GOP candidate pushed to return $1 million donation from businessman accused of keeping ‘sex slave’
Rivals of a former Navy Seal running for the GOP nomination for governor in Missouri are demanding he return a $1 million campaign donation he took from a California venture capitalist accused of keeping a sex slave for 12 years.
According to St Louis Public Radio, Eric Greitens was pressed by rivals Catherine Hanaway and Peter Kinder to return the donation from Michael Goguen, a Silicon Valley businessman accused of sexually mistreating a woman he was in a relationship since 2001.
According to Hanaway, “This election is going to come down to who do you trust. It’s time for Eric Greitens to send his contribution back, or better yet, send it to a shelter for abused women.”
“Eric, I don’t think you’re going to be able to maintain this with your million-dollar donor,” said Kinder, the current lieutenant governor. “I do not believe you’re going to be able to maintain this. What the man has already admitted to has caused his former business associates to sever ties with him. (Presidential candidate) John Kasich did the honorable, stand-up thing of giving back the money within a few hours of hearing about it.”
Greitens pushed back, saying Goguen is being tried in the press.
“Well, unlike career politicians, I’m not going to convict someone in the court of public opinion … let’s see how this civil case works itself out, so that we can make a decision based on the facts and the judgments,” he replied.
Greitens also took a slap at Kinder — whose involvement with a stripper caused him to drop out of the gubernatorial race in 2012 — saying, “You’re the last person on this stage, sir, who should be trafficking in tabloid stories about men hanging out in strip clubs.”
Goguen stepped down from a powerhouse venture capital firm in early March after a former companion, Amber Laurel Baptiste. slapped him with a breach of contract lawsuit alleging he had abused her “sexually, physically and emotionally for over 13 years.”
According to the suit, Goguen had agreed to pay Baptiste $40 million “as compensation for the horrors she suffered at his hands,” but “after paying her $10 million” Goguen refused to honor the rest of his agreement.
Gouge is countersuing, accusing Baptiste of extortion and invasion of privacy.