Nikki Addimando and Christopher Grover started out as friends after meeting while working at Mr. Todd’s Gymnastics in Poughkeepsie, N.Y., in 2008. According to The New Yorker, Addimando considered Grover her best friend and eventually their relationship grew into something more. They would later have two children together and, if Addimando is to be believed, a near-constant amount of abuse was inflicted upon her by Grover.
On Sept. 28, 2017, Addimando just couldn't take it anymore. She shot and killed Grover in what she called self-defense. Where is Nikki Addimando now? ABC's 20/20 has her story and more.
Where is Nikki Addimando now?
ABC News reported that after a three-week trial that ended in March 2019, Addimando was found guilty of second-degree murder and second-degree criminal possession of a weapon. She is currently serving her 19-year sentence at Bedford Hills Correctional Facility and is scheduled to be released on July 5, 2024.
While speaking with 20/20 for her Feb. 3 special, Addimando made it clear that she hoped her story could help others. "I think there's a misunderstanding about victim and perpetrator. I think it's hard to understand that someone can be both," she told the outlet.
Addimando never shied away from admitting she killed Grover and was always very clear that it was in self-defense. Years of purported abuse drove Addimando to do what others feel is unthinkable. What led her to that place?
Nikki Addimando claimed Christopher Grover was extremely abusive toward her.
Addimando never formally filed charges against Grover, but she did leave a trail of evidence that should have been enough to support her self-defense claim. In 2011, Addimando was seeing a licensed clinical social worker named Robin (Dusty) Nason to whom she revealed that she was sexually assaulted as a child. Once her son Ben was born, Addimando quit seeing Nason until one day when she brought something disturbing to Nason's office.
"In February 2013, when Ben [their son] was about 6 weeks old, Addimando said that Grover made a sexual advance toward her, and, when she declined, he slammed her face into the door frame of Ben’s room, then forced himself on her," per The New Yorker. Things escalated from there after Grover allegedly acquired a taste for rape. He even filmed himself assaulting Addimando. She found the tape and brought it to Nason.
"She was scared to death to confront him," Nason told the magazine.
When Addimando was pregnant with their second child in September 2014, she turned away when Grover attempted to kiss her. In a rage, he allegedly "bit her on the shoulder and slammed her face onto the counter, twice, then sexually assaulted her," per The New Yorker. When she was still unable to chew due to her injured jaw, Addimando obtained a "forensic-nurse exam at Vassar Brothers Medical Center," at the urging of Sarah Caprioli, who worked at Family Services, a victim-assistance program. Once again, Addimando was too frightened to file a police report.
Just two days after she was examined, per The New Yorker, Grover allegedly "forced her to the floor, admonished her for being disrespectful, put a metal spoon into the gas flame on the stove, and assaulted her with it," after Addimando sarcastically said "Yessir" to his request that she fix him eggs. Once again she returned to Vassar Brothers Medical Center for another exam. Still terrified, Addimando refused to contact authorities.
She later discovered that not only was Grover still filming the horrific instances of abuse, but he was now uploading the videos to PornHub. Addimando was later to save these links to an external hard drive. Police were made aware of these videos by advocates from Family Services but Addimando was unwilling to sign an affidavit detailing the abuse.
There are more stories like these, leading up to the night she killed Grover. One might ask, with all of this evidence, how could Addimando be convicted? "Nikki Addimando testified that Grover disposed of hard drives containing evidence the day before she shot him," reported CBS News. As far as her medical exams go, prosecutors argued that her injuries could have been self-inflicted. It doesn't take much for a woman to not be believed.
Nikki Addimando tried to get her sentence reduced.
The Times Union reported that Addimando's "push for clemency" was denied at the end of 2022. Despite massive support from a social media campaign as well as a petition, and a podcast about her story, Governor Kathy Hochul did not pardon Addimando. Naturally she was disappointed, but Addimando is trying to turn her situation into something positive.
"Knowing the pain that I've caused so many people, playing over and over again, all the things that I did and that I didn't do, I can't change that now," she told ABC News. Her goal is to help other victims of abuse "before it's too late, before they end up where I am, or worse."
For more on her story tune into 20/20 Feb. 3 at 9 p.m. EST on ABC.