Government & Politics

Woman: Sexual encounter with Greitens was not consensual. Lawmakers find her credible

When she tried to leave, sobbing after a non-consensual sexual encounter, she says the man who would be governor physically stopped her.

What happened next, she testified under oath to a Missouri House committee investigating allegations of misconduct against Republican Gov. Eric Greitens, is spelled out in graphic detail in a 25-page report and transcripts of testimony that the lawmakers released Wednesday.

It’s the first time the public has heard sworn testimony from the woman at the center of allegations of misconduct against the governor.

The woman told lawmakers that in March 2015, as she tried to leave the basement of his St. Louis home, Greitens grabbed her in a "bear hug" and laid her on the floor. Then he started fondling her, pulled out his penis and coerced her into oral sex while she wept “uncontrollably.”

The woman told the committee that Greitens had led her down to the basement, taped her hands to pull-up rings, blindfolded her, spit water into her mouth, ripped open her shirt, pulled down her pants and took a photo without her consent.

He threatened to make the photos public if she ever told anyone about their encounter, and called her "a little whore," the woman told lawmakers.

After her hands were freed, she said she felt she had no other choice but to perform oral sex if she was going to get out of the basement.

The woman and Greitens had several sexual encounters over the next few months in 2015, she testified. Some were consensual. Others were not.

On at least three occasions he hit her.

The explosive allegations were among the findings of the bipartisan investigative committee of the Missouri House that has been looking into allegations of wrongdoing against the Republican governor. The committee also interviewed two of the woman’s friends who say she told them a similar story at the time, as well as the woman’s ex-husband.

The committee – five Republicans and two Democrats – concluded that the woman's testimony is credible.

Republican legislative leaders — including House Speaker Todd Richardson and Senate President Pro Tem Ron Richard — announced the report was enough to warrant a special session to consider disciplinary actions, including impeachment.

Attorney General Josh Hawley later issued a statement saying Greitens' alleged conduct detailed in the report "is certainly impeachable," and he called on the governor to resign.

Richardson, R-Poplar Bluff, said the testimony in the report "is beyond disturbing. He later added: "The power given to the Missouri General Assembly to take disciplinary action or remove elected officials from office is one of the most serious and consequential powers the Constitution grants the legislature. We will not take that responsibility lightly. We will not act rashly, but we will not shrink from it."

Greitens has admitted the affair took place in 2015. But he’s denied allegations of blackmail or physical violence against the woman.

He declined the committee’s request for him to testify, as well as an invitation to provide documents. But in a statement to the media shortly before the report's release, Greitens said the allegations against him were "false" and "outlandish."

He also panned the committee's process, which conducted its work behind closed doors, and for not waiting until after his criminal trial begins in May before releasing its findings. He said the attacks against him are part of a "political witch hunt."

"It was decided to publish an incomplete document made in secret," he said, later adding: "We have heard some of the stories they've been pushing in the press, and they are downright false."

He refused calls to resign.

The allegations first become public in January, when the woman’s ex-husband gave St. Louis TV station KMOV an audio recording of her confessing the affair and the blackmail allegations. The confession was recorded without her knowledge by her ex-husband and released to the media without her consent.

Her testimony to the committee took place last month and was under oath. It goes much further than what has been reported by the media based on the secretly recorded audio.

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‘A proper pull-up’

Greitens had been a regular customer at the woman’s hair salon, and she admits she had a crush on him.

During one of his appointments in early March 2015, she told lawmakers that Greitens moved his hands up her leg “all the way up to [her] crotch” without consent.

A week later he invited her over to his home one morning while his wife was out of town. She was apprehensive, and said she told him she’d rather meet in public but he insisted that a public meeting was out of the question because he was running for office.

He asked her if she wanted to work out, and told her he had clothes to change into – “a man’s white T-shirt that he had cut a slit at the top, and the pants were men’s pajama pants.”

Greitens wanted to show her “how to do a proper pull-up,” she said, and he led her downstairs. At this point, she told lawmakers she was curious what he had planned and still didn’t think anything sexual was about to take place.

When she got to the basement he taped her hands to pull-up rings, she said, and put a blindfold on her. The items were lying on the workout bench, she said.

She told lawmakers that Greitens said she needed to be hydrated. He put water in his mouth, she said, and tried to spit it into her mouth.

“So I just spit it out,” she said. “He does it and he’s like, ‘You’re not going to be a bad girl, are you?’ Tries to do it again, to which I just let it dribble out, because I didn’t even want to kiss him.”

He began kissing down her neck, she told lawmakers, and down her chest. Then he ripped open the shirt she was wearing, exposing her without her consent.

She says he commented on a scar on her stomach before pulling down her pants without consent. Then “I hear him kind of, like, step back – take a step back and I hear – I can hear like, a cell phone – like a picture, and I can see a flash through the blindfold.”

She says he then told her: “I’m going to take these pictures, and I’m going to put them everywhere I can… and then everyone will know what a little whore you are.”

She was completely silent, but told lawmakers “in my head, I was screaming.”

Greitens spanked her, she says, and asked “Are you going to mention my name?”

“I just gritted through my teeth and I said, No,” she said. “And he’s like, ‘Good, now that’s a good girl.’”

