Guardian voices: Eliana on the Ross case

Photo by SF Newspaper Co. LLC

Since this nightmare began nine months ago, my integrity, intelligence and independence have been attacked over and over again by individuals claiming to defend me. In every instance, I’ve been cast as an immigrant woman with limited English proficiency who is incapable of asserting her rights, understanding domestic violence, or speaking with her own voice. I’ve been characterized as ignorant, submissive, vulnerable -- but also hysterical, vindictive and manipulative. I’m either a “hot-blooded Latina” or a fool, duped by my husband.

The mayor and his allies -- each with their political or financial interest at stake -– have lined up to silence me or distort what really happened. They claim my voice doesn’t matter, that I can’t be trusted, but, have they ever, ever, bothered to talk to me directly? No.

They prefer an inflammatory vague 50-second video clip to the truth. In the midst of an argument on December 31, 2011, my husband grabbed my arm for a second and bruised me -- it was not intentional. I have never recanted this fact. He was wrong, and he apologized. That was the extent of it. I know this because I was there. It was my experience.  It happened to me. And it never happened before.

After the argument, I made the irreversible decision to trust a neighbor who represented herself as an attorney because of potential custody issues complicated by the fact that I didn't have my Green Card yet.

That violation of trust, followed by a surreal chain of events triggered the unimaginable. Without my consent, confidential information was floated to media operatives. Four days later, again without my consent, the police were called. Clearly there was no emergency. This all happened before Ross was sheriff.

On January 13, Ross was forcibly separated away from me and our son -- something I never wanted nor was consulted about. This devastated us. By trying to take responsibility and hoping to reunite us sooner, in March, Ross took a plea that I never wanted him to take. When Ross wouldn't resign as Sheriff, they suspended him without pay causing me and our son to relocate to Venezuela where I could work.

From afar, when the Ethics Commission deliberations began, me and many Latinos watched democracy tested in San Francisco. Ultimately, all the charges they piled on against Ross were unanimously rejected. All, but the very charge that Ross handed them back in March so that we could move forward.

After seven long months of being forced apart, we're now reunited, family-strong and committed to seeing this process through. But what many don't know or find hard to believe is how local officials tried to use my family as a weapon to remove Ross from elected office. When Ross wouldn't resign, they dehumanized him in the press or attacked my credibility to suit their narrative.

At the very beginning of this madness, from the police releasing the worst photo of Ross to their leaking of private information, to the District Attorney's total disregard for me or my son's well-being, to the mayor’s taking action against Ross without ever talking to me, to the Ethics Commission’s insult to my integrity -- it all sends the message that if you are a woman in San Francisco and involved in a domestic violence situation, the last thing you would ever want to do is reach out to those authorities we need to trust.

In part, that may explain a report recently on local National Public Radio that San Francisco has the lowest prosecution of DV cases among the nine Bay Area counties. Those statistics aren't improved by ignoring the voters that elected Ross as sheriff.

Make no mistake. The mayor wants the Board of Supervisor's October 9 vote on my family’s future to occur in the most political atmosphere possible.  Not even the appearance of political motive seems to matter since the mayor opposed delaying the vote until after the November election. This isn’t about me or my husband. This is about a political machine that has attempted to turn one woman’s body into the biggest blow against progressive politics in San Francisco in decades.

Eliana Lopez is a mother, wife to Ross Mirkarimi, and a film, television and theater actress. For more information:; facebook: stand with ross


It is San Francisco that owe an apology to Eliana Lopez.

Guest you say: "your cunning plan has backfired on you."

It's not her cunning plan, It was the neighbor's cunning plan. Better luck next time fool. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 12:25 pm

By the way, I ran Eliana's statement through Word, and it was written at a 10.3 grade level.

It's amazing that a recent immigrant can write English at a mid-high school level!

Kudos to Eliana for her remarkable command of English!

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 4:29 am

you took the time, much like auguring chicken entrails, to put her statement through your computer , the one with the sticky keys.
So tell me, oh augurer, what about her statement do you think isn't true?

specifics please..
Did you think Eliana was dumb and ill-educated? think again.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 9:09 am

When you're not attacking Eliana's writing, you're attacking Tim or Steven's. Typical troll nastiness. I can tell you as an educator that Eliana's command of English is quite good.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 2:04 pm

"After the argument, I made the irreversible decision to trust a neighbor who represented herself as an attorney because of potential custody issues"


This was all your fault. You know it. Seeing a looming divorce and custody battle ahead, you gave your best soap opera performance ever in front of the neighbor's camera.

