THE SAGA ENDS
Embattled GOP Gov. Eric Greitens Defiantly Resigns: ‘I Have Not Broken Any Laws’
Greitens had been indicted for taking a nude photo of a woman without her consent.
Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens finally resigned from office on Tuesday, following a lengthy and scandalous legal battle stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct and abusive behavior. He resignation is effective on Friday evening.
In a statement on Tuesday, Greitens remained adamant that he did not break any laws and vowed to “be a fighter for the people of Missouri.” Following his brief remarks, reporters shouted questions to which he did not respond.
Not only was Greitens involved in a sexual-misconduct scandal but he also faced allegations of misusing a charity donor list.
His scandalous behavior and adamant refusal to step down had been a drag on the party for months, even sparking concern that his position at the head of the state's Republican party would endanger the prospects of defeating incumbent Sen. Clare McCaskill (D-MO) in November.
In late February, Greitens was indicted on a felony invasion of privacy charge due to an incident that took place on or around March 21, 2015.
At the time, Greitens allegedly carried on an extramarital affair with a woman who has thus far remained anonymous. According to prosecutors, Greitens “knowingly photographed” the woman while she was nude and had a “reasonable expectation of privacy.”
Greitens was initially defiant in response, saying he made a “personal mistake” but “did not commit a crime.”
St. Louis Circuit Attorney Kim Gardner dropped her prosecution in May, yet legislative leaders said the move would not impact their decision to potentially pursue impeachment.
The issue first arose in January of 2018 when a man secretly recorded his wife admitting to the 2015 affair with Greitens. She contended in the recording that the governor took a photo of her when she was partially naked and threatened to release that photograph if she spoke out publicly about the affair.
She testified to the committee that in one instance, Greitens shoved her to the ground.
“And I instantly just started bawling and was just like, ‘What is wrong with you? What is wrong with you?’ ” the woman allegedly said. “And I just laid there crying while he was just like ... ‘You’re fine, you’re fine.’ ”
Describing the incident in which Greitens allegedly took the photo, the report includes the following from the woman's interview: "Witness 1 testified that Greitens taped her hands to pull-up rings with “this gauzed tape stuff” and then put a blindfold on her. Witness 1 testified that these items were laying on a “workout bench right there, and that’s where he had that stuff.”
She allegedly went on to say that Greitens ripped open her shirt without consent and started pulling her pants down. “[T]hen I hear him kind of, like, step back – take a step back and I hear – I can hear like a, like a cell phone – like a picture, and I can see a flash through the blindfold," the report reads.
According to the report, the woman also said that Greitens told her: “You’re not going to mention my name. Don’t even mention my name to anybody at all, because if you do, I’m going to take these pictures, and I’m going to put them everywhere I can. They are going to be everywhere, and then everyone will know what a little whore you are.”
She also contended that later in that encounter, Greitens kept her from leaving his home and insisted that she perform oral sex on him.
"He starts undoing his pants, and he takes his penis out and puts it, like, near where my face is," the report reads. "And I’m like – so this guy literally just wants me for this, and this is all he wants, and then he’ll let me – because at this point, too, I also know I have to be at work, and he’s not going to let me leave, because he’s obviously still horny. So I gave him oral sex at this point."
Greitens has declined to say whether he took a photo.