The San Francisco salon owner who has found herself swept up in controversy following House Speaker Nancy Pelosi's visit last week is getting support from an unlikely source. In the midst of threats and the demand for an apology from Pelosi, Amy Tarkanian, the wife of former Nevada Republican State Senator Danny Tarkanian, has created a GoFundMe page for Erica Kiouss, who now reportedly has to relocate her business.
According to the page, which was created shortly after Kious leaked footage of Pelosi's visit to Fox News, Kious "is now being forced to shut down and relocate her business and family due to outrage and threats she is receiving." Kious recently revealed that since the video went viral, she has "received nothing but hate text messages [and] death threats," including threats that people are "going to burn my hair salon down." She has also revealed that her "Yelp page is just unbelievable with bad reviews."
On the page, Tarkanian noted that she has been friends with Kious and her family for roughly two decades. Heavy reports that online records show Kious donated $300 to one of the campaigns of Tarkanian’s husband in June of 2010. Tarkanian said that any donations made from the GoFundMe page made will go towards helping Kious "pay off any debts from the business that she is forced to shut down" and also cover "expenses to relocate and reopen in a new location." As of this posting, the page has raised more than $295,000 of its $300,000 goal, with Tarkanian writing that Kious is "overwhelmed by the flood of support and is grateful for those who are willing to speak out and stand up along her side."
The page's creation comes as Kious remains centered in a heated controversy, which was sparked after Kious released video of Pelosi's visit, which violated local coronavirus guidelines. While Kious has denied allegations that the incident was a setup, instead using the ordeal to spotlight the struggles of small businesses amid the pandemic, Jonathan DeNardo, the stylist who worked on Pelosi's hair, has spoken out against that. In a statement issued by his lawyer, DeNardo accused Kious of having been operating her business since April, despite salons not being permitted to perform any services until Sept. 1. DeNardo, who said that there is video and photo evidence of this, also accused Kious of making "several vitriolic and incendiary comments" about Pelosi and "furthering a set-up of Speaker Pelosi for her own vain aspirations."