Ross may get his job back temporarily, and you will win the custody battle in the divorce proceedings. And you will have destroyed the leader of the progressive movement in San Francisco.

Oh, how Ross must rue the day he looked at your glimmering face under the disco lights during his trip to Brazil.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 6:22 am

Guest you say: "This was all your fault. You know it."

No it's not her fault. It is the neighbor Ivory Madison's fault. The neighbor knew the nature of those DV courts and how easy it is to take advantage of the process.

The neighbor coached Eliana to make that video to abuse the system, and it is the neighbor that called the authorities behind Eliana's back.

Eliana Lopez has been ignored all along by the very people that pretended to be protecting her. The way all those people have treated Eliana Lopez is shameful. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 12:18 pm

Were you? In his declaration were he plead guilty he apologized to them for the very insinuations you keep repeating here. I hope, when this is through, that family sues your worthless, harridan ass for all they can get. Which won't be much considering you're a shameful failure in life and everything else you've ever tried.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 12:56 pm

We all know you spend every hour of your day on this site, having nothing better to do with your life. I'd say the "shameful failure" is you.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 1:56 pm

So I must be good at something :-)

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

glimmering face of Eliana under her home "movie" lights. She wanted eliana to wear no makeup, pull her hair back and wear her pajamas.. why would she do that?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 7:51 pm

She wanted to look "abused" for the camera. She has paid the price, and rightly so.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:08 pm

How do you know that anything you say about Madison or Lopez is true?

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 7:57 am

Eliana, I have never thought of you as some "indian girl gringo victim", as you have stated. However, I was shocked and disgusted that you would say something so discriminatory and snobbish. Domestic violence happens to everyone, white women, asian, latina, black, and "indian girls." I'm not saying that you were abused, but I am saying that you handled the outcome poorly. This is a system in place to protect victims,and once the process has started, you cannot stop it. Ross knew this and should have controlled himself better. And you need to stop whining to the Guardian about it. Seriously. Estoy harta de ti y tus tonterias - basta ya.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 7:34 am

In the first hearing on these matters in front of judge Susan Breall, a supporter of Chris Cunnie, Breall talked down to eliana as a "poor little latina".

You really should read the record, before opining.
Yo le creo a Eliana.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 9:16 am

I have read quite enough - and I stand by my words.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 12:40 pm

Tonterias = talking nonsense. Look in the mirror guest. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 11:49 am

GoogleTranslate does comes in handy for quick SnarlCommentary.

Posted by Gues on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 12:16 pm

The trolls on this and other sites attacking Eliana are just despicable!
It shows how little regard they really have for women and families.

Posted by Erika McDonald on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 9:26 am

attacking the wife is tacky.

She should also stops spinning crazy conspiracy theories too though.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 6:05 pm

Hello dear Erika,

Good to see you comment using your full name, I'm weird enough to think that when you enter a public forum and hide behind a 'screen name', seems like not having a sense of propriety or valor to own comments which are so nasty and demeaning and do it under your legal identity; to me it translates into a form of cowardice.


Posted by Aurora Grajeda on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 9:05 am

"I'm weird enough to think that when you enter a public forum and hide behind a 'screen name', seems like not having a sense of propriety or valor to own comments which are so nasty and demeaning and do it under your legal identity; to me it translates into a form of cowardice."

I'm actually one of those who thinks this whole Mirkarimi trial has gone way overboard. I think it should have been left up to a public vote if there turned out to be sufficient support for a recall. I don't really have anything more to say about that, but I did want to comment on the whole "anonymous" posting thing you mentioned.

I can understand why you think that it's cowardice, and you may be at least partially right in your assessment, but there are other possible reasons for why someone might think it necessary to remain anonymous on a board like this one. The main motive that comes to mind is safety of a poster's family members who have nothing to do with opinions he/she is expressing. You may scoff at the idea, but I've seen militant Progressive commenters post the names and addresses of a person's family on this board after they read a post that they didn't like. I'm sure that some of the rabid conservatives that plague this site have done the same thing as well, I just haven't personally seen it. I do remember someone posting Eliana's flight # though. Perhaps that will serve as a sufficient enough example?

In any case, the fact is, when someone posts their full name along with their comments, it would only take some nut-case about 5 minutes on google to find their address, phone #, and possibly even their living-situation. Is this likely to actually occur? Very doubtful. But it is still a risk. This might be a non-issue for you. But it is a concern for some. Me included. If you've ever had to stand powerless while some bastard put a gun to your wife's head, then you can probably understand how safety concerns trump the possibility of appearing cowardly in this type of setting. Still, concern for the safety of others should never negate a person's right to engage in civic discourse without fear of reprisal. People still have a right to their voice, even if it's just a voice in the dark. It sucks that this also opens the door for all kinds of trolls, but them's the breaks.

