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Lawyer for ‘SoHo Karen’ advised her client not to wear that ‘Daddy’ hat on TV

A booking photo of Miya Ponsetto
Miya Ponsetto was arrested Thursday night in Ventura County and faces four felony charges in New York related to her alleged assault of a 14-year-old boy.
(Ventura County Sheriff’s Office via AP)

When “SoHo Karen” Miya Ponsetto spoke with Gayle King on Thursday, just hours before being arrested, the Ventura County resident was flashing an accessory rarely seen in a “CBS This Morning” interview: a black ballcap emblazoned with the word “Daddy.”

Turns out the only person who wanted Ponsetto in that hat was Ponsetto herself.

“The hat definitely wasn’t chosen by me,” the 22-year-old’s lawyer, Sharen H. Ghatan, told the Daily Beast. “My office gave her advice on what to wear. We asked her to wear professional attire. When she came to the interview, I told her the baseball hat wouldn’t be something we could use in the interview. One because of the lighting, two because of the logo. She was very defiant and insistent that she wear it.”

Ghatan said she “specifically” asked her client to take off the hat before the interview.

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“She said it’s her story, it’s her hat, and she wants to wear it,” the lawyer said. “She’s a very challenging client.”

King noted, when talking to her fellow anchors after the interview promo aired Friday, that Ghatan had encouraged her client to remove the hat. The full interview will air Monday.

Ponsetto got the “SoHo Karen” nickname when she physically assaulted a 14-year-old Black boy at a hotel in New York City after falsely accusing him of stealing her cellphone. Her attorney has said the attack was motivated by anxiety, not racism, as has been alleged. Ponsetto was in town to visit her father for Christmas.

The cellphone, it turned out, had been left in a rideshare vehicle.

“You are old enough to know better,” CBS anchor Gayle King told 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto, a.k.a. SoHo Karen, who attacked a Black teen in a New York hotel.

Ponsetto was arrested Thursday night in California after New York Police Department detectives flew across the country to question her. The arrest followed days of intense media coverage of the fracas at the hotel and demands by the teen’s family and activists that she face criminal charges.

TMZ reported Friday that Ponsetto was charged with four felonies related to the incident: attempted robbery, endangering the welfare of a child, attempted grand larceny and attempted assault. A resident of Piru, she will remain in custody in Ventura County until she is extradited to New York.

Ghatan told the Daily Beast that she had to cancel several national interviews after the first one turned out to be such a train wreck. “Miya has not grasped the severity of her circumstances. She is expressly disregarding advice and has gone rogue,” she said.

A woman who wrongly accused a Black teenager of stealing her phone and then tackled him at a New York hotel has been arrested in Southern California.

“She’s just not well. I am not a psychiatrist. ... She’s not well, that is all I can say,” the attorney told the outlet, noting that she was unsure whether she’d continue to represent Ponsetto. “She needs help, and it is not the type of help I can give.”

Ponsetto has previously been arrested twice on suspicion of DUI.

Ponsetto admitted to King during the “CBS This Morning” interview that she “could have approached the situation differently ... or maybe not yelled at him like that and made him feel ... some sort of inferior way and making him feel as if I was, like, hurting his feelings because that’s not my intention.”

Friday’s preview of the interview went viral for a particularly terse exchange in which Ponsetto interrupted King: “Alright, Gayle! Enough,” she said, dismissing the veteran anchor with a wave of her hand. The moment prompted Ghatan, who was sitting beside Ponsetto, to instruct her client to “stop.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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