On Monday, news that Missouri GOP Senate candidate Eric Greitens had been accused of domestic violence in an affidavit signed by his ex-wife, Sheena Chestnut Greitens, in connection with a pending custody dispute were reported. The affidavit alleges that Eric Greitens “threatened to use his political connections and influence in order to destroy her reputation to win custody of the children.” It also claims that Eric Greitens was physically violent toward both Sheena and their then three-year-old son.
These claims, as you can imagine, have been a major source of controversy throughout Missouri politics. It has spurred other candidates running to replace Senator Roy Blunt in the U.S. Senate to release statements in support of Greitens stepping down from the race and/or being prosecuted criminally.
However, Greitens denies Sheena’s allegations, calling them “deranged,” and claims that they are connected to Senator Mitch McConnell (R.KY)–stemming from Greitens’s commitment not to support McConnell as minority (or majority) leader should he be elected to the Senate.
This past Tuesday, Sheena Greitens released a brief tweet from her Twitter profile: “I stand by my sworn statements. I did not discuss the contents of my affidavit with anyone other than my counsel and, after the affidavit was filed, my immediate family. My only interest is what's best for my two children, and for the last four years, I have gone to great lengths to keep these family matters private to protect them. I am not interested in litigating this matter anywhere other than the courtroom. At the appropriate time in the legal process, I will provide whatever evidence and documentation the court requests, including testimony under oath.”
It may be Sheena Greitens's wish to have the conflict between her and her ex-husband over their children be kept in the courtroom; however, considering the high-profile office Eric Greitens is seeking and the acclaim surrounding his gubernatorial term despite his later resignation, that wish is unattainable. It is believed that this desire was the reason for her motion to the judge for Boone County, Missouri, to move the matter to Texas, where she currently lives.
Incredibly, Eric Greitens's counsel sought to seal the court's file only after Sheena Greitens had filed the motion along with an affidavit supporting it. This is even though the case was in the court file from April 2020. So, one can question Sheena Greitens's motives, especially as the allegations in her affidavit are not really new.
However, one could challenge the judgment of a man who decides to embark on an extramarital affair right when he's about to make a formal announcement about his candidacy for a prestigious public office–and also the judgment of someone who (having removed himself from office following a scandal) is a candidate in a different high-profile campaign while engaged in divorce or custody proceedings (over two small kids) and whose (ex)spouse has accused him of cheating in a very public affair.