The affair of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s hair grew more tangled Wednesday night when the owner of a San Francisco salon lashed out at her after the California Democrat said video of her eschewing the rules during a salon visit was a “setup.”
Security camera footage taken Monday at eSalon SF, owned by Erica Kious, showed a maskless Pelosi with wet hair walking ahead of a stylist who wore a mask.
The video caused a stir because not only was Pelosi violating rules regarding wearing face coverings but also, in California, salons have been banned from operating since the state’s lockdown was imposed in March. They were allowed to accept outdoor customers on Tuesday, the day after Pelosi’s appointment.
Pelosi said her visit for a wash and blowout was perfectly appropriate, and she blamed the salon for making her look bad.
“This salon owes me an apology,” Pelosi said Wednesday, according to the Los Angeles Times.
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“It was clearly a setup,” the House speaker said. “I take responsibility for falling for a setup by a neighborhood salon I’ve gone to for many years.”
Kious denied the allegations.
“She had called the stylist, or her assistant did, and made the appointment,” she told Fox News’ Tucker Carlson on Wednesday.
“So the appointment was already booked. So there was no way I could have set that up. And I’ve had a camera system in there for five years. I mean, I didn’t go in there and turn cameras on as soon as she walked in to set her up. So that is absolutely false.”
The salon owner also pushed back against Pelosi’s claim that it was Pelosi’s understanding that salons could see customers one-on-one.
“I heard that and I thought to myself, ‘Well, as a hairstylist, I see clients one-on-one. So, that would mean that I would be open, right?’” Kious said.
Instead, she said, her business has been closed and is “pretty much done.”
“We’ve lost at least 60 percent of our clients. I’ve lost the majority of my staff,” she said. “Six months is a long time to be closed down.”
Kious said having the House speaker attack her was “hurtful.”
“She’s been coming in for quite a while, and just to see her come in, and especially not wearing the mask, that’s what really got to me,” she said.
“This isn’t even political,” Kious said. “I mean, she’s been coming in there. It’s the fact that she actually came in and didn’t have a mask on. And I just thought about my staff and people not being able to work and make money and provide for their families.
“If she’s in there comfortably without a mask and feeling safe, then why are we shut down? Why am I not able to have clients come in?”
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Kious said the publicity over the Pelosi video has spawned a deluge of hatred toward her and her business.
“Since this happened, I have received nothing but hate text messages, death threats, [saying that] they’re going to burn my hair salon down,” she said, indicating that after 12 years n San Francisco she might have to move. “My Yelp page is just unbelievable with bad reviews.
“It’s just sad that my community is pulling this. They’re saying that I threw her under the bus when I didn’t,” Kious said. “So that’s hurtful, but yeah, I think I’m pretty much done now.”
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