Home Blog

EXCLUSIVE: In a New Memoir, Katie Hill Recounts Battling Through the Scandal that Almost Destroyed Her

 Original photographs of Katie Hill for Los Angeles by Scott Suchman 


This story contains graphic descriptions of self-harm that could distress some readers. Lifeline Network—800-773-8255—offers free emotional counseling 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

On November 6, 2018, I was elected to Congress as one of the youngest women ever. One year later, I was sitting on a train to New York to meet with my newly hired victims’ rights attorneys about suing the Daily Mail for cyber exploitation—and I was no longer a member of Congress. Sitting on that train just a couple of days after my resignation had taken effect, I realized that it was one year, almost to the minute, from when I’d received the call from my predecessor to concede, the day I found out that we had done what many said was impossible—we had flipped a historically red congressional district. I was going to be a congresswoman.

Within a matter of weeks of being elected, I was one of a handful of people working closely with Speaker Nancy Pelosi and the most powerful Democrats in the House. But, oddly, I knew I belonged there; I didn’t feel awkward or unsure. I was confident. Don’t get me wrong, the job was hard. I had made plenty of mistakes. But I was figuring it out fast. I was good at this. So much hard work by so many people went into flipping my district and getting me elected to Congress, and it felt good to be able to deliver for them.

But my home life was another story. That day on the train was also five months to the day from when I moved out of my house and told my husband, whom I’d been with since I was 16 years old, that I wanted a divorce. On that day in June, my dad, a cop, came with me to our house because I was afraid to go alone. My husband was unpredictable, had dealt with substance abuse issues at various times in his life, owned guns, and was incredibly controlling. Of course, I was afraid. I got my things, moved in with my mom, and didn’t look back.

katie hill
Katie Hill at home in Washington DC

But when I’d tried to leave before, my husband had said that he would ruin me. That threat itself was abusive, and kept me in the relationship for far too long. Knowing that he could make good on it was the reason I always went back. Midway through my first year in Congress, though, I reached the point when I knew I couldn’t keep going. I had to get out.

But those words “I’ll ruin you” hung over my head every day after I moved out. I knew the risk when I left, but I felt I didn’t have a choice. Despite the looming threat, being out of that house, away from him, made me feel better than I had in years.

The day my staff ran into my office and showed me the nude photos and private text messages that had been published on a right-wing website called RedState, the hammer that had been hovering—the threat to “ruin” me—finally dropped. I didn’t quite accept it until a few days later, but the future I had imagined as a leader in Congress, the job I was good at and loved and knew I was making a difference by doing, was over.

I was thinking about all of this as I went to see my lawyers. Then the train suddenly stopped. We sat there for a long time, and it was finally announced that someone had jumped in front of us. It was a fatality. My thoughts shifted to the person on the tracks while we waited for the police to investigate, for the coroner to come. I know the despair that leads someone to that place all too well. I had been there just a week before.

Hill with House Speaker Nancy Pelosi at her swearing in, January 2019. Holding the Bible is Hill’s then-husband, Kenny Heslep, whom she alleges made public intimate photos that sparked a career-ending scandal.

Associated Press

I announced my resignation knowing it was the right thing to do, the right decision for me, my family, my staff, my colleagues, my community. But that didn’t make it any easier, and in the days that followed, I was completely overwhelmed by everything: how many people had seen my naked body, the comments, the articles, the millions of opinions, the texts, the calls, the threats. I would start shaking, crying, throwing up. It was hard to talk to my family because I knew they were going through so much, too. I didn’t want to talk to my friends because I was humiliated, I didn’t want to hear more pity, and I just didn’t know what to say. Many of my staff had been with me for years at this point, and we were, for better or for worse, very close. Now I felt like they all hated me.

I didn’t leave my sparse DC apartment. I felt so alone and didn’t know what to do. It was two days after I announced my resignation. I don’t even know how I spent the day. Probably reading articles (and comments on those articles) about myself that I shouldn’t have read or noticing the silence of my colleagues. I was grateful that “the squad” (representatives Ayanna Pressley, Rashida Tlaib, Ilhan Omar, and Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez) immediately came out in support of me, but the only other vocal defender I had was Republican representative Matt Gaetz, one of Trump’s strongest allies in Congress. To the surprise and criticism of many in his own party, Matt stuck his neck out for me, and I will always appreciate him for that. I understood why my other colleagues stayed quiet publicly, but it hurt nonetheless.

katie hill
Scenes from inside Katie Hill’s DC apartment

Scott Suchman

I ignored more text messages and calls and fell in and out of a restless sleep. But when it got dark, I drew a bath, lit candles, and brought over a whole bottle of wine. It might have been my second bottle of the day … I’m not sure.

