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Brunner retracts ‘sex slave’ claim about Greitens donor

ST. LOUIS – The once-fractured gubernatorial field has shown signs of coming together two days after former Navy SEAL Eric Greitens won the primary election, and it appears John Brunner is looking to make amends as well.

Brunner issued a statement Thursday retracting comments he made during a July debate that one of Greitens’ largest donors had used a woman as a “sex slave.”

“During my campaign for the Republican nomination for Missouri governor, I made certain statements concerning a contributor to Eric Greitens’ campaign who donated $1 million to that campaign,” Brunner said. “I subsequently received further information indicating that a portion of my prior statements were erroneous. I therefore retract any and all statements I made suggesting that the contributor to Mr. Greitens’ campaign was a sex slave owner, or the owner of a teenage sex slave.”

Michael Goguen, a Silicon Valley investor and major funder of Greitens’ campaign, is currently involved in a civil lawsuit in which Amber Baptiste claims that he promised to help her escape from a life as a victim of sex trafficking while engaging in a sexual relationship with her. When Goguen did not uphold that promise, Baptiste threatened him with a lawsuit and Goguen allegedly settled with her out of court for $40 million. Baptiste has begun another lawsuit stating that she only received $10 million of the promised sum.

Brunner is being sued by Goguen for defamation.

The Goguen controversy was a sticking point for attacks throughout the primaries on Greitens. Greitens said Tuesday night after his victory speech that he had received congratulatory concession calls from the three other candidates and that they were committed to his campaign to help the Republican Party take back Governor’s Mansion.

Brunner’s retraction may be the surest sign of that new unity as the businessman famously feuded with Greitens on the campaign trail and the two both benefitted from super PACs attacking the other.

Former Republican presidential candidate John Kasich donated his donation from Goguen to charity.