A West Hollywood skin care expert who allegedly tried to hire a hit man to snuff out the competition pleaded not guilty in a Los Angeles County courtroom Wednesday.
Dawn DaLuise, 55, who boasted a celebrity clientele including
Nicki Minaj, Jennifer Aniston and Alicia Silverstone, is charged with one count of solicitation of murder and is being held in lieu of $1 million bail.
The allegation has stunned neighbors and associates, who said they knew about the rivalry between DaLuise and esthetician Gabriel Suarez but never thought it would go so far.
Suarez moved in a couple doors down from DaLuise’s business last year and started offering facials and male body waxing; the competition created tension.
L.A. County Sheriff's Department officials say that DaLuise tried to hire a hit man to kill Suarez, wrongly believing that he was behind a cyber-stalking campaign against her.
Detectives said they text messages from DaLuise that laid out her plan for the hit, which was never carried out.
"She is culpable for putting the hit on him," said sheriff's Capt. Shaun Mathers. "She believed it would be carried out."
DaLuise is a former model and ran a West Hollywood "skin refinery" that used electrical muscle stimulation instead of the typical steam-and-cream facial to treat the skin. Vogue and InStyle magazines have featured her, and she's the go-to beauty expert for national publications.
Suarez said in an interview that DaLuise often gave him the cold shoulder when they came across each other, but never saw anything in her behavior to suggest she wanted to hurt him.
"That she just thinks she has the right to kill a human — and me on top of that," Suarez said. "It's just work, it's not that serious."