Former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens’s (R) ex-wife has accused him of being abusive toward her and their children during their marriage.

The accusations came in a new affidavit from Sheena Greitens that was made public Monday in which she asked a state court to move their custody case to Texas, where she works, to avoid a harsher public spotlight on her children in Missouri, where the former governor is running for Senate. The couple split up in 2018 after Eric Greitens resigned from the governorship over allegations of an extramarital affair and sexual assault.

The affidavit contains several disturbing details, including that Eric Greitens bought a gun, hid it from his family and threatened to kill himself if his then-wife did not provide “specific public political support” prior to his 2018 resignation.

Sheena Greitens also alleged that her ex-husband grew physically violent with her and her children.

“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,” she wrote in the filing.

Greitens’s “behavior included 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,” she added.

He also allegedly threatened to use his political connections to win custody of his children.

Sheena Greitens also recounted being faced with a tirade from her then-husband that included several expletives and later being threatened with arrest for child abuse and kidnapping after flying with their children to her parents’ house.

The affidavit also alleged that Eric Greitens admitted in 2018 that he took a compromising picture of his hairstylist, with whom he was having an affair. The hairstylist also accused him of sexual assault, an allegation that fueled his resignation that year.

The affidavit was first reported by The Associated Press.

The new allegations could have massive ramifications in Missouri’s Senate race, where Eric Greitens has been an early front-runner.

Republicans have sought to find an alternative candidate to Eric Greitens, concerned that his personal baggage could cost them the open seat being vacated by Sen. Roy Blunt (R-Mo.), but the GOP has struggled to coalesce around a single alternative in the crowded primary field.

Later Monday, Greitens’s primary competitors called on him to drop out of the race.

Rep. Vicky Hartzler called on him to end his campaign and get “professional help,” and state Attorney General Eric Schmitt said “The behavior described in this affidavit is cause for Eric Greitens to be in prison, not on the ballot for U.S. Senate.”

The Greitens campaign denied the latest claims, calling them “gross” and “completely false.”

“Eric will fight for his children and defend himself from these outright lies. His children deserve a father who will speak the truth and stand up against malicious attacks that are clearly politically motivated,” the campaign said. 

Tags Eric Greitens Missouri Missouri Senate race Roy Blunt Vicky Hartzler

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