Proud Boys founder Gavin McInnes usually fights his own battles, by way of inciting his membership to commit acts of violence. But now that his ritzy community in Westchester County, New York, has begun to take a stand against him, he has apparently employed a new enforcer to do his dirty work: his wife, Emily McInnes, who has been privately intimidating her neighbors and threatening them with lawsuits, HuffPost has confirmed.
Last week HuffPost reported on his intensifying spat with his neighbors in the cozy, upscale village of Larchmont, just north of New York City. The extremist leader sent letters to local residents who displayed “Hate has no home here” signs in their yards, complaining that the message amounts to an attack on him and his family. The irony of such a suggestion is not lost on them.
But on Monday night, that simmering local feud began to boil over. The McInneses joined a private online discussion about the squabble, held by the Larchmont community on the social media app Nextdoor, in an apparent attempt to clear the air with their neighbors.
A transcript of their comments, which mostly parroted lies that Gavin McInnes told about his past and his affiliation with the Proud Boys last week, was obtained by HuffPost.
“The Jewbag quote was a character,” Gavin wrote in response to a community member’s questions about his rampant anti-Semitism, which has been lauded by the likes of David Duke and Richard Spencer.
Emily McInnes wrote in another post, “I assure you as a Native American woman raised with a full-blood mother and a longtime liberal, my heart is full and open to all.”
Reader, the McInneses did not clear the air.
HuffPost received calls and messages from multiple community members who were watching the Nextdoor saga unfold in real time; Gavin McInnes’ involvement felt particularly disingenuous, they said, because on Friday he called them “assholes” with “cunty behavior” on his podcast, in an episode titled “I hate ‘hate has no home here’ signs.” Anyone displaying such a sign in Larchmont, he said, was “a retard who makes redundant points.”
It might have been laughable that Gavin McInnes, a gang leader famous for years of violent misogyny, was now trying to characterize himself as a misunderstood jokester, but locals said they felt threatened above all.
“These people are lunatics,” one Larchmont resident said. “It’s as if they don’t think we know what they’ve done.”
Before Monday night, neighbors said they had given Emily McInnes the benefit of the doubt, considering her someone caught in the middle of drama her husband created with the community. But HuffPost has reviewed evidence that she has intimidated and harassed several neighbors in response to their anti-hate signs, threatening legal action or accusing them in private messages of coming after her family. On multiple occasions, the recipients notified police, HuffPost confirmed. The individuals who shared the details of those legal threats did so on condition of anonymity out of fear for their safety.
Publicly, Emily McInnes has struck a more measured tone, appealing to her neighbors by claiming victimhood or deflecting for her husband and the Proud Boys. She claimed on Monday night that her family was suing the Southern Poverty Law Center and “several publications” for defamation, apparently over the SPLC’s designation of the Proud Boys as a hate group.
“Gavin founded a beer drinking club that was fond of Animal House and humor,” she wrote on Nextdoor, echoing a falsehood about the group that he has long maintained. “He NEVER led a hate group … Again, why not ask us questions? We will meet or talk any time. And PLEASE from the bottom of my heart let my sweet kind-hearted children have some peace.”
There is no indication that the McInnes kids have faced anything but peace amid the neighborhood drama. In a phone call on Tuesday, Emily McInnes told HuffPost that the legal threats were offhanded.
“I’ve said, ‘Please call me. I dare you.’ That was as threatening as I got,” she said. She added that the individuals who came to HuffPost alleging threats are “entitled to their opinion.”
“I’m so encouraged by so many of our neighbors who want to talk to us rather than protest us,” she said.
For some Larchmont residents, the whole campaign by the McInneses to rehabilitate their image at home seems underhanded. After all, Gavin McInnes is the founder of a street gang known for coast-to-coast violence, he tries to mollify community members out of one side of his mouth and disparages them out the other, and his wife has threatened them with lawyers.
“Their attempts to turn this around are terribly manipulative,” said one local.