Thanks for reading. Carry on...

Posted by Snoozers on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 5:28 pm

It is *not* necessarily cowardly to post under a pseudonym. Sometimes it's necessary for your own safety and peace of mind. However, if you are launching personal attacks under the cover of a pseudonym, that IS cowardly (unless it's a public figure like Obama, Romney, etc). So, if you choose to use a pseudonym, you have an ethical responsibility to be respectful of others.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 2:25 pm

...endlessly scapegoating and attacking Ivory Madison - also a woman with a family - is the main strategy of the pro-Mirkarimi crowd.

Posted by Hortencia on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 7:58 am

Excuse me, but this pro-Mirkarimi person only ever tried to shine a light on *facts* concerning Ivory Madison. Facts that anyone can look up. Then you can think what you will, but I thought the facts warranted taking into consideration.

The *fact* that there is proof of misrepresentation right on the intro to her graphic novel that "she has been a lawyer". Not true, as Ms Madison never passed the bar.

The *fact" that Madison is the author of a strangely "ultra-violent" novel, which extolls the virtues of revenge, and, instead of taking a nonviolent point of view (ie, stopping the cycle of violence if you will), instead glamorizes *more*, *over-the-top* violence to quell a blood-thisty desire for revenge. (I thought this mirrored quite interestingly the *over-the-top* reaction to the case before us. Was it sparked by the actions on Dec 31, or by a too blood-thirsty Madison? You decide. You can get the book out of the library.

The *fact* that Ivory seems to have *overreacted* to gender issues before. And was overruled by the powers that be—not once (overruled), but twice. See a January story in the Bay Citizen on Ivory Madison.

The *fact* (and this one, I can't corroborate w/ an article, because I never made a note of it when I saw it), that Ivory has an anger-management issue of her own!

Unfair? I don't think so. Given Ivory's role in this whole ordeal I believe it is wise to see something about the character of this player. Nobody is scapegoating or attacking here, at least not I. And if you are so concerned with the idea of scapegoating and attacking, a lot of us think this is what's being done to Ross' family. Unfairly.

Posted by Daniele E. on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 10:54 am

One thing that really amazes me about this whole discussion here is how desperate the Mirkarimi supporters are to shift attention away from Mirkarimi's actions and towards...well towards anywhere they can divert it, frankly.

Ivory Madison's graphic novels. Paul Renne's wife's law firm. Christina Olaque...I'm sure that most of you ignore Lillipublican but he even dug up a case about Marisa Mayer's brother and claims that IT is at the center of the Mirkarimi case (I'm not making that for 'Mason Mayer' in the SFBG search box to see for yourself).

Interesting how the Mirkarimi 'haters' want to talk about Mirkarimi's actions and the supporters want to talk about anything but.

Posted by Troll on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 11:15 am

And let's not forget under who's direction the now infamous video was made, and for what purposes...Eliana, being an actress, probably took quite willingly (or maybe willingly and hesitantly at the same time, I don't know) to the idea. But I am focusing on who was the mastermind for now...

Posted by Daniele E. on Oct. 08, 2012 @ 12:29 pm

"...they suspended him without pay causing me and our son to relocate to Venezuela where I could work."
I thought your story was that you needed to return to Venezuela to care for your ailing father.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 11:21 am

Guest you appear to be a very immature and annoying individual.

Eliana Lopez was mistreated by this city in a much worse manner than anything that ever happened between her and her husband. Thanks.

Posted by jccourt on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 11:59 am

when she works as an actress in a movie,as she just has, she is paid money. It must drive you nutso. Money pays the mortgage on the home while dad is suspended without pay. Did you think she connived to make her father sick to be more sympathetic? I'd say you were the sick one.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 2:47 pm

in Venezuela. While you appeared to be dazzled by the brilliance of such elegance and glamor, some of us are not.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 3:25 pm

What KKraft said above.

This has been a conspiracy from the get-go.

After the divorce, she will be safe at home cuddled in Hugo's and the Chauvistas' loving arms.

Posted by Guess? on Oct. 04, 2012 @ 12:19 pm

"After the divorce, she will be safe at home cuddled in Hugo's and the Chauvistas' loving arms."

Unfortunately, since Hugo is going to lose the election tomorrow, even that option is closed to them...

Posted by Demented, Yet Terribly, Terribly Persistent on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 6:01 am

right now we've got a desparate politican and a soap actress playing their self-serving roles to try and get his paycheck back. But eliana started all this with a divorce ploy and that is how it will end.

