KEY POINTS

  • Nancy Pelosi's hairstylist said the owner's political leanings led to Monday's setup
  • The stylist said the owner had been violating health orders since April
  • A law firm said they had evidence showing Kious working without a face mask

The stylist involved in House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s salongate controversy has spoken in support of the Democrat after she accused the establishment of setting her up during Monday’s hair appointment —  a visit that was widely criticized by Republicans. 

Jonathan DeNardo, the stylist who served Pelosi at the salon, released his statement on Thursday. He said Erica Kious, the owner of eSalon San Franciso, permitted him to go forward with the appointment even though local ordinances prohibited salons from operating. 

It is unclear whether DeNardo was aware that the appointment violated the city’s coronavirus restrictions as Pelosi said she was told the salon was allowed to serve customers one at a time. 

In the statement, DeNardo accused Kious of purporting responsibility for the salon’s temporary suspension of operations. He also claimed the owner’s political leanings led to the setup, which was done “for her own vain aspirations.”

"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," DeNardo said.

Soleiman APC, the law firm representing the stylist, said they collected photographs, footages, and witness statements that prove Kious had been violating the health order by operating indoors despite stay-at-home orders since April 2020. 

The original story, which was published by Fox News, has gone viral in conservative media circles. CCTV footage of the incident has been replayed and covered by major outlets. It was also played on loop at a White House briefing on Thursday, as reported by NPR.

On Thursday, President Donald Trump weighed in on the controversy, slamming the House Speaker for becoming the victim of a setup. Donald Trump Jr. also called Pelosi the Marie Antoinette of the 21st century, in reference to the queen of France who was known for hosting extravagant parties that lasted for nights. She became the symbol of the monarchy’s excessiveness. 

Pelosi responded to the video on Wednesday, telling reporters that she was set up by the salon owner. In her statement, she said she takes full responsibility for falling for the setup, but believes the salon should apologize for the incident

In response, Kious appeared on "Tucker Carlon Tonight" to dismiss the accusations.

San Francisco has ordered hair salons and barbershops to cease operations since March due to the COVID pandemic. The city lifted the restrictions this week but only for outdoor services. 

House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said some progress had been made in stimulus talks, and while both sides are far apart on some issues, markets expect a deal will eventually be done House of Representatives Speaker Nancy Pelosi said some progress had been made in stimulus talks, and while both sides are far apart on some issues, markets expect a deal will eventually be done Photo: AFP / MANDEL NGAN