POLITICS

Richard Spencer Beat His Pregnant Wife, Kept Her Sleep-Deprived, Divorce Filings Allege

Nina Koupriianova says her husband, the prominent white nationalist, was physically and emotionally violent to her.

Nina Koupriianova, the wife of prominent white nationalist Richard Spencer, has alleged in divorce paperwork that Spencer physically and emotionally abused her over the course of their marriage.

In documents filed to the Flathead County District Court in Montana in June, Koupriianova provided correspondence between the two and accused Spencer of beating her repeatedly during their eight-year marriage and exposing their two young children to the abuse, BuzzFeed reported Tuesday.

Texts, emails, tweets and other digital communications paint a picture of a household steeped in violence, paranoia and fear. Spencer kept a gun in his bedroom, and Koupriianova was regularly exposed to the same kinds of threats he was, on- and offline, from those who opposed his racist views.

In 2014, she alleges, Spencer “attacked me when I was four months pregnant with our first child, where he held me down with his body weight and held me by my neck and lower jaw, causing bruising.” In subsequent email correspondence, Spencer appears to apologize:

In 2017, when Koupriianova was nine months pregnant with their second child, Spencer “entered my residence to visit our daughter, became irate, and attempted to punch me in the face,” she alleged.

She said he repeatedly told her to kill herself, put her under constant threat of more violence and even deprived her of sleep during their marriage.

“I recommend that you murder yourself because you have nothing to give this world,” Spencer said, according to his wife.

The list of physical and verbal abuse allegations goes on in a 78-page affidavit (embedded below).

Koupriianova, who was born in Russia and met Spencer in 2009, said she made efforts to report the alleged abuse out of fear for her children, but that in general, she “has been reluctant to call police or seek an order of protection for fear of further reprisal” by Spencer.

Spencer is president of the National Policy Institute, which the Southern Poverty Law Center classifies as a hate group. His various public events often descend into chaos as protesters battle his white nationalist cohorts, all while Spencer himself speaks about wanting to “re-immigrate” people back to their home countries and create ethnostates.

His wife, who worked in America as a translator for the neo-fascist Russian philosopher Alexander Dugan, has long said that Spencer’s fascist political activity has taken a toll on their relationship. They’ve been separated since at least 2016.

These allegations of physical abuse, however, are new. Lawyers for both parties have tried to seal the court filings, but a judge has repeatedly denied them.

In those documents, Spencer denies the accusations against him.

“I dispute many of her assertions,” he said, noting that he “denies each, every, and all allegations.”

Need help? In the U.S., call 1-800-799-SAFE (7233) for the National Domestic Violence Hotline.

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