Government & Politics

Woman in Greitens affair: Order to give up phone for examination 'victimizes her again'

Gov. Eric Greitens has shown a propensity for only speaking to friendly audiences. But he’s going to have to change that if he somehow manages to remain in office.
Gov. Eric Greitens has shown a propensity for only speaking to friendly audiences. But he’s going to have to change that if he somehow manages to remain in office. AP

The woman with whom Gov. Eric Greitens had an extramarital affair is asking the Missouri Supreme Court to overturn a lower court's order that she hand over her cell phone for a forensic examination.

The woman, identified only in court records as K.S., is arguing that an order from St. Louis Circuit Court Judge Rex Burlison on Monday requiring that she give her phone to a court-appointed expert for a forensic examination of its contents violates her constitutional rights.

Burlison's order came on Monday in Greitens criminal case for felony invasion of privacy. He's accused of taking a compromising photo of K.S. during a sexual encounter at his former St. Louis home in 2015 and threatening her with its release if she told anyone of the affair. Greitens has acknowledged the affair but denied blackmailing the woman, who had been his hairdresser.

"Requiring (K.S.) to submit the entire contents of her phone — which includes highly personal information, such as pictures of her children and software that is vital for her to run her small business — is unduly burdensome, a gross violation of her privacy that victimizes her again, and wholly unnecessary when narrower means of discovery are available," Friday's pleading before the Missouri Supreme Court says.

The filing said that K.S. has already given Greitens' attorneys all text messages between her and her ex-husband that were available on her phone. It goes on to describe Burlison's order as a "de facto search warrant" issued without probable cause.

K.S.'s ex-husband surreptitiously recorded her confession of her affair with Greitens and in January shared it with a St. Louis television station, which first aired the news of the blackmail allegation. A grand jury in St. Louis indicted Greitens in February. A criminal trial is scheduled in May.

Burlison has ordered that K.S. turn her phone to a forensic expert on Monday.

Also on Friday, Burlison rebuffed an attempt by St. Louis attorney Al Watkins to avoid a deposition scheduled for Monday. Watkins, who represents the ex-husband of K.S., has acknowledged receiving $100,000 in payments for his legal work from an undisclosed source.

Attorneys for Greitens have argued that the source of those payments is relevant to the upcoming criminal trial.

Al Watkins, the St. Louis attorney who represents the ex-husband of Gov. Eric Greitens’ alleged victim, confirmed he received $100,000 from an anonymous source in January.

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