She doesn't want to be here and doesn't want to be with her abusive husband. We'll see things collapse rapidly after the vote, whichever way it goes.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 6:41 am

Have the decency to admit that you don't know her. So, you have no right to project your false narratives & demented fantasies on her. It says more about who you are than about Ms. Lopez.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 10:32 am

I can't have an opinion about him based on what I do know.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:11 pm

May she and Ross relocate permanently to Venezuela, where they can be the twin turds in some unsuspecting third-world community's punchbowl.

Posted by Orwell's Uterus on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 6:37 am

He'll never move there. He's down with oppressed brothers and sisters but not enough to live amongst them.

Posted by Troll II on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 9:47 am

It's easy to champion the oppressed when their dirty faces and ragged clothes are just photos on the brochure placed next to your fine china. On the other hand, with a $3 "day pass" to some Venezuelan shantytown, Ross could beat women one after another until he literally fell to the ground from exhaustion.

Posted by Orwell's Uterus on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 11:15 am
Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 3:12 pm

"I committed an act of violence against my wife" and then apologied for that.

Why do people here keep ignoring his own admission?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:10 pm

Amazing that people who wouldn't recognize Ethical behavior if it was sitting on their faces, are trying to invalidate a lawful election using the concept and construct of a social value which is totally absent in their own behavior.

Posted by Aurora Grajeda on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 8:47 am

Please explain.

One of the great excuses progressives give for their crazy laws are that they enacted through the demo9cratic process. These spouse abuse laws were enacted through the democratic process. These laws around removing an elected bow hard were enacted through the democratic process.

I feel your pain though, the citizens of the city have little chance to vote SFMTA schemes or BOS statements of crazy.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

"Ethical behavior if it was sitting on their faces, are trying to invalidate a lawful election using the concept and construct of a social value"

Can we have that in plain English. GoogleTranslate your psychobabble, please

Posted by Guest on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 3:58 pm

Progressives have fluid morals, that Ross got caught up in laws written by progressives is amoral. If it was a non progressive who caught up in these laws, all would be cool and the system would be working as planed.

Since a progressive was caught up in these Kafka laws designed by progressives, since the progressive might be removed from his job, not agreeing with the progressive intelligentsia is amoral.

I hope this helps.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 4:58 pm

When have you *ever* been honest or correct about anything?

You're constantly claiming to be a moderate, but all you ever do is criticize progressives; and you do it using the most transparently right-wing projectionist rhetoric.

How "fluidly moral" is it for you to be a lying hypocrite?

Christ matlock, a comment of yours just upthread is a perfect example of this.

In that comment, titled "err... what?", you describe domestic violence law as an example of progressives' "crazy laws"... and yet you implicitly -- elsewhere explicitly -- take joy in how are being used to depose a progressive.

Matlock, you simply aren't very bright; not worthy of debating which is why I -- and I imagine quite a few others -- don't bother to answer more than a fraction of your stupid emanations.

matlock, you are a hypocritical, dissembling twit.

...And, by-the-way, "crazy progressives" didn't intend to make changes to the charter in 1995 which are now being interpreted -- by some -- to permit the mayor to remove an elected officer under this bogus scheme; then City Attorney Louise Renne synopsized Prop E's effects on the ethics process in the ballot pamphlet by saying it made "no substantive changes" to the ethics commission.

(And no: I don't expect the veracity of this comment to register with you.)

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 05, 2012 @ 6:24 pm

You are so in love with yourself it's comical "veracity of this comment," oh brother. Your self appointed righteousness is just an amazing cite to behold.

That you think these forums are where you do some sort of intellectual battle is just outlandish. Yes, you are the most clever person here, as you always claim.

If it was a right winger caught up in these laws the system would be working seamlessly, instead it a progressive and you whine and whine about the conspiracy, and your strawmen.

Posted by matlock on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 4:24 am

this case were a republican, which is why his posts are so hypocritical and shallow.

But he must have posted here 1,000 times, at least, on this subject and to my knowledge he hasn't convinced a single person to change their mind. So, ya gotta ask, why is he so obsessive about this?

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 5:33 am

I simply stated it to be the case as a self-evident fact.

Now, on the other hand, you say that I've repeatedly claimed myself to be "the most clever person here."

Provide *one* example of that.

Posted by lillipublicans on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 1:12 pm

He's right. It could be safely stipulated that lillipublicans is *not* the most clever person here.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 06, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

about the same thing. He'd make his point and then move on.

Posted by Guest on Oct. 07, 2012 @ 11:12 pm