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Greitens began kissing down her stomach again, she said, and “as soon as he got, like, low on me, I just started freaking out and I started ripping down my hands. I was like, ‘Get me out of here. I’m not ready for this. I don’t want this. I don’t want this.’”

He helped her free her hands, she said, telling her “It’s okay. It’s okay.”

She says she responded with “No, I’m leaving. I’m leaving.” But as soon as she went towards the stairs, “he grabs me and like – like in a bear hug, and was like, ‘Shh, shh, it’s okay, calm down, calm down,’ and like, lays me down on the ground in his basement. Not, like, hard, like – I mean, I was like a puddle of – no. I just, like, was crying.”

Greitens started undoing his pants, she said, pulled out his penis and put it within six inches of her face while she was still crying on his basement floor.

She performed oral sex on Greitens, she said, because she felt that’s the only way she would be able to leave, telling the committee she felt she had no other choice if she was going to get out of the basement at that moment.

“It felt like consent, but, no, I didn’t want to do it,” she told the committee, later adding: “Coerced, maybe. I felt as though that would allow me to leave.”

She told the committee she was “so emotional,” and that one of the emotions was “definitely” fear for her “physical self.”

The woman says she returned to Greitens’ home later, after she got off work, because she had dropped her keys and had to retrieve them.

“I was obviously pissed,” she told lawmakers.

She said Greitens explained he took the picture because “I’m running for office, and people will get me, and I have to have some sort of thing to protect myself. And I thought about you, though, and I felt bad, so I erased it.”

Greitens kept trying to hug and fondle her, she said told lawmakers.

“I was really kind of mixed,” she said, “because I hated him from earlier, but I also loved the man I knew before.”

'You're mine'

She told lawmakers there were several other encounters with Greitens over the next few months.

They made out, consensually, at her salon before her coworkers showed up. She then cut his hair and he left.

In May 2015, she told lawmakers she and Greitens had consensual oral sex in his home.

In June 2015, she told lawmakers she went to his home around 10 p.m. and they kissed in a spare bedroom. Everything was consensual, she said, until he asked her if she had been intimate with anyone else since their first encounter.

“And I said, ‘Well, I slept with my husband – because at some point I had. And he slapped me across my face, just like hard to where I was like, ‘What? Eric, what the heck?’” she told lawmakers.

She says he told her “You’re mine.”

“And I said, I think you’re screwed up from being in the Navy,” she told lawmakers.

She says she's not sure if he intended to hurt her.

"I felt like he was trying to claim me...More slap sense into me if that makes sense at all."

Greitens timeline

She spoke with Greitens several times over the next week on a burner cell phone he had purchased, and then saw him one more time. He asked if she wanted to come over in the morning to workout, she said.

“We did exercise and went through, like, a workout, and then at the end of it, then it turned sexual in nature,” she said. “And at first it was fine, and then we were in a position that would have been as if we were having sex, like doggy style, but we didn’t ever have intercourse throughout all of the times that I saw him. So he was essentially like fingering me and – but in that position, and out of nowhere, just, like, kind of smacked me and grabbed me and shoved me down on the ground.”

She said she “instantly just started bawling and was like, ‘What is wrong with you? What is wrong with you?’ And I just laid there crying while he was just like… ‘You’re fine, you’re fine.’ ”

Greitens was waiting for her outside of work that afternoon, she said. He said “there’s an issue,” and told her that someone had emailed his wife about their affair.

She suspected it was her ex-husband, which was later confirmed. She told Greitens they should not see each other again.

“I said, ‘No, do not come into the salon. This is not fair to me, this is not fair to your wife, just leave me alone.”

In October 2015, she says Greitens came into her salon. The woman says she told Greitens again that she didn’t want to see him anymore. She says she later sent Greitens an email asking him to leave her alone.

She never saw him again.

She was adamant that she never wanted the story to ever become public. She was first approached by a reporter from KMOV named Lauren Trager in December 2017.

Trager “booked a fake appointment under a fake name,” the woman told lawmakers, “and came in and announced that she wasn’t there for a haircut, that she was just working on a story about the governor.”

She told lawmakers she cried and asked Trager not to run the story.

Then next time she heard from Trager was the day before the story aired, when she was told KMOV had her ex-husband’s secretly recorded audio of the confession.

She once again begged her not to run the story.

She learned the story was going to air moments before it went live in January.

When asked by the committee why she continued to have contact with Greitens after their first encounter, she said “I’ve asked myself that so many times.”

“One, I felt really disgusted with myself that I allowed that first time to happen,” she said. “Really embarrassed that he thought of me as a whore.”

After she confessed that first encounter to her then husband, it was clear “he didn’t want anything to do with me, that he wanted to move into an apartment, and when Eric came back and was normal and so kind to me, that felt so much better and it allowed me to just ignore any of those bad feelings about myself, in particular.”

She “didn’t want to think that he thought of me as just a whore. I wanted to think that he actually really liked me and wanted to have a relationship with me of sorts.”

“I didn’t want to be having any feelings for him, in particular because I was so embarrassed about the first encounter,” she told lawmakers. “He basically made it clear that he felt that I was a thing to him.”

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