Woman Who Accused Black Teen of Stealing Her Phone Tries to Shush Gayle King During Interview

Savannah Walsh
·3-min read
Photo credit: CBS
Photo credit: CBS

From Seventeen

The last thing this week needed was a slight against Gayle King—and from a woman wearing a "Daddy" hat, no less. But that was exactly what happened on Thursday afternoon, when the CBS This Morning anchor interviewed 22-year-old Miya Ponsetto. The sit-down took place hours before Ponsetto was arrested in California after racially profiling a 14-year-old Black teen, Keyon Harrold Jr.

On Dec. 26, Ponsetto was caught on tape attacking Harrold in the lobby of a SoHo hotel in New York City after accusing him of stealing her phone. The teen's father recorded the encounter, footage of which was played prior to King's interview with Ponsetto. King made it clear before the virtual conversation that Harrold did not have the phone and it "showed up several minutes later at the hotel."

Throughout the entire interview, Ponsetto dodges responsibility for her actions and maintains that she thinks of herself to be a "super sweet" person.

"I admit, yes, I could've approached the situation differently or maybe not yelled at him like that," Ponsetto says, later adding, "I consider myself to be super sweet. I really never, ever meant for it to like hurt him or his father either."

"What do you think when you look at that video?" King asks Ponsetto at one point. "You're standing there in your leggings and your flip flops and it looks like you're just going nuts, for lack of a better word." Ponsetto asks, "Can we move on?" after admitting to "yelling" at Harrold.

But the most startling moment of the interview arrives when Ponsetto asks how her actions could be interpreted as racially-motivated. "So, basically, I'm a 22-year-old girl," she starts. "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?" King responds by telling her, "You're 22-year-old, but you are old enough to know better." Then, Ponsetto attempts to silence King with her hand, saying, "Alright, Gayle, enough." (Ponsetto's attorney, sitting at her side, appears to quietly tell her client to stop.)

"That was my favorite part, 'Enough!'" King tells co-hosts Tony Dakoupil and Anthony Mason as video of the interview ends. Ponsetto was arrested late Jan. 7 at a traffic stop in Ventura County near Los Angeles. "Officials say that police had to pull her out of the car when she refused to get out," King said. Any charges brought against Ponsetto have yet to be made public.

CBS This Morning also shared the following statement from the parents of Keyon Harrold Jr.:

This is not about an apology from someone who until a few days ago was claiming she did nothing wrong, and in fact alleged Keyon Harrold Sr. had assaulted her. Someone who targeted a 14-year-old Black child because of the color of his skin.

King promised that more from her interview with Ponsetto, who Twitter dubbed "SoHo Karen," will air on Monday.

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