Paul Pelosi’s accused assailant suffered from mental illness, habitually used drugs, and was frequently homeless, according to his former girlfriend.
David DePape, 42, allegedly assaulted House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s husband in their San Francisco home Friday morning, and sources said he shouted, “Where is Nancy”.
His former girlfriend Oxane “Gypsy” Taub, who was convicted of child abduction and was a well-known public nudity activist, told The San Francisco Chronicle that DePape had used drugs, lived on Bay Area streets after they permanently broke up and thought “he was Jesus for a year.”
“He has never been able to hold a job,” Taub told the outlet. “He has been homeless. This person really does suffer from mental illness and that is probably why he was there at 2 a.m.”
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Others who had met DePape painted similar pictures of him as a drug user who struggled with mental health issues.
California resident Linda Schneider said DePape told her when they met about eight years ago that he was “trying to create a new life for himself” despite a struggle with hard drugs, CNN reported.
A previous acquaintance claimed he seemed “out of touch with reality,” while California’s Laura Hayes said DePape was living in a Berkeley storage shed when she briefly worked with him about ten years ago.
At that time, DePape said he communicated with angels “and there will be a hard time coming,” Hayes recalled to CNN.
A now-removed Facebook page that family members identified as DePape’s featured a litany of conspiratorial content on topics including the 2020 election, COVID-19 vaccines, and the killing of George Floyd, CNN reported. Nancy Pelosi was shown in videos posted on a blog using his name, which shared antisemitic material and referenced the QAnon conspiracy theory.
“I don’t think he became a Trump supporter,” Taub told the Chronicle. “He was against the government, but if anything he was opposed to the shadow government, against the people who really run the government and use politicians as puppets. Like Trump was a puppet. David and I were against the shadow government.”
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DePape had lived at a house in Berkeley with Taub, who had three children, according to multiple reports. His stepfather in British Columbia, who claimed not to have seen DePape since 2003, said he fathered two children with someone named Gypsy and another with a different woman, The Associated Press reported.
Author Michael Shellenberger described the Berkeley property as a “combination of a typical left-wing Berkeley home and a homeless encampment,” and neighbor Margarita Gonzalez said people in the Taub and DePape household used drugs and acted like they were homeless. A neighbor called Trish told Shellenberger that DePape would intermittently stay in a bus next to the property with other people, disappearing for months.
Trish claimed she had seen DePape there on multiple occasions within the last year, including two weeks ago, Shellenberger reported.
People at the house acted in psychotic and paranoid ways, issuing threats and calling the police, Trish said.
Taub was herself found guilty in August 2021 of attempted child abduction and other offenses after trying to abduct a 14-year-old boy.