In the battle for the hearts and minds of the nation, I'm not sure that Nancy Pelosi's blowout in Cow Hollow on Monday is going to be a turning point for the ages. But the drama escalated on Wednesday when the stylist who had taken the appointment with the speaker issued a statement — through a lawyer — laying out a few claims of his own about Erica Kious, the salon owner who sent surveillance video of Pelosi to Fox News.
Jonathan DeNardo, the hairstylist who agreed to do Pelosi's hair on Monday and informed her that the salon was permitted to take one client at a time indoors, says that Kious was informed of the appointment the night before in a telephone call, and she personally approved it. DeNardo says she followed this with invective about Pelosi's "purported responsibility for temporarily suspending operations of Ms. Kious' business."
DeNardo apparently provided the La Jolla law firm Soleiman APC with "photographs, video, and witness information" that suggests Kious has kept eSalon open for clandestine indoor operations as far back as April. "What's more," the lawyer's letter reads, as seen below, "Ms. Kious has also been actively encouraging and almost forcing stylists who operate at eSalon to violate [public health orders] for her own financial benefit in the form of [chair] lease payments."
The letter goes on to suggest that Kious set up Speaker Pelosi "for her own vain aspirations."
In comments at an event in San Francisco on Wednesday, Pelosi herself called the incident a setup, and she said, "I take responsibility for falling for a setup."
As SFist reported on Wednesday, while the incident appeared to be a failure of Pelosi's staff to double check on San Francisco's current rules for reopening salons, the confusion may be forgivable. State guidelines that took effect on Monday would allow "red" tier counties like San Francisco to have hair salons open indoors with restrictions, but SF's local public health orders take precedence over those, and Pelosi claims she took the stylist at his word that the appointment was above board.
Also, much has been made of Pelosi being seen not wearing a mask, but the selected footage only shows the speaker walking between a shampoo sink and the styling chair, and her staff contends Pelosi was wearing her mask for the entire appointment except at that moment.
Meanwhile, a GoFundMe has been launched for Kious that claims that she is "being forced to shut down and relocate her business and family due to outrage and threats she is receiving."
Kious owns two eSalon locations in San Francisco, and one in Fresno where she has most recently been working, according to her website. Despite being a "purple" county where "widespread" virus transmission is occurring, the state currently permits Fresno barbershops and hairstylists to operate indoors with restrictions.
Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images