Ajudge has ruled that former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens did not engage
in a pattern of domestic violence or abuse his minor children, bringing
an abrupt end to allegations from his ex-wife that fueled a
multimillion-dollar political ad campaign that sank Greitens' political
comeback last month.
"The Court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that there has been
no pattern of domestic violence by either Mother or Father," Boone
County Circuit Judge Leslie Schneider wrote in a decision dated Aug. 26
that was reviewed by Just the News. "The children have never been at
risk or vulnerable at the hands of either parent."
The court has not yet made the ruling public.
A lawyer for Sheena Greitens did not return a call seeking comment.
Eric Greitens declined comment on the judicial opinion exonerating him
from his ex-wife's allegations.
Schneider's decision provided an anticlimactic end to a normally
private divorce dispute that spilled into public and was exploited by a
negative political ad campaign. The political drama began when Sheena
Greitens' March 21 affidavit alleging her ex-husband abused her and
their two boys was made public in the spring.
At the time, Eric Greitens had been leading for months in the GOP
primary race for the U.S. Senate nomination, as he waged a comeback
from a 2018 sex scandal that derailed his career as governor.
The former governor vehemently denied the abuse allegations, but
Missouri news media aired them for months while the case played out in
private. Establishment Republicans like Karl Rove and Senate Minority
Leader Mitch McConnell put their muscle into defeating Greitens as
outside groups poured millions into negative ads using the abuse
One Super PAC alone called the Show Me Values PAC reported spending
nearly $8 million on ads trying to defeat Greitens. One of their ads
featured a woman reading Sheena Greitens' affidavit aloud.
Eric Greitens, a retired Navy SEAL, created some controversy of his own
by airing an ad less than a month after the Uvalde school shooting in
which he carried a gun and claimed he was going "RINO hunting" to
eliminate moderates known as Republicans in Name Only.
The ad campaigns had a profound effect in the final days of the race,
as Missouri Attorney General Eric Schmitt rallied to win the GOP Senate
nomination on Aug. 2 and Greitens slipped to a third-place finish.
The judge in the domestic case continued her investigation in private
as Sheena and Eric Greitens took to social media and television to air
Schneider ultimately came to a decision three weeks after the primary,
ruling it would be better for the child custody case to move to Texas
in the future as Sheena Greitens had requested. The judge's reasoning
cited the notoriety the affidavit had generated since Missouri court
records are open, saying Texas and its history of keeping family court
matters secret would better protect the couple's two children.
"The proclivity to share privileged or private communications on social
media, and in interviews with the press, presents a possible future
risk of harm to the children which may impact their best interests,"
Schneider ruled. "However, no Court, whether in Missouri or Texas, can
insulate the children from every parenting decision."
Schneider cited a guardian ad litem's report on how the publicity of
the abuse allegations harmed the children. The court-appointed attorney
found that "due to Petitioner's affidavit becoming public record, the
statements in the affidavit, related to the minor children, were
repeatedly aired on television in the form of political ads, and were
repeatedly distributed through mass mailings in the form of political
"It is in the best interests of the minor children that access to
sensitive matters related to the children be restricted from further
disclosure, due to the notoriety of the parties and the likelihood that
members of the public will continue to use information related to the
children in inappropriate ways," the ad litem added, according to the
The court ruling marks the second time Eric Greitens' political career
was tanked by uncorroborated allegations.
In 2018, Greitens was forced to resign as governor when St. Louis
Circuit Attorney Kimberly Gardner, a local prosecutor bankrolled by
groups tied to the funding network of liberal megadonor George Soros,
filed criminal charges alleging he tried to extort his ex-lover with a
cellphone photograph. Greitens admitted to a short 2015 affair with his
ex-hairdresser but denied the criminal charges.
Gardner abruptly withdrew the criminal charges shortly before the trial
was to begin, admitting she did not have any evidence of the photo or
the extortion effort. A subsequent investigation found that the alleged
victim had testified she may have dreamed the alleged incident and that
Gardner's chief investigator, retired FBI agent William Tisaby, had
engaged in criminal wrongdoing.
In March, Tisaby pleaded guilty to evidence tampering in the Greitens
case while Gardner last month was reprimanded by the Missouri Supreme
Court after being found to have violated numerous standards of conduct
for lawyers in the Greitens case.
Let's go Brandon!