‘Soho Karen’ sued by family after ‘racial profiling’ incident



Miya Ponsetto — the woman dubbed “Soho Karen” after she falsely accused a black teenager of swiping her cellphone — is now being sued by the boy’s family over the high-profile incident, new court papers show.

Jazz trumpeter Keyon Harrold, his 15-year-old son and the teen’s mom on Wednesday filed the suit against Ponsetto and a worker at the Arlo Soho Hotel, where the Dec. 26 “violent incident of racial profiling” occurred, the court docs allege.

Ponsetto, 22, was caught on video claiming teen Keyon Harrold Jr. took her phone — and then trying to tackle him in the lobby of the Hudson Street hotel.

Ponsetto was criminally charged with attempted assault, attempted robbery, grand larceny and endangering the welfare of a child over the incident. That case is still pending.

The Manhattan Supreme Court suit accuses Ponsetto and hotel worker Chad Nathan of assault, battery, intentional infliction of emotional distress and false imprisonment, and the hotel of negligence and negligent hiring.

It alleges Nathan “stopped the plaintiffs while assisting Ponsetto, who was agitated and aggressive, and baselessly accusing Keyon Harrold Jr. of stealing her cellphone.”

“The plaintiffs were falsely accused because they were African American, and Defendant Nathan assumed they were guilty,” the court documents allege.

A still image of Miya Ponsetto from the incident
A still image of Miya Ponsetto from the incident

The hotel, meanwhile, “treated plaintiffs differently from other guests and invitees in a place of public accommodation because of their race,” the suit charges — adding that the only difference between Harrold and his son and other guests “was the color of their skin.”

The incident caused Harrold Jr. to feel “humiliation, embarrassment, emotional distress, feelings of racial stigmatization [and] an increased sense of vulnerability” the court papers say.

The family is seeking unspecified damages.

Ponsetto had a charge of public intoxication dropped against her in Los Angeles over an alleged altercation in Beverly Hills last year.

She was also charged for fighting with cops during a DUI arrest in an incident also caught on video.

“My office, together with the Manhattan DA’s Office, are diligently working towards a resolution of this case,” Ponsetto’s criminal defense lawyer Paul D’Emilia told The Post.

“Our goal remains to handle this matter through the proper judicial channels and not through various media outlets,” D’Emilia continued. “Ms. Ponsetto remains at her home in California and has not been informed of any pending civil lawsuit in which she has been named.”

A rep with the hotel did not immediately return a request for comment. Nathan could not immediately be reached for comment.


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