Eliana Lopez producing play about Mirkarimi domestic violence trial

SAN FRANCISCO (KGO) -- Three years after the domestic violence case that rocked San Francisco City Hall, the scandal involving Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi is resurfacing. It's not coming from political enemies, but from his wife.

Eliana Lopez says she, her husband and their son, Theo, are stronger than ever. And now after two years of writing, she and her brother have produced a Spanish language play which she believes tells her side of the story.

"What is the scandal?" That's the title of the one woman play and it's also the question Eliana Lopez is still asking.

More than three years after her husband was arrested on charges of domestic violence, the Venezuelan born actress maintains it was not abuse.

"I never considered myself a victim, never. I consider myself a strong woman," said Eliana.

But an unsettling video seemed to tell a different story, showing a crying and bruised Lopez after an argument with Mirkarimi on New Year's Eve 2011.
PHOTO: A crying Eliana Lopez speaking about problem with husband Ross Mirkarimi.

Eliana Lopez crying in a video, as she explains the dispute with her husband, then-San Francisco Sheriff Ross Mirkarimi. (KGO-TV)

The mayor suspended him without pay. There were hearings and headlines.

"My husband made a mistake, he apologized and he also did everything to fix that mistake," said Lopez.

The couple recently rode in the St. Patrick's Day parade. Lopez says they are a happy family.

The play refocuses the spotlight on the scandal just as Mirkarimi gears up for a tough re-election campaign.

The 39-year-old actress tells us this is not a political ploy to build sympathy. She says it's simply a chance to tell her side of the story.

Playing more than half a dozen characters based on real people, including anti-domestic violence advocates who wanted her husband fired, Lopez hopes they'll come to the play. It premieres May 29 at the Mission Cultural Center.

"For some people this was domestic violence. For other people, it was a political witch hunt. What if we have an honest conversation?" she asks.

Several calls to anti-domestic violence activists were made for this story but no one was available for an on-camera interview.
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