COLUMBIA, Mo. — Former Gov. Eric Greitens’ attorney said Greitens wants access to his ex-wife’s phone records to prove that the abuse allegations of Sheena and his kids were leaked to the press.
The now U.S. Senate candidate believes his ex-wife Sheena worked with his political opponents to have a story released less than an hour after her affidavit with abuse claims was filed on March 21. Eric Greitens and his attorney have filed subpoenas to receive phone records of Sheena, her sister Catherine Linkul and Eric’s former campaign manager, Austin Chambers.
“Why would a parent participate in or allow others to publicly disclose such stale allegations,” Gary Stamper, Eric Greitens’ attorney said to the judge about Sheena Tuesday.
Before the release of the court document last month claiming the former governor hit his wife and kids, Eric Greitens was leading the polls in the U.S. Senate race.
“The conspiracy theory that Mr. Greitens has concocted is just that, it’s not real,” Helen Wade attorney for Sheen said.
Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider heard the arguments of why the subpoenas were filed and the phone records released. Both Sheena and Eric Greitens virtually attended the court hearing.
“I’m interested in knowing who is talking to who or at near the time of the leak in an effort to confirm a sad suspicion,” Stamper said. “I hope I’m wrong.”
The two subpoenas, one sent to Verizon, another to AT&T request 57 days of call logs and text messages for phones owned by Sheen Greitens, Linkul, and Chambers.
“I would suggest to this court that Mr. Greitens has very publicly told the conspiracy theory that brings us here today,” Wade said. “Specifically that Mitch McConnell and Karl Rove and various other political operatives conspired with my client to draft and file this affidavit.”
The former governor resigned less than two years after being elected amid a sex scandal but no charges were filed.
After last month’s court filing revealed abuse allegations, nearly all of the U.S. Senate candidates, on both sides of the aisle, say Greitens needs to drop out of the race. Members of the General Assembly, who used to work alongside the ex-governor, say his ex-wife’s claims don’t come as a surprise.
Sheena filed for divorce in 2020 where custody issues are still lingering. A hearing is set for the end of next month in Columbia involving the custody case. She wants to move it to Texas, where she now lives.
“These records have nothing to do with the question of where this case should be ultimately litigated,” Wade said.
In the March 21 court filing, Sheena Greitens claims Eric admitted there was a photo but “threatened that I would be exposed to legal jeopardy if I ever disclosed that fact to anyone…”
She also claims she’s been a victim of his political reach and influence as well as physical abuse, saying, “Eric knocked me down and confiscated my cell phone, wallet and keys…” so that she couldn’t call for help.
She accuses him of “cuffing our then-3-year-old son across the face at the dinner table…and yanking him around by his hair.”
Sheena Greitens says that after a 2019 visit with Eric, one of the boys had “a swollen face, bleeding gums, and a loose tooth. He said Dad had hit him…however Eric said they had been roughhousing and that it had been an accident.”
She claims that in 2018 he repeatedly “threatened to kill himself unless I provided specific public political support to him.” Greitens’ campaign said the abuse allegations were “outright lies.”
Stamper argued that the affidavit had to be leaked to the press because the media reached out to him and Eric Greitens before he was notified about the filing.
“By 10:17 a.m. that morning, the father [Eric] and his lawyer [Stamper] received inquires from the Associated Press regarding both the filing and the substantive contents of an affidavit,” Stamper told the judge. “Confirmation of acceptance came to this lawyer at 2:48 p.m.”
Eric Greitens’ attorney requested the judge appoint a special master to receive the subpoenas to decide if they contain any evidence. Both Chamber’s and Linkul’s attorneys were at the hearing, restating the affidavit that was filed on March 21 was available that morning, not that afternoon as Stamper said.
“This request is so far out of bounds at this point,” Kurt Schaefer, attorney for Chambers, said. “As intriguing as all this is, it has nothing to do with Mr. Chambers.”
Schneider said she will rule soon, possibly by the end of the week.