. The woman's attorney had warned yesterday that she has testified thrice under oath that what she told her ex-husband did, in fact, occur
— and that Greitens ripped off her clothes before taking the photo and calling her "a whore."
And, of course, Governor Eric Greitens didn't wait for the report to drop before issuing his response. In remarks to reporters
, the governor called the House investigation "a political witch hunt" and compared his situation to the one in Washington, D.C., with critics "smearing, lying and attacking people who want to change how things are are done."
Missouri representatives, in the mean time, are calling for his resignation
Daniel Hill contributed to this report.
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