Miya Ponsetto, who was filmed tackling a 14-year-old Black boy who she thought stole her phone in the lobby of Manhattan’s Arlo Hotel in December 2020, pled guilty to a unlawful imprisonment in the second degree as a hate crime. (The phone in question was found in an Uber and returned to her 15 minutes later.)
Ponsetto’s plea deal requires her to complete counseling and to remain on probation for a public intoxication and battery incident at the Beverly Hills Hotel that predates the New York incident. According to CNN, “If she successfully follows those terms, she can re-plead the felony charge to a misdemeanor charge of aggravated harassment in the second degree.”
Ponsetto, then 22, rose to minor internet infamy in January 2021 after a combative interview with CBS This Morning’s Gayle King during which she wore a flesh-tone bralette and a baseball cap that said Daddy while sitting alongside her lawyer, former standup comedian Sharen Ghatan, herself dead-eyed in a tweed suit jacket trying to get some writing done on her MacBook Pro.
When King asked about the location of the phone, Ponsetto responded,
“Alright, Gayle, enough. The hotel did have my phone. The hotel did end up having my phone. I did get my belongings returned to me. So. Maybe it wasn’t him, but at the same time, how is it so that as soon as I get asked to leave the premises, after I had accused this person of stealing my phone, how is it that, all of a sudden, they just miraculously have my phone when I come back? And the two…it didn’t seem as if my accusations really bothered the son and the father because they were just enjoying a nice meal right after this whole encounter.”
She also said she wasn’t racial profiling the 14-year-old because she’s a woman of color — she is of Puerto Rican, Italian, and Greek descent. King asks if she’s saying she can’t be racist because she’s a “Puerto Rican woman of color” and Ponsetto responds, “Exactly.”
Ponsetto was at the time called the “Soho Karen” (that was huge back then), but I don’t think “Karen” is an apt descriptor for the highly specific sort of violent, smirking Gen Z thottie she is, rather than a general sort of tattle-taley white woman. She strikes me more as a Paloma Wool Mikaella.