Woman Injured at Charlottesville Rally Tells Court 'Emotional' Scars Worse Than 'Physical'

A woman pushed out of the way of a speeding car during the 2017 white nationalist rally in Charlottesville testified in court Monday her "emotional" scars are worse than the "physical" ones, the Associated Press reported.

Marissa Blair took the stand during the third week of a civil trial lawsuit against the organizers of the "Unite the Right" rally. She suffered minor physical injuries but says still suffers from emotional scars.

Blair said she has flashbacks, panic attacks and depression from witnessing the attack and the grief over the death of her friend, 32-year-old Heather Heyer.

"My emotional scars were way worse than my physical ones," Blair said to the court.

Hundreds of white nationalists attended the rally in Charlottesville on Aug. 11 and Aug.12, 2017, to protest city plans to remove a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Authorities declared the gathering was an "unlawful assembly" and ordered the crowd to disperse. After the announcement, James Alex Fields Jr., rammed his car into a peaceful group of counter protesters.

Blair received minor physical injuries from her fiancé Marcus Martin pushing her out of the way as a car sped toward the crowd. Martin sustained serious injuries when he was struck by the car.

The pair married nine months after the attack, but Blair said the physical and psychological impacts of the event took a toll on their relationship and they are now divorced.

For more reporting from the Associated Press, see below.

Charlottesville, Rally, White Nationalists, Car
In this Aug. 12, 2017, file photo, a vehicle drives into a group of protesters demonstrating against a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va. A trial is beginning in Charlottesville, Virginia to determine whether white nationalists who planned the so-called “Unite the Right” rally will be held civilly responsible for the violence that erupted. Ryan M. Kelly/AP Photo

While speaking to the court, Blair broke down in tears several times.

"I was confused. I was scared. I was worried about all the people that were there. It was a complete terror scene. It was blood everywhere. I was terrified," said Blair.

Fields Jr., a self-proclaimed admirer of Adolf Hitler from Maumee, Ohio, is serving life in prison for murder and hate crimes related to the car attack.

The lawsuit seeks monetary damages from two dozen white supremacists, neo-Nazis and organizations the plaintiffs allege participated in a conspiracy to incite violence.

The violence shocked the nation, and a political firestorm erupted after then-President Donald Trump failed to strongly denounce the white nationalists, saying there were "very fine people on both sides."

The lawsuit is being funded by Integrity First for America, a nonprofit organization formed in response to the violence in Charlottesville. Some of the country's most well-known white nationalists are named as defendants, including: Richard Spencer, who coined the term "alt-right" to described a loosely connected band of white nationalists, neo-Nazis and others; Jason Kessler, the rally's main organizer; and Christopher Cantwell, a white supremacists who became known as the "crying Nazi" for posting a tearful video when a warrant was issued for his arrest on assault charges for using pepper spray on counterdemonstrators.

The plaintiffs in the lawsuit include four people who were hurt in the car attack and others who were victims of violence during a torch rally at the University of Virginia on Aug. 11 or during demonstrations the following day.

The plaintiffs' lawyers have shown the jury a large collection of chat room exchanges, social media postings and other communications in which the defendants use racial epithets and discuss plans for the demonstrations, including what weapons to bring.

They're also relying on a 150-year-old law passed after the Civil War to shield freed slaves from violence and protect their civil rights. Commonly known as the Ku Klux Klan Act, the law contains a rarely used provision that allows private citizens to sue other citizens for civil rights violations.

The defendants claim their language in many of their chat room exchanges was hyperbolic and is protected by the First Amendment. They also say their talk of weapons and combat was meant only in the event they had to defend themselves from counterprotesters.