Erica Kious, the salon owner who leaked now-viral footage of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi getting her hair done in violation of coronavirus rules, has broken her silence. Shortly after Pelosi decried the scenario as a "setup," Kious claimed that the Democrat's accusations are "absolutely false."
Addressing her private visit Wednesday during a press conference, Pelosi claimed she was unaware of the current local ordinances in place, which, as of her Monday visit, prohibited salon services. She had claimed that she was under the impression that San Francisco salons were allowed to do one-on-one appointments indoors, adding that the salon had told her they were "able to accommodate people one person at a time." She called the scenario a "setup."
Kious, however, speaking with Fox News' Tucker Carlson Wednesday night, denied any such accusations. Kious claimed that "there was no way I could have set that up," as "her assistant had made the appointment, so the appointment was already booked." She also explained that she has 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."
Kious had been the one to release the footage to Fox News. The video showed Pelosi and a stylist in the building, with the House Speaker not wearing a mask to cover her nose and mouth. The footage was reportedly timestamped Monday at 3:08 p.m., which is one day before salons in the city were allowed to reopen for outdoor hairstyling services only, with current plans not allowing for indoor service until October. This meant that Pelosi's visit was in violation of local ordinances, something that prompted criticism on social media. Kious, however, has denied that her decision to release the footage was political.
"This isn't even political. It's the fact that she actually came in and didn't have a mask on. I just thought about my staff and people not being able to work and make money and provide for their families," she said. "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?"
Kious went on to reveal that in the wake of the video's release, Pelosi is not the only one receiving backlash. Kious said that "since this happened I have received nothing but hate text messages, death threats." She added that she has received threats that people are "going to burn my hair salon down, my Yelp page is just unbelievable with bad reviews."