Two days after the end of a spirited Republican primary for Missouri governor, at least one point of contention has been put to rest.
Retired businessman John Brunner no longer believes one of Eric Greitens’ biggest donors owned of a teenage sex slave.
Greitens defeated Brunner and two other candidates on Tuesday to claim the party’s gubernatorial nomination. But in the run up to the vote, a Silicon Valley investor named Michael Goguen who had donated $1 million to Greitens became a fixture in the campaign.
That’s because Goguen was sued by a woman who claims he sexually abused her for more than a decade, agreed to pay her $40 million in response and then only gave her $10 million. He has vehemently denied the allegation and is counter suing the woman alleging extortion, and Greitens has said he won’t convict Goguen in the “court of public opinion.”
That didn’t stop Greitens’ Republican rivals from demanding he return the $1 million contributions. The loudest critic was Brunner, who said during a debate that “I refuse to be lectured by a guy who took $1 million from the owner of a teenage sex slave.”
That comment sparked Goguen to sue Brunner for defamation of character, since the woman involved in the allegations was not a teenager and never alleged Goguen “owned” her.
Brunner refused to back down before the primary, but Thursday morning released a statement saying “I subsequently received further information indicating that a portion of my prior statements were erroneous. I therefore retract any and all statements I made suggesting that the contributor to Mr. Greitens’ campaign was a sex slave owner, or the owner of a teenage sex slave.”
The retraction comes amidst reports that a GOP unity event was scuttled because of lingering bad blood between Brunner and Greitens.