The lawsuit stems from Spencer’s participation in last year’s Unite the Right rally in Charlottesville, Virginia that left one woman dead and numerous people injured.
Spencer, a white nationalist, became a figurehead of the alt-right during the movement’s rise to prominence in the 2016 election, after which Spencer reworked a Nazi chant to praise Donald Trump during a speech condemning Jews. A series of media profiles described Spencer as a well-dressed leader who could legitimize the alt-right.
That was then.
Now Spencer is pleading for help from his followers, attempting to raise $25,000 for his legal expenses.
“Hi everyone, this is Richard Spencer. I am under attack and I need your help. Some of the biggest and baddest law firms in the United States are suing me,” Spencer said in the Friday video. “They’re going after everyone involved in the Unite the Right rally that took place in Charlottesville on August 12, 2017.”
Earlier this year, Kyle Bristow – the lawyer who represented Spencer in his many lawsuits against universities that refused to grant space for his speeches – quit the alt-right and left Spencer without legal representation.
The Daily Beast notes, however, that even prior to Bristow’s exit, Spencer could not find a lawyer in Virginia willing to represent him in the Charlottesville case.
In his Friday video, Spencer begged supporters for $25,000 for his legal defense fund. He issued a similar plea on Twitter, asking his backers to please send him Bitcoin. The Bitcoin wallet he linked to has received just over 0.3 Bitcoin (currently worth about $2,763) since November 2017.
“We shouldn’t underestimate the challenge that this lawsuit represents. It is warfare by legal means, and it is designed to be debilitating and all-consuming,” said Spencer, who spent the past year pressing his own lawsuits.