Sheena Greitens’ lawyer will use marketing campaign video in custody dispute

Sheena Greitens, left, listens as her husband, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Dec.  6, 2016, in St Louis.

Sheena Greitens, left, listens as her husband, Missouri Gov.-elect Eric Greitens, speaks during a news conference Tuesday, Dec. 6, 2016, in St Louis.

2016 Associated Press file photo

The attorney representing Sheena Greitens in a child custody dispute with former Missouri Gov. Eric Greitens on Monday said she plans to file as an exhibit a new campaign video that depicts him and a group of men in tactical gear hunting Republicans who they do not consider adequately conservative.

In the video released Monday, Greitens, a Republican running for US Senate, carries a gun and says he’s hunting RINOs, an acronym that means “Republicans in name only.”

“Today, we’re going RINO hunting,” Greitens says in the video. “The RINO feeds on corruption and are marked by the stripes of cowardice.”

Helen Wade, Sheena Greitens’ lawyer, told The Star she would “absolutely” use the video in the couple’s ongoing court case. The custody dispute garnered interest renewed in March after Sheena Greitens filed an affidavit accusing Eric Greitens of physical and emotional abuse against her and their children.

“This is over the line,” Wade said, referring to the video. Wade confirmed she would file a motion to make the video an exhibit in the ongoing custody case.

Eric Greitens, through his attorney, has denied the abuse allegations and painted them as a broader political conspiracy orchestrated by establishment Republicans. He has not filed any sworn statements in the case, but has used social media and campaign emails to cast Sheena Greitens as a liar.

Gary Stamper, Eric Greitens’ attorney, did not immediately respond to a call and email seeking comment Monday.

Sheena Greitens, a professor at the University of Texas-Austin, is seeking to move the case to Texas, where she lives. A court hearing in the case is scheduled for Thursday.

Greitens is currently the front runner in the Republican primary for US Senate. He is trying to revive his political career after being forced to resign as Missouri’s governor amid a long list of scandals that included allegations that he sexually abused and blackmailed a woman with whom he was having an affair.

Greitens was roundly criticized for the video on social media and immediately denounced by competing Senate candidates of both parties. State Sen. Dave Schatz, one of Greitens’ GOP primary opponents, called the video “completely irresponsible.”

“That’s why I’m running,” Schatz said in a statement. “It’s time to restore sanity and reject this nonsense. Missouri deserves better.”

The video is not the first time Greitens has advocated for violence against his political opponents in a campaign ad.

Earlier this year he appeared in a video with Donald Trump Jr. where the two fired weapons at a shooting range and said “liberals beware.” Greit’s gubernatorial candidacy also featured ads with him firing weapons. In one, he sat and fired a machine gun into a lake.

The Star’s Daniel Desrochers contributed to this report.

A reporter for The Kansas City Star covering Missouri government and politics, Kacen Bayless is a native of St. Louis, Missouri. He graduated from the University of Missouri with an emphasis in investigative reporting. He previously covered projects and investigations in coastal South Carolina. In 2020, he was awarded South Carolina’s top honor for assertive journalism.

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