The video that started it all? She didn't meant what she said.
Eliana Lopez never said her husband, suspended Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi, was a powerful man - and he did not shout during the Dec. 31 argument that led to him grabbing her arm, leaving a bruise that suspended him from office, Lopez said Wednesday during public testimony.
Lopez, 36, a Venezuelan actress, appeared before the San Francisco Ethics Commission on Wednesday night to testify in her husband's removal proceedings. Lopez has been in her native Venezuela since March, when Mayor Ed Lee suspended Mirkarimi without pay for official misconduct, and began proceedings to remove him from office.
Mirkarimi pleaded guilty to falsely imprisoning his wife, and admitted he grabbed her arm during an argument. Lopez has been steadfast in supporting her husband, and called the removal proceedings politically motivated.
Lopez was one of two witnesses questioned by lawyers from the San Francisco City Attorney's Office, which is representing the mayor in the removal proceedings. Mirkarimi's campaign manager, Linette Peralta Haynes, was questioned for three hours about her phone calls, emails and texts to Lopez and Mirkarimi on Jan. 4, when it was learned that a neighbor, Ivory Madison, reported Lopez's bruise to police.
The City Attorney attempted to prove that Haynes dissuaded witnesses, including Lopez, from going to police. Haynes denied dissuading witnesses.
Lopez did say that she and her husband have discussed divorcing, according to reports.
In her initial testimony, Lopez appeared polished, in control, and at times combative with her questioner, according to the San Francisco Chronicle. Throughout, Lopez denied being afraid of her husband, denied that he said he was a powerful man and could take away their young son, Theo, and otherwise did the City Attorney's case no favors, according to the San Francisco Chronicle.
Lopez's testimony will continue at 5 p.m. Thursday.