I lay in the bath and thought about what I’d lost. The betrayal. The people on my team and in my life who had been hurt, although they’d done nothing wrong. Everyone I’d let down, everyone who worked for me, who campaigned for me, who believed in me. The future I’d thought was in store for me was suddenly and irrevocably gone. I was grappling with, and felt endlessly guilty about, my own responsibility in my downfall and knew that there were other factors at play below the surface that people could just never understand. And those pictures—no one should have ever seen those. I didn’t even know many of them existed, seeing them for the first time with the rest of the world.

How could I ever face anyone again, knowing what they’d seen? What they knew?

The bathwater had gone cold. The wine bottle was empty. Suddenly and with total clarity I just wanted it all to be over. I got up and looked for the box cutter, dripping water all over the floor. I couldn’t find it. A part of my brain was saying, “Stop it. This is stupid. You’re not going to do it; go drain the bathtub and get your shit together.” But I felt like I was out of my body, like it was moving without me. I got a paring knife —not quite as sharp as a box cutter, but I figured it would do—and got back into the cold bath.

I stared at the veins in my wrists. They were so thin. They were green in the candlelight. I started tracing them with the edge of the knife, lightly at first, then pushing harder and harder. The knife was duller than I thought. It surprised me how hard I had to push to even scratch the surface. Fine red lines started to appear and I knew that if I pushed just a tiny bit harder, I would start to bleed. A couple of droplets started to form on the surface of my skin, like when a leak is beginning to come through the ceiling: one drip at a time, but you know the crack is coming soon. This wasn’t the first time I’d hovered at that edge, thinking it should all just end, knowing how I’d do it, and knowing I could, whenever I wanted to. A little more than a year before, I’d come so close.

Katie Hill
Following her resignation from the House after a conservative website posted nude photos of her with a campaign aide, Hill holed up in her DC apartment.

Scott Suchman

That time, it was late at night on my way home, in the final stretch of the campaign. I hated going home. I had known for a long time that my relationship with my husband was bad. I knew that M, the woman who had worked on my campaign, and with whom I’d developed a relationship despite my better judgment, was sucked into it now, and it was my fault for exposing her to it in the first place. But I thought there was no way I could escape: we had a house and animals and a backstory that had become part of the campaign. There was the public perception and the money and the logistics and the things my husband took care of that I just didn’t how I’d do with only a month left until Election Day, let alone after.

Every night was a horrible fight. He said the most vicious and demeaning things to me, and he was getting less stable and much scarier. He wouldn’t get help, and he said everything was my fault. People had no idea from the outside. I pretended everything at home was fine, and I looked like a successful candidate about to win an election and make history, but my life was held together by a thread and I was hanging on by a fingernail.

I’d driven past the big oak tree just off the side of the remote highway on the way to my rural house twice a day nearly every day for years. The tree had been struck by lightning years ago, and there was a burn scar that looked just like the Virgin Mary. People often came to pray at that spot, and would leave flowers and candles and framed pictures and beads. But recently I had started to feel it beckoning to me in a menacing but somehow hypnotic way. I would take a different route as often as I could to avoid passing it, because that feeling scared me. But then I started taking the highway again, as though the burn scar was sending me magnetic signals I couldn’t resist. I would stare at it every time I passed and think about being held in the comforting arms of the Blessed Mother, and closing my eyes forever.

That night driving home, the dark music and the dark sky and the dark road and the feeling of depletion and of being trapped added up, and before I realized what I was doing, I’d taken off my seat belt and was pressing all the way down on the gas pedal and driving straight toward the tree. But after a few seconds, when the speedometer hit 80 and I was a couple hundred yards from the tree, I thought of my family, whose lives I would ruin if I did it. I thought of how it would destroy the various religious offerings and how people might stop praying there and might even lose their faith. I thought of my dogs and how I’d never said goodbye. I thought of my staff and all the volunteers and how we wouldn’t be able to flip the district because there wouldn’t even be a Democrat on the ballot, and what if ours was the district that determined whether we got the majority in the House?

I braked hard and swerved back onto the curve of the road before it was too late. I fumbled with my seat belt as I buckled back up, then pulled over and caught my breath. I drove home in silence with the windows down, trying to keep the car under control with my hands shaking on the steering wheel.

I sat in the driveway for a while, working up the courage to go in. I really didn’t want to, but I knew that this was a close enough call that I should tell my husband what had happened. And maybe if he understood how miserable I was, he would finally start acting differently or agree to get help.

I walked into the house and told him what had happened and how deeply unhappy I was because of our relationship. I asked him to see a therapist, to think about the way he was acting and how toxic his behavior had become. He wouldn’t hear it, and it set him off in a way I wasn’t ready for, despite at least somewhat expecting it.

It’s hard to explain how his rages would escalate, but it’s like he wasn’t there anymore. He didn’t make sense, and he would yell and take the fight in the strangest directions, telling me how it was my fault that he got this mad. By the end, I’d believe it and just keep saying, “I’m sorry—can you please forgive me?” because