'SoHo Karen' Miya Ponsetto tells Gayle King 'enough' during tense interview, held hours later after car chase
Twenty-two-year-old Miya Ponsetto, who has been dubbed the “SoHo Karen” by the internet, has come under fire again. Ponsetto is a White woman who gained notoriety on December 26, 2020, after she accused Grammy Award-winning trumpet player Keyon Harrold's 14-year-old son of stealing her iPhone in the lobby of the Arlo Hotel in Manhattan's SoHo neighborhood when she actually left the phone in an Uber. A hotel surveillance video later released by the NYPD showed Ponsetto physically attacking Harrold Jr. Needless to say, she has been accused of racial profiling.
But on Friday, January 8, she received flak again after a segment on CBS’ ‘This Morning’, where Gayle King sat down with her to discuss the case. During the exclusive interview, King gave Ponsetto a chance to explain her controversial actions. And that’s where things began going downhill for Ponsetto. She appeared on the interview wearing a black cap with the word “Daddy”, and was joined by her attorney Sharen Ghatan. She was arrested hours after giving the ingterview.
When King asked her why she thought Harrold Jr. had the phone, Ponsetto said, "I had been approaching people who had been exiting the hotel because, in my mind, anyone exiting might be the one to have stolen my phone," before admitting that she did not approach everyone who was exiting the hotel.
“I admit yes, I could have approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that or made him feel some sort of inferior way, making him feel as if I was like, hurting his feelings because that’s not my intention,” Ponsetto said. “I consider myself to be super sweet. I really never, never meant for it to hurt him or his father either.”
When King showed her the hotel footage of her tackling the minor, Ponsetto replied, “How would you feel if you were alone in New York and you’re going to spend time with your family during the holidays and you lose the one thing that gets stolen from you that has all the access, the only way that you’re able to get back home?”
Ponsetto further accused the teen’s father of “slamming me to the ground and pulling my hair and throwing me and dragging me across the ground, so I will say that,” to which King replied that she had just attacked his son. “The footage shows me attacking his son. Attacking him how? Yelling at him? Yes. OK, I apologize, can we move on?” Ponsetto said, conveniently neglecting to acknowledge the physical assault part caught on surveillance footage.
Harrold Sr., in a previous interview with NewsNation, said: “My son and I were at the Arlo Hotel, we were in our room. We decided to go downstairs to grab some brunch the day after Christmas. As soon as we got into the lobby, we were basically berated literally like criminals who had literally stole something.”
“Basically, I am a 22-year-old girl,” she flustered. “I don’t … racism is … how is one girl accusing a guy about a phone a crime? Where is the context in that? What is the deeper story here?”
"You have to at least understand your actions that day," King said in the interview. "You seem to have attacked this teenager about the phone. And then it turned out he didn't even have your phone. That's the thing. You're 22-years-old, but you're old enough to know better." And then Ponsetto did the unthinkable. She lowered her hand to the screen and told King, "Enough." Her attorney appeared to be visibly shocked, and muttered, "Stop. Stop." The segment ended there, although Ponsetto's full interview with Gayle King will air on Monday, January 11.
“I just imagined speaking to any elder the way Ms. Daddy Hat spoke to Gayle King and I nearly blacked out from the stress,” reporter Anne Branigin wrote on Twitter. LGBTQIA+ rights activist Charlotte Clymer wrote on Twitter, “This is the most disastrous interview I’ve ever seen in my life. The sheer patience of Gayle King here is remarkable. I don’t know why Miya Ponsetto’s lawyer didn’t step in and end this disaster.” NBC correspondent Antonia Hylton wrote, “Lmaooo. You do this to most black women and you'll get your soul slapped out of you. She's lucky there's a computer screen in between (and that Gayle King is a saint)”
I just imagined speaking to any elder the way Ms. Daddy Hat spoke to Gayle King and I nearly blacked out from the stress— Anne Branigin 🔆 (@AnneBranigin) January 8, 2021
This is the most disastrous interview I’ve ever seen in my life. The sheer patience of Gayle King here is remarkable. I don’t know why Miya Ponsetto’s lawyer didn’t step in and end this disaster. pic.twitter.com/P2XHiuBlLQ— Charlotte Clymer 🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) January 8, 2021
Lmaooo. You do this to most black women and you'll get your soul slapped out of you. She's lucky there's a computer screen in between (and that Gayle King is a saint) https://t.co/yprmQVoC6o— Antonia Hylton (@ahylton26) January 8, 2021
Ponsetto was arrested in California on Thursday, January 7, after she led the authorities on a brief car chase in Ventura County in California. A spokesman for the Ventura County Sheriff's Department, Eric Buschow, said, "They had to pull her out of the car. They did use physical force. She tried to slam the door on the leg of one of our deputies and so she was forcibly removed from the vehicle.”
Ponsetto is being held without bail as she'll be extradited to NYC, where she is expected to be charged with attempted robbery for falsely accusing and assaulting a 14-year-old Black child.
Ponsetto reportedly has a history of causing disturbances at hotels, including assaulting a cop.