Missouri lawmakers drifting in and out of character put on quite a performance on Tuesday as they took turns reading aloud from a transcript of attorneys for Gov. Eric Greitens deposing his former hairdresser for 9 ½ hours.
This was reader’s theater with frequent cast changes and even more redactions. As in, “Redacted? Redacted. Yes, her name is redacted.” But if the piece had a name, it would be “Why women still don’t report sexual assault.”
The reading was part of a hearing in the Missouri House, where lawmakers are weighing whether or not to impeach Greitens, based on allegations of sexual misconduct with his former hairdresser, as well as unrelated allegations of electronic theft and more.
Among the questions the governor's lawyers had for the woman, who has said under oath that Greitens sexually and physically assaulted her, were many making her out to be a liar, a naked FaceTimer, and a big fan of “Fifty Shades of Grey.”
Would she say that saving Greitens’ number in her phone under another name was “an effort to be deceitful?”
Would she say she lied not only to her now ex-husband, but also to Greitens, given that she’d assured him she hadn’t told anyone what had gone on between them?
Does she typically get nervous when she lies? At her age, how could she not know whether she gets nervous when she lies?
There was a long back-and-forth on the discrepancy between the woman’s statement to the grand jury that Greitens had flirted with her early in their acquaintance and her current view that he had not “blatantly” flirted with her when he first started coming in for haircuts.
Also, what about the suspicious fact that when she began shaking out of nervousness during one of his hair appointments, he remarked that she must not have eaten yet that morning, and she lied and said yes, she had?
Speaking of misleading, has she ever taken acting lessons, or modeled?
Aha, and that intro-to-theater class in college, was that because you were considering an acting career? Did you perform skits in that class? Did you take on other personas, or play different roles?
In high school, she revealed, she was “an extra in a play called (redacted).”
These questions about truthfulness were just a warm-up to those about her body, sex life, fantasies and mental health.
Did she ever have a belly ring? (In high school, yes.)
Does she go on dating websites? (No.)
And did she ever cheat on her husband other than with Greitens? (After her separation, she met someone on a trip, and later kissed him in a car.)
Did she or did she not naked FaceTime with Greitens from a hotel room? “So you opened your robe? That would be partial nudity, would it not?”
As to her stability, had she ever attempted suicide? (No.)
What about her description of “actually going insane” over her feelings for Greitens?
Is it possible she told him, “You’re driving me crazy,” when he first touched her in her hair salon?
We learned from the dramatic interpretation of the deposition that the woman has read all three “Fifty Shades of Grey” books, but has seen only one of the movies. Oh, and that her former husband, when told of what had happened to her, described her being “raped and blackmailed, ‘Fifty Shades of Grey’-style,” as “f---ing poetic.”
Is it true that she curses? And that at work, “the joke is that if you say the f-word, it’s when you’re horny?” (That didn’t ring any bells, she said.)
Even the most embarrassing questions were no surprise.
But the funny thing about the not-so-funny testimony was that the more the governor’s lawyers tried to make of “but you said he didn’t flirt” discrepancies, the more measured and careful she seemed, even as voiced by male lawmakers. Above all, she came across like someone who was making no effort to trim the truth in order to make herself good better. And paradoxically, she did look better as a result.