SAN FRANCISCO (CBS 5) — She’s not saying what exactly did happen, but Eliana Lopez – the wife of embattled San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi – insisted Wednesday that she is definitely not the victim of domestic abuse.
The former TV star from Venezuela called in to a popular news source in her home country – Noticias24 – and told the interviewer that her husband’s legal troubles are a “political persecution.”
“There has been no domestic violence,” she maintained during the phone interview from San Francisco. “This is a political persecution and Venezuelans know what that is.”
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Mirkarimi, who was recently sworn in as San Francisco’s new sheriff, has been charged with three misdemeanor criminal counts related to alleged domestic violence that took place at the couple’s home on New Year’s Eve.
Lopez questioned the integrity of her next-door neighbor, Ivory Madison, an attorney who reported Lopez’s bruised arm from an alleged New Year’s Eve domestic dispute to police.
Lopez questioned whether Madison has a political axe to grind, telling the interviewer: “We must find out her motives and who is backing her… She waited four days to report this? We want to know who she talked to in those four days that convinced her to call police.”
According to court documents, Madison videotaped Lopez when she showed up at her house crying and showing a bruised arm. Madison also told police that Lopez was upset because her husband cursed at her and threatened to take their son away from her.
Both Mirkarimi and Lopez have so far refused to talk to SFPD investigators.
But Lopez went on to tell Venezuelan media that her husband is being attacked by so-called moneyed interests in San Francisco because of his progressive views about reforming prisons and also because he is the son of immigrants.
Lopez said she has nothing but respect for her husband and – in a cultural reference to American bias – she told her hometown media that she’s not going to be taken advantage of.
“It’s not like I’m the little Indian girl being victimized by the Gringo,” she said.
Mirkarimi is scheduled for his first court appearance on Thursday afternoon. His attorney said he will likely file a request for a gag order in the case.
(Copyright 2012 CBS San Francisco. All rights reserved.)