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Eliana Lopez takes center stage at Mirkarimi hearing

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Fresh from Venezuela, the wife of the embattled sheriff arrived at City Hall in a black limousine to cheers from her husband’s supporters yesterday to begin her much-anticipated appearance before the Ethics Commission, as it considers his political fate. The Venezuelan film and television actress didn’t begin her testimony until late, and her demonstrated support for husband Ross Mirkarimi was in line with what she’s already said publicly at one time or other. (Her testimony is expected to resume this afternoon.)

But as the Chronicle notes, she testified differently on at least one key point that could impact Mayor Ed Lee’s campaign to oust the suspended sheriff on grounds of official misconduct. She denied that Mirkarimi ever said he was a powerful man who could use his position to take the couple’s son away from her in the event of divorce. That contradicted remarks on the now-famous video made with the help of neighbor Ivory Madison. Lopez now says those remarks were her interpretation, and not something that Mirkarimi actually said.

From the Chronicle:

The telenovela actress was a bundle of character on the stand, playfully winking to someone in the audience when she took the stand, crossing her arms and rolling her eyes at some of [Deputy City Attorney Peter] Keith's questions, and at one point using those same eyes to shoot daggers at him.

On a personal level, Lopez—who returned to Venezuela to work and be with her family after a court-mandated stay-away order against Mirkarimi, and the mayor’s suspending him without pay as his legal bills piled up—said that she and her husband have discussed the possibility of divorce.

From the Mercury News:

"I'm not looking for divorce right now," she testified. "We are a family. Even though we are apart, we make all decisions together."

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