Miya Ponsetta: 'SoHo Karen' finally apologizes to Keyon Harrold Jr, Black teen's family doesn't feel it's 'genuine'
The 22-year-old's apology came more than two weeks after the incident, which earned her the nickname 'SoHo Karen'
A woman who falsely accused a Black teenager of stealing her iPhone has apologized for her actions. However, the victim's family feels it wasn't "genuine." During an interview with 'CBS This Morning' co-host Gayle King, 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto said she was sorry for falsely accusing Keyon Harrold Jr at the Arlo SoHo Hotel. Her apology came more than two weeks after the incident, which earned her the nickname "SoHo Karen," The Sun reported.
She said, "I'm sorry. I'm sorry from the bottom of my heart,” Ponsetto told King on Monday. “He is honestly—he's 14? That's what they're claiming? Yeah. I'm 22. I've lived probably just the same amount of life as him. Like, honestly. I'm just as a kid at heart as he is.” Ponsetto said she was "sorry" for making the Harrolds endure "all of that stress," but claimed that “it wasn’t just them going through that.”
During the interview, she insisted that the false accusation against Harrold Jr wasn't about race, saying "any person" walking out of the lobby could have had her phone. “I wasn't racial profiling whatsoever. I'm Puerto Rican,” Ponsetto said. “I'm, like, a woman of color. I'm Italian, Greek, Puerto Rican.”
When King asked her if she thought she couldn't be racist because she wasn't white, Ponsetto said, "exactly." “Well, I would disagree with that,” King said in response. “People of color can be racist too. Do you believe that you should pay a price for this?” “I don't feel that my accusation is a crime,” Ponsetto asserted.
Keyon Harrold, the teen's father who is reportedly a jazz musician, did not think Ponsetto's words were sincere. “I feel like her apology was, you know, as genuine as when she shushed you,” Harrold said, noting how at one point during the interview Ponsetto said, “Enough!” to King as she asked a sensitive question. “It said a lot. I have an issue with the idea of entitlement versus character,” the father explained.
On December 26, Harrold and his son were approached by Ponsetto in the lobby of the boutique hotel in New York City’s SoHo neighborhood. She accused the teenager of stealing her phone and asked the hotel manager to force him to show the phone in his pocket. According to the report, she even lunged at the father-son duo.
Ponsetto's phone was eventually returned by an Uber driver to the front desk of the hotel, shortly after the confrontation. But when King asked her if it was true, she denied it. “That is not true because I arrived at the hotel with my phone in my hand," she said.
The hotel receptionist gave her the phone back, Ponsetto said. When King asked her where it had been, she responded by saying, "Why don't we ask the hotel receptionist?”
Ponsetto was arranged in New York on Saturday and charged with four felonies: attempted robbery, attempted assault, attempted grand larceny, and endangering the welfare of a child. Furthermore, she reportedly also faces counts of drunk driving, public intoxication, and motor vehicle in her home state of California, according to The Sun. During a press conference in Manhattan on Monday, the Harrold family called for a boycott of Arlo Hotels and owner Quadrum Global. They accused the organization of facilitating and enabling racial profiling, harassment, and assault, per the newspaper.
Ponsetto was caught on video recorded by Harrold as she attacked his son. The footage went viral and led to her being branded as a "Karen" – a pejorative slang term for an entitled woman, The Sun reported. MEAWW had earlier reported that 'SoHo Karen' has a long history of going berserk in hotels, and had even assaulted a cop in February.