• Erica Kious said she plans to close eSalon in San Francisco due to the fallout with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi
  • Fox News released the surveillance footage of Pelosi inside the salon without a face mask last week 
  • Kious claims she has been the target of death threats and negative reviews since the incident

The owner of the San Francisco hair salon, which House Speaker Nancy Pelosi visited in violation of local ordinances and was seen walking inside the establishment without wearing a face mask, said she is closing shop for good, blaming threatening messages she received for the decision.

Erica Kious told Fox News talk show host Tucker Carlson on Wednesday night that the criticism and death threats she received following Pelosi's visit to the eSalon led her to make the decision to close. She added that the negativity has made her hesitant to return to San Francisco.

"Since this happened, I've received nothing but hate, text messages, death threats. My Yelp page is just unbelievable with bad reviews," she said. "It's sad that my community is pulling this ... saying that I threw her under the bus when I didn't."

“I 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,” she told Carlson. “I’m actually afraid to go back … It’s a little scary and sad.”

A GoFundMe page, which says it was set up by a friend of Kious and her family, surpassed its $300,000 fundraising goal Monday. It stated: "At the conclusion of this fundraiser, ALL donations 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."

Fox News released a surveillance video last week that showed Pelosi with wet hair and without a mask, violating local ordinances that ordered all salons to suspend operations due to the coronavirus pandemic. That led many to call the Democrat a ‘hypocrite’ in light of her frequent calls to take COVID-19 safety seriously.

Pelosi’s spokesperson Drew Hammill said it was the business that offered the Speaker to come in , saying they were allowed by the city to have one customer at a time. The Speaker later called it a "set-up."

“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I have been to many times,” Pelosi told reporters. “When they said they could accommodate people one at a time, and we can set up that time, I trusted that."

Pelosi also released a statement taking "full responsibility" for the incident but demanded an apology from Kious. Jonathan DeNardo, the stylist who served Pelosi at the salon, also voiced his support for the Democrat and said Kious allowed him to go forward with the appointment despite San Francisco’s coronavirus restrictions.

Kious denied that she set up the Speaker and also denied releasing the video to make a political statement. She claimed she received harmful text messages after the incident went viral.

US House speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the impeachment articles of President Donald Trump to the Senate
US House speaker Nancy Pelosi has not yet sent the impeachment articles of President Donald Trump to the Senate AFP / SAUL LOEB