‘War Machine’ not ‘a monster,’ but ‘a good guy.’ Phewf.

The MMA fighter named “War Machine” (aka Jonathan Koppenhaver) who beat his ex-girlfriend, Christy Mack, so badly that she ended up with 18 broken bones, missing teeth, multiple stab wounds (including in her ear and head), and a lacerated liver, was arrested on Friday, August 15th. It was recently reported that he also sexually assaulted Mack.

Mack stated on Twitter that Koppenhaver had made her undress and take a shower and threatened to rape her (but didn’t follow through because he couldn’t get an erection). According to LA Weeklythe police have since said “that he did sexually assault her by using a finger to penetrate her as she was nude in her bathroom,” saying to Mack: “That’s my pussy and I’m going to take it back now.”

The man Mack was with at the time Koppenhaver broke into her home — Corey Thomas — was also beaten and choked before being told to leave the house by the fighter, who added that he would have his friends kill him if he told anyone about the incident. Koppenhaver then turned his attention to Mack, and, as reported by the Toronto Sun, Thomas “fled to his workplace and called authorities before he was hospitalized.”

Koppenhaver went on the lam but was found on Friday in his room at a hotel in Simi Valley, California and will soon be extradited to Nevada, where the incident took place.

Though Koppenhaver’s stopped whining on Twitter, the 32-year-old’s attorney, Brandon Sua, has taken over on his behalf, stating to Los Angeles television station KTLA:

“The hardest thing for my client is seeing the responses from the media, the public. There’s been a lot of statements on one side. The media has done a good job of painting my client as a monster, but my client is not a monster. He is a good guy.”

A good guy, folks. A good guy who regularly beat his girlfriend, this time within an inch of her life (because he loved her so much — all he wanted was to propose!), who spent two years in prison in 2010 for attacking a female bartender, and who spoke publicly of Mack as “his property.” I guess reporting on these facts makes the media super-biased. In an interview at The Daily Beast, a retired porn actress named Brooke Haven, spoke of a party Koppenhaver attended at her house in 2009:

“We were all at my birthday party and he was there with a girlfriend of his. He actually showed up to my birthday party early and was blowing up balloons and everything was fine, and the next thing I know he was doing some drugs. His girlfriend was talking to a friend of mine and War Machine walked up and slapped her. And then it all escalated from there.”

Apparently he lost it and beat up a number of people at the party.

Unfortunately, Haven repeats a number of times, of 23-year-old Mack, that “she stayed with him” — an all-too-common response towards victims of domestic abuse.

“I’ve known the other times he’s beaten her up. There was a time in November, a time in February—and she stayed. And it wasn’t the first time he beat her up but this was the first time it escalated to this and became this bad. She didn’t end up in the hospital before. And she chose to stay with him. You just figure with somebody with that reputation who can snap like that, it was bound to happen.”

Ugh. It makes me so sad that people still don’t seem to understand the dynamics of abusive relationships and the hold abusive men have over their partners… Beyond that, so what if she stayed? No one deserves to be abused. Ever. It was his choice to abuse, not Mack’s, and the responsibility is with him and him alone.

Koppenhaver faces several charges in Clark County, including battery, assault with a deadly weapon, coercion by force, and a gross and open lewdness. He could spend up to 25 years in prison if convicted of the charges.

Meghan Murphy
Meghan Murphy

Founder & Editor

Meghan Murphy is a freelance writer and journalist. She has been podcasting and writing about feminism since 2010 and has published work in numerous national and international publications, including The Spectator, UnHerd, the CBC, New Statesman, Vice, Al Jazeera, The Globe and Mail, and more. Meghan completed a Masters degree in the department of Gender, Sexuality and Women’s Studies at Simon Fraser University in 2012 and lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her dog.

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