Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens (R) coerced a woman into performing oral sex on him, claimed to have taken a compromising photo of her, and threatened to release the photo if she told anyone, according to a special investigative report from the Missouri state legislature released Wednesday night.
The report, which includes disturbing and graphic details, describes a 2015 sexual encounter between Greitens and a woman who worked as his hairdresser in which he also blindfolded her, pulled her pants and ripped her shirt without her consent, claimed to have taken a photo, and threatened to release the photo if she told anyone about the encounter. The encounter happened before Greitens took office.
Soon after, the woman told her now ex-husband about the incident with Greitens, she told investigators.
“You’ve been half-raped and blackmailed,” her husband said, according to the report.
“Yes,” the woman responded.
The woman testified that in a separate encounter, Greitens slapped her in the face and called her a “whore” when she talked about a past sexual encounter she had with her husband, from whom she was separated at the time.
“I felt like he was trying to claim me,” she later told lawmakers, describing the slap as “jarring” and “forceful.”
The investigative committee of Missouri lawmakers, including five Republicans and two Democrats, said they found the woman to be a credible witness and corroborated her testimony with a number of other witnesses, none of whom are named in the report. Greitens declined to testify, the report says.
The Greitens scandal blew up earlier this year, when the governor was indicted on a felony charge of invasion of privacy and led away by the St. Louis County sheriff’s office. Previous reports called it an extramarital affair, but the report from the legislature describes a relationship that, while it included one encounter the woman said was consensual, started through coercion and included physical violence as well as threats of blackmail.
Ahead of the report’s release, Democratic state lawmakers who had read the report called on the governor to resign, saying the details the report contained were too disturbing for him to continue in office.
Greitens pushed back in a televised press conference today, calling the investigation a politically motivated “witch hunt.”
The second-youngest governor in the nation, Greitens had clear political ambitions for higher office, taking the step to reserve the web address EricGreitensForPresident.com years ago. On paper, he had a sterling record: He was a Rhodes Scholar and served as a Navy SEAL; he was awarded a Bronze Star and a Purple Heart for his service. He got his doctorate in refugee studies and founded a nonprofit serving fellow veterans.
His trial is set to begin on May 14.
You can read the full report here or below: