San Francisco salon owner Erica Kious has revealed that she is closing her business after leaking that now infamous video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit. Speaking with Fox News' Tucker Carlson Wednesday night, just over a week after the incident occurred, Kious announced, "I am actually done in San Francisco and closing my doors, unfortunately."
Kious, who operates eSalon, which rents out chairs to independent stylists, told Carlson that she made the decision to shut down her business after receiving an influx of backlash after the video was released to Fox News earlier this month. Kious said that not long after it went viral, she "started to just get a ton of phone calls, text messages, emails, all my Yelp reviews…saying that they hope I go under and that I fail." In fact, a quick glimpse at her most recent Instagram posts saw the comments flooded with people reacting to the clip. Kious said that it was "just a lot of negativity towards my business."
The outcry was sparked after video showed Pelosi entering the business on Aug. 31, a time during which salons were not permitted to perform services. Local ordinances did not allow San Francisco salons to offer services until Sept. 1, when only outside services were permitted. Kious had quickly denied Pelosi's claims that the incident was a setup, though the stylist himself had contradicted those remarks.. In a statement released via his lawyer, Jonathan DeNardo said that Kious, who had reportedly been operating her salon since April despite that being against coronavirus guidelines, "took [a] special interest in the appointment." DeNardo added that Kious made "several vitriolic and incendiary comments" about Pelosi, later stating that "it appears Ms. Kious is furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations."
The backlash, Kious said, has made her fearful to return. She told Carlson, "I'm actually afraid to go back... It's a little scary and sad." Although she said she had received "a lot of positive calls and text messages from clients," she said that "other than that, nothing but negativity."
A GoFundMe page for Kious, created by Amy Tarkanian, the wife of former Nevada Republican State Senator Danny Tarkanian, has since raised more than 335,000 of its initial 300,000 goal. The page notes that the funds raised will "go directly to Erica to pay off any debts from the business that she is forced to shut down, expenses to relocate and reopen in a new location."