Court filing says woman in Missouri Gov. Greitens’ affair unsure of memory
JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. — Attorneys defending Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens against a felony invasion-of-privacy charge have raised new doubts about a key allegation that he took a non-consensual photo of a partially nude woman with whom he had an affair.
In a court filing dated Sunday, Greitens’ attorneys say the woman testified during a Friday deposition that she never saw Greitens with a camera or phone on the day he is accused of taking a partially nude photo of her while she was blindfolded and her hands bound.
The court filing says the woman also testified that she doesn’t know if her belief that he had a phone was the result of a dream.
The filing is labeled as a motion to compel St. Louis city prosecutors to turn over any previously undisclosed testimony or evidence that may be beneficial to Greitens’ criminal defense. It comes as Greitens’ defense team has been urging a special Missouri House committee to delay its own investigatory report — planned to be released this week — until after Greitens’ trial in May.
Scott Simpson, the attorney for the woman, released the following statement on her behalf late Monday:
“Navy Seals have a code that directs its members to take responsibility for their actions and the actions of their teammates. With that code in mind, it is time for Gov. Eric Greitens to take responsibility for his actions as well as the actions of his team, which is made up of the best lawyers other people’s money can buy. Gov. Greitens has admitted to my client, on multiple occasions that he took her photograph, without her consent, and threatened to release it if she ever told anyone about their relationship. Instead of taking responsibility for his actions, Gov. Greitens has decided to let his team attack my client by mischaracterizing her deposition testimony.
“In an effort to preserve her privacy and the privacy of her children, my client has refused to comment on this case and her silence has allowed a number of false and misleading statements to go unanswered. However, the most recent attack on my client’s credibility cannot be ignored; it is time to set the record straight. We will support a motion to release the complete transcript of my client’s disposition, so long as her name and other identifying information is redacted. Gov. Greitens needs to take responsibility for his actions and be honest about the fact that he took my client’s photograph without her consent.
“The governor can continue to try this case in the media but at his trial the facts will speak for themselves. My client has taken responsibility for her actions and it is time Gov. Greitens accepts responsibility for his.”
Greitens acknowledged in January that he had an extramarital affair in 2015 as he was preparing to run for governor. That came as St. Louis television station KMOV aired a report in which the woman describes a March 21, 2015, encounter with Greitens during a conversation that her husband secretly recorded.
In that recorded conversation, the woman says Greitens invited her into the basement of his St. Louis home, where he tied her hands to some exercise rings, blindfolded her and partially undid her clothing. She said she saw a flash through the blindfold and Greitens said to her, “You’re never going to mention my name, otherwise there will be pictures of me everywhere.”
Greitens has denied blackmailing the woman but has not directly answered questions about whether he took a photo.
A St. Louis grand jury indicted Greitens in February for allegedly taking the photo and transmitting it in a way that it could be accessed by a computer.
The court filing by Greitens’ attorneys said the woman participated in a lengthy deposition Friday. After acknowledging she hadn’t seen a camera or phone, she was asked if she saw what she believed to be a phone.
“I haven’t talked about it because I don’t know if it’s because I’m remembering it through a dream or I — I’m not sure, but yes, I feel like I saw it after that happened,” she responded, according to the court filing.
The court filing says the woman also acknowledged that she sent partially nude images of herself to Greitens in June 2015 and had willingly continued to see him for months after the March 2015 encounter. Greitens attorneys said that was an indication she didn’t feel like her privacy had been violated.
A spokeswoman for St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner had no immediate comment.
Governor Eric Greitens posted this message to his Facebook fans Monday morning: “That’s right, the information that was used to launch this witch hunt and indict on a felony involving an alleged photograph may have originated from a “dream.” Under oath, the woman also stated she has never seen a photograph, never saw a camera or phone, and has never seen evidence of transmission of a photograph.”