PBS NewsHour / YouTube How a white nationalist leader wants 1540341202.jpg...
PBS NewsHour / YouTube

Nina Koupriianova, who married white nationalist Richard Spencer in August 2010, alleges he repeatedly abused her during their marriage, according to divorce filings, as reported by Buzzfeed. Specifically, she accuses him of being “physically, emotionally, verbally, and financially abusive.”

As is common with survivors of domestic violence, Koupriianova was reluctant to go to the police or ask for such protection as a restraining order, as she was afraid of retaliation from Spencer, her lawyer explains in court documents.

The abuse she alleges in the filings is disturbing, including, “being hit, being grabbed, being dragged around by her hair, being held down in a manner causing bruising, and being prevented from calling for help.”


The couple have two young children together. “Much of the abuse has occurred in the presence of the parties’ children,” her lawyer notes in the court documents. Koupriianova alleges Spencer abused her while she was pregnant. For example, in July 2014, she said, while she was four months pregnant, Spencer “got on top of me, held me down with his bodyweight, and held me by my neck and lower jaw.” She also claims his alcohol consumption increased. According to the court filing, the white nationalist kept a loaded weapon in his bedroom. Even scarier? The reality that the mere presence of a gun in domestic violence situations increases the risk of homicide for women by 500%. Even scarier than that? The court documents claim the loaded weapon was “accessible by children.”

Koupriianova has numerous pieces of evidence that she claims show the alleged abuse, ranging from transcripts of recorded phone calls, to emails where Spencer seemingly apologizes for abusing her, to text messages. There are photos of what she says are bruises.


Spencer denies all of the allegations against him.

To review, Spencer regularly promotes beliefs that result in violence. For example, he spoke at the Unite the Right Rally, a white supremacist gathering held in Charlottesville in 2017, which resulted in the death of protestor Heather Heyer. His cause? White Nationalism. Spencer proudly claims that he personally created the term “alt-right,” and is not remotely shy about his abhorrent views. He is the president of the National Policy Institute, a white supremacy think tank. He is anti-Semitic, homophobic, and misogynistic. He advocates for “peaceful ethnic cleansing.” He is, obviously, an unabashed racist. Unsurprisingly, he supported Donald Trump becoming president. He also supported Steve Bannon receiving an appointment to be the chief White House strategist and senior counselor.

Koupriianova claims Spencer has told her something particularly disturbing, and deeply telling: “The only language women understand is violence.” Given the man’s politics, it’s easier than not to imagine these words coming out of his mouth. Her own abhorrent views (she absolutely loves Putin, and is a staunch fan of Russian nationalism, among other things) didn’t protect her from violence from someone on her side.

The couple has been living separately since 2017. Spencer claims she has “ stonewall[ed]” him from seeing their children. And given these allegations, it’s no surprise why.

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This is a Creative Commons article. The original version of this article appeared here.


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