The San Francisco salon owner now in headlines following Nancy Pelosi's private visit has claimed that the visit was not a "setup," despite the House Speaker's claims to the contrary. Erica Kious' remarks, however, are being objected to by the stylist who tended to Pelosi during her visit. Swept up in the now national outcry, a lawyer for cosmetologist Jonathan DeNardo seemed to support Pelosi's claim in a statement released Wednesday evening.
In the statement, DeNardo stated that he had received approval from Kious two days in advance to serve Pelosi, who herself has claimed that the salon told her they were "able to accommodate people one person at a time." Although DeNardo said he told Kious he would not go through with the appointment without the owner's approval, during their phone conversation, "Kious took [a] special interest in the appointment." According to DeNardo, during the call, Kious made "several vitriolic and incendiary comments" about Pelosi, whom she blamed for the local ordinances suspending salon services, despite Pelosi, a statewide representative, likely having little to do with constructing San Francisco's local ordinances.
As of Monday, when Pelosi visited the salon, San Francisco salons were not allowed to provide services. Measures lifted slightly on Tuesday, when salons were allowed to begin offering outdoor services. DeNardo noted, however, that despite these rules, Kious "has actually been operating her business" during these local ordinances limiting services "as far back as April 2020." DeNardo claimed there are "photographs, videos and witness information" of this, with Kious "seen on photographs and video styling various clients' hair, ignoring social distancing guidelines, and not wearing protective equipment (masks) as recently as a few days prior to" Pelosi's visit. DeNardo also alleged that Kious "has been actively encouraging and almost forcing most stylists who operate at eSalon to violate" the orders "for her own financial benefit."
"The fact that Ms. Kious is now objecting to Speaker Pelosi's presence at eSalon, and from a simple surface-level review of Ms. Kious' political leanings, it appears Ms. Kious is furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations," the statement concluded. "Mr. DeNardo's name has been dragged through the mud simply for following Ms. Kious’ recommendations."
Addressing the visit, Kious said accusations that the visit was a setup are "absolutely false" and said, "There was no way I could have set that up." Pelosi, meanwhile, in both her own statement and a statement released by her spokesperson, claimed that she followed all coronavirus guidelines during her visit, which DeNardo supported in his statement.