The wife of prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer has accused him of physical and emotional abuse throughout their marriage, including incidents of choking and attempting to punch her while she was 9 months pregnant.
Nina Koupriianova, who wed the alt-right figurehead back in 2010, has made a string of bombshell claims against Spencer, revealing in divorce filings obtained by Buzzfeed News that her husband once dragged her down a flight of stairs, slammed her head into the floor, pinned her down and “held me by my neck and lower jaw,” causing bruising.
“One of [Spencer’s] favorite statements to me is, ‘The only language women understand is violence,’” Koupriianova alleged in the divorce filings, adding that her husband was verbally abusive as well and called her “genetically defective” and a “parasite.”
Much of the abuse occurred in front of the couple’s two young daughters, according to the documents. Koupriianova argued that Spencer’s abusive behavior, drinking habits and far-right political activism have also put the family at risk.
“Most if not all of [Spencer’s] public speaking events end in violence,” she noted.
Spencer has vehemently denied his wife’s allegations of abuse, calling them “a wild mischaracterization of who I am.” He declined to comment on the claims specifically.
“I’m not going to be engaging with specifics,” Spencer told the Guardian.
Spencer, 40, rose to prominence in after shouting “Hail Trump! Hail our people!” and being greeted with Nazi salutes at an alt-right event in Washington shortly after Donald Trump was elected president in 2016, Newsweek reported. He cemented himself as spokesman of the far-right movement and took credit for coining the term “alternative right.”
Moreover, Spencer was a key organizer of last summer’s deadly “Unite the Right” rally in Charlottesville, Va., where 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer died after a neo-Nazi sympathizer drove his car through a crowd of people.
In the divorce filings, which Spencer has tried multiple times to keep sealed, Koupriianova said her husband was a believer in “traditional” marriage and gender roles and sometimes left the family to fend for themselves. She alleges Spencer would tell her to buy groceries with her own money because his money was “for the cause.”
He also regularly failed to pay the water, Internet and cell phone bills and even allowed their health coverage to lapse three times, including once shortly before the birth of their second child, she claims.
Moreover, Koupriianova says ever since Spencer was punched in the face by a protester in a viral video from the day of Donald Trump’s inauguration, her husband has kept a loaded .38-caliber pistol in the bedroom of their Montana home that was easily accessible by their children. She also cited times that her older daughter would try to intervene when she saw Spencer berating her mother, putting herself between her parents and asking her father to stop.
Koupriiana goes on to say her husband would repeatedly tell her to “kill herself” and asked if her parents would even attend her funeral.
Despite Spencer’s repeated attempts to keep the divorce proceedings under wraps, Judge Heidi Ulbricht denied the motion on the grounds that sealing the case would “infringe upon Article II, Section 9 of the Montana Constitution and the Freedom of the Press under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution,” Buzzfeed News reported.
Spencer and Koupriianova have been living separately since July 2017.