The ex-wife of Eric Greitens says she is “scared” and has been subjected to death threats following the release of his violent campaign video.

A lawyer for Sheena Greitens said to a court on Thursday that Ms Greietns has faced “serious” threats against her family after the Missouri US Senate candidate appeared armed in a video in which he said that he was “hunting” RINOs, a nickname for Republicans in Name Only,

“She’s received some serious threats,” said attorney Helen Wade during a hearing in the former couple’s child custody case.

Ms Wade told a judge that the high-profile video “has created a situation where others may perceive it as a call to arms.”

The couple split up after Mr Greitens, a former Navy SEALS officer, resigned as Missouri governor in the wake of a 2015 affair with his hairdresser. The affair resulted in him facing a criminal charge.

Ms Greitens has accused her ex-husband of verbal and physical abuse, which he has denied and called the allegations “lies.”

The hearing was being held to decide if custody of the couple’s two sons would be handled by a court in Missouri or Texas, where Ms Greitens now lives.

In the 38 second-long commercial, which was released on Monday and heavily criticised, Mr Greitens is seen carrying a shotgun.

A heavily-armed tactical unit then storms a house and throws smoke grenades, before Mr Greitens enters and says, “Join the MAGA crew. Get a RINO hunting permit. There´s no bagging limit, no tagging limit and it doesn´t expire until we save our country.”

Mr Greitens, who was not at the court hearing, has said the campaign advert was meant to be funny.

His lawyer, Gary Stamper, told the court that it was “disingenuous to suggest” that his client “would want harm to befall her.”He said he would discuss with Mr Greitens about making a statement to denounce the threats against his wife.

Ms Wade did not specify how the threats had been received by her client, but detailed one of them for the court.

“It´s in writing, ‘Wouldn´t it be awful if someone hunted down and killed Eric Greitens and his entire family. Golly that would be terrible.’ That´s one of them. The other one is so horrible I can´t read it aloud in court,” she said.

Mr Greitens is among 21 Republicans running for the US Senate seat opening up with the retirement of incumbent Roy Blunt. The primary is being held on 2 August.

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