EXCLUSIVE: San Francisco hair salon owner Erica Kious thanked supporters for their “outpouring” of “empathy and generosity” amid her feud with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi after a crowdfunding effort raised several hundred thousand dollars for her.
During an exclusive interview with Fox News on Monday, Kious said that a GoFundMe page that was created for her amid the controversy reached its goal, which was $300,000.
“I wish I could personally thank every person who sent me their prayers, words of encouragement and support, especially at a time when so many are struggling to make ends meet in their own lives,” Kious said, thanking her daughters, their "loving dad," and her family and friends for their support.
“I am very humbled and grateful to have received such an outpouring of kindness, empathy and generosity from people I don’t even know, and from all walks of life and all sides of the political spectrum," she said. “It’s a powerful reminder that the common things that bind us all together as Americans are far more meaningful and lasting than political and ideological differences that get so much attention and focus."
“Today, on Labor Day, we should all focus on celebrating the efforts and achievements of hard-working people everywhere,” she continued. “They deserve our respect and appreciation, and they definitely all deserve an opportunity to get back to work safely and responsibly.”
She added: “That is all this ever was about.”
The GoFundMe page set up for Kious said, "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."
Kious’ comments come amid a controversy that began last Tuesday when Fox News first reported that Pelosi, D-Calif., visited Kious’ shuttered salon Monday afternoon for a wash and blow-out, despite local ordinances keeping salons closed amid the coronavirus pandemic.
In security footage obtained by Fox News, time-stamped Monday at 3:08 p.m. Pacific Time, the California powerhouse is seen walking through ESalonSF in San Francisco with wet hair, and without a mask over her mouth or nose.
The stylist doing her hair can be seen following her wearing a black face mask.
Salons in San Francisco had been closed since March and were only notified they could reopen on Sept. 1 for outdoor hairstyling services only.
The story prompted reaction from President Trump, who slammed Pelosi for not wearing a mask and following local coronavirus rules while “constantly lecturing everyone else.”
Pelosi dug in over the controversy and claimed that she was “set up” at the hair salon, which she said she had been to “over the years many times.”
“I take responsibility for trusting the word of the neighborhood salon that I have been to many times,” Pelosi told reporters Wednesday. “When they said they could accommodate people one at a time, and we can set up that time, I trusted that.”
“The salon owes me an apology for setting me up,” she added.
Pelosi on Wednesday downplayed the fact that she didn’t wear a mask in the salon.
“I just had my hair washed. I don’t wear my mask when I’m washing my hair,” she said. “Do you wear one when you wash your hair?”
Kious fought back, decrying Pelosi’s accusation as “absolutely false.”
"There was no way I could've set that up," Kious said. "I've 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 and set her up. So that is absolutely false."