Former Missouri Governor Eric Greitens was in a closed courtroom with his ex-wife Sheena Greitens for more than seven hours on Wednesday in their child custody case, and both declined to talk about what was said when pressed by reporters afterwards.
It was the first time Eric Greitens has given affidavits about his ex-wife’s child abuse and domestic violence charges. in a March affidavit and the first time Sheena Greitens was cross-examined on these allegations.
“We’ve been ordered not to talk about it,” said Gary Stamper, who represents Eric Greitens, referring to instructions from Associate Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider.
It is not certain that one of exhibitions not previously offered in the case will be made public or whether a transcript or recording of the hearing will be released. The highly anticipated audience was originally due to will take place in open court on July 15but was postponed to Wednesday and closed by order of Schneider.
The guardian ad litem – a court-appointed representative of the two Greitens children – had requested the closed session.
Greitens, governor from 2017 until his resignation on June 1, 2018, under a cloud of criminal and impeachment chargesis attempt a political comeback in the crowded Republican primary for the US Senate. He has always been among the top three, along with Attorney General Eric Schmitt and U.S. Representative Vicky Hartzler, but his polls have weakened as his enemies use the allegations made by Sheena Greitens against him in multi-million dollar television and digital campaign.
The question before Schneider is whether jurisdiction over child custody decisions should move to Texas, where Sheena Greitens currently lives, or remain in Boone County, where their divorce was filed in 2020. Sheena Greitens filed a lawsuit in Texas asking the courts to take jurisdiction, but the judge returned that decision to Schneider.
In the March affidavit, Sheena Greitens said Eric Greitens’ “unstable and coercive” behavior included physical abuse of their children, “such as handcuffing our then three-year-old son across the face at the table in front of me and the pull sharply”. around her hair.
In addition to allegedly abusing her children, Sheena Greitens alleged that Eric Greitens ran her over and confiscated her cellphone, wallet and keys during an argument in 2018 so that she was “unable to ‘call for help or pull me and our children out of our home’.
In a subsequent affidavit, Sheena Greitens said she had photos and documents to support his accusations and in a June interview with The Independent said she fled their home on June 11, 2018, fearing he would harm himself and his family.
Since March, Eric Greitens has publicly denied the charges and accused his ex-wife of working with political enemies, including former presidential adviser Karl Rove and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, to draft the affidavit containing the allegations. of abuse and to make it public.
With less than two weeks to go before the primary, a ruling indicating which side Schneider believes on, or the public release of the transcript showing he admitted one of the allegations under oath, could make him a deciding factor in the race.