COLUMBIA, Mo. – Former Missouri Gov. and current US Senate nominee Eric Greitens will testify under oath regarding his custody case next week.
Sheena Greitens and Eric were scheduled to testify during a hearing on Friday, but due to the attention the case has received, a lawyer for the former couple’s children said it was in the children’s best interests for testimony to take place in a closed courtroom .
Boone County Associate Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider expressed frustration in the courtroom on Friday. It’s been almost a year since Sheena asked to move the case to Texas, where she currently resides.
“You all had many opportunities to solve this case,” said Schneider. “We had several settings. I think we have to work this out. I know you did a lot to solve this case, but it didn’t work.”
Back in March, Sheena filed an affidavit alleging her ex-husband Eric abused her and their two sons. Recently, her attorney Helen Wade will get a chance to question the US Senate nominee, but it will be behind closed doors.
“I understand that Mr. Greitens doesn’t want to testify before the elementary school, I understand that, but we want this case to be over,” Wade said.
The former governor was not in court Thursday and appeared via video conference. His attorney said he felt the testimony was unnecessary.
“I had a sad suspicion about exhibit two of the petition, the affidavit filed March 21, now you can hear it 20 times a day depending on where you get your messages from,” said Gary Stamper, attorney for Eric Griens. “Eric is not afraid to speak up, he strives to be heard when it is necessary.”
Stamper and Wade said in court the children’s attorney throughout the case, Liz Magee, told them that allowing a public hearing would put the children at risk.
“We have some exhibits that we feel shouldn’t be public, for example Mr. Stamper has photos of the children as do we, there are counseling records, medical records which we don’t think should be made public should because it affects the kids,” Wade said.
Schneider asked both attorneys why they felt testimony was the right way to go.
“They are for discovery purposes, and you should already have made any discoveries required,” Schneider said.
The former governor resigned in 2018, less than two years after his election following a sex scandal. Wade will likely ask Eric about the abuse allegations Sheena alleges in the affidavit.
“As Mr. Stamper put it, the sad suspicion he spoke of has become a very public issue that has impacted my client’s professional reputation,” Wade said. “She wants to have every opportunity to address that.”
It is uncertain whether the transcript of the statement will be released. When asked Friday if he would put Sheena on the stand for questioning, Stamper said, “It’s going to be a game-time decision.” Schneider is expected to decide whether to move the case to Texas after testifying Wednesday target.
In the March 21 court filing, Sheena claimed Eric admitted there had been a photograph but “threatened that I would be at legal risk if I ever revealed that fact to anyone…”
She also claims to have been the victim of his political reach and influence, as well as physical abuse, saying, “Eric punched me and confiscated my phone, wallet and keys…” so she couldn’t call for help.
Sheena accused him of “handcuffing our then three-year-old son at the dining table in the face and pulling his hair around”.
Sheena said that after visiting Eric in 2019, one of the boys “had a swollen face, bleeding gums and a loose tooth. He said dad hit him but Eric said they were rough and it was an accident.”
She alleges that in 2018 he repeatedly “threatened to kill himself unless she publicly supported him politically.”