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Nancy Pelosi 'heartbroken and traumatised' after husband attacked with hammer at their home
30 October 2022, 09:43
US house speaker Nancy Pelosi says she is "heartbroken and traumatised" after a violent intruder broke into her home and attacker her husband with a hammer.
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Paul Pelosi underwent surgery on a fractured skill after he was attacked at the couple's home in San Francisco on Friday, by an intruder believed to have been looking for his wife.
Ms Pelosi has broken her silence, saying her husband's condition is improving but saying her family are "heartbroken and traumatised" by the attack.
"Sadly, a violent man broke into our family home yesterday morning, demanded to confront me and brutally attacked my husband Paul," she said.
"Our children, our grandchildren and I are heartbroken and traumatised by the life-threatening attack on our Pop.
"We are grateful for the quick response of law enforcement and emergency services and for the life-saving medical care he is receiving."
She added: "Please know that the outpouring of prayers and warm wishes from so many in the Congress is a comfort to our family and is helping Paul make progress with his recovery.
"His condition continues to improve."
Read my letter to my colleagues in the Congress here: https://t.co/jjHOQWm5MT— Nancy Pelosi (@SpeakerPelosi) October 30, 2022
Speaking in Philadelphia on Friday night, US President Joe Biden has condemned the attack as "despicable".
"This is despicable. There's no place in America. There's too much violence, political violence, too much hatred, too much vitriol," Mr Biden said.
"What makes us think that it's not going to corrode the political climate?
"Enough is enough.
"Every person of good conscience needs to clearly and unambiguously stand up against the violence in our politics, regardless of what your politics are."
The intruder was reportedly shouting "where's Nancy?" in an echo to the Capitol riots in January 2021.
Mrs Pelosi, the third most senior politician in the US, was in Washington at the time.
The suspect, 42-year-old David DePape, was arrested at the scene.
San Francisco district attorney Brooke Jenkins said she expected to file multiple felony charges, including attempted murder, assault with a deadly weapon, burglary and elder abuse.
It was revealed earlier that the suspect appeared to have made racist and often rambling posts online, including some that echoed QAnon conspiracy theories.
His posts also questioned the results of the 2020 election and defended former president Donald Trump.
DePape grew up in Powell River, British Columbia, before leaving about 20 years ago to follow an older girlfriend to San Francisco.
A street address listed for DePape in the Bay Area college town of Berkeley led to a post office box at a UPS Store.
Stepfather Gene DePape said the suspect had lived with him in Canada until he was 14 and had been a quiet boy.
"David was never violent that I seen and was never in any trouble although he was very reclusive and played too much video games," Gene DePape said.
He said he has not seen his stepson since 2003 and tried to get in touch with him several times over the years without success.
"In 2007, I tried to get in touch but his girlfriend hung up on me when I asked to talk to him," Gene DePape said.
David DePape was known in Berkeley as a pro-nudity activist who had picketed naked at protests against local ordinances requiring people to be clothed in public.
Gene DePape said the girlfriend whom his son followed to California was named Gypsy and they had two children together.
DePape also has a child with a different woman, his stepfather said.
Photographs published by The San Francisco Chronicle on Friday identified DePape frolicking nude outside city hall with dozens of others at the 2013 wedding of pro-nudity activist Gypsy Taub, who was marrying another man.
Ms Taub did not respond on Friday to calls or emails.
Nancy Pelosi's husband beaten during break-in
A 2013 article in The Chronicle described David DePape as a "hemp jewellery maker" who lived in a Victorian flat in Berkeley with Ms Taub, who hosted a talk show on local public-access TV called Uncensored 9/11, in which she appeared naked and pushed conspiracy theories that the 2001 terrorist attacks were "an inside job".
A pair of web blogs posted in recent months online under the name David DePape contained rants about technology, aliens, communists, religious minorities, transsexuals and global elites.
An August 24 entry, titled Q, displayed a scatological collection of memes that included photos of the deceased sex offender Jeffrey Epstein and made reference to QAnon, the baseless pro-Trump conspiracy theory that espouses the belief that the country is run by a deep state cabal of child sex traffickers, satanic paedophiles and baby-eating cannibals.
"Big Brother has deemed doing your own research as a thought crime," read a post that appeared to blend references to QAnon with George Orwell's dystopian novel 1984.
In an August 25 entry titled Gun Rights, the poster wrote: "You no longer have rights.
"Your basic human rights hinder Big Brothers ability to enslave and control you in a complete and totalizing way."
The web hosting service WordPress removed one of the sites on Friday afternoon for violating its terms of service.
On a different site, someone posting under DePape's name repeated false claims about Covid vaccines and wearing masks, questioned whether climate change is real and displayed an illustration of a zombified Hillary Clinton dining on human flesh.
There appeared to be no direct posts about Ms Pelosi, but there were entries defending former president Donald Trump and Ye, the rapper formally known as Kayne West who recently made antisemitic comments.
In other posts, the writer said Jews helped finance Hitler's political rise in Germany and suggested an antisemitic plot was involved in Russia's recent invasion of Ukraine.
"The more Ukrainians die NEEDLESSLY the cheaper the land will be for Jews to buy up," the post said.
In a September 27 post, the writer said any journalists who denied Mr Trump's false claims of widespread voter fraud in the 2020 presidential election "should be dragged straight out into the street and shot".
Ms Pelosi is a divisive figure in the US.
The 82-year-old has had a long career in politics, serving for years as the Democratic party's speaker and one of its key figures.
She is often loathed by Republicans and was a figure of hate for Trump supporters.
Her office was targeted during the 2021 US Capitol riots.
Mr Pelosi is expected to make a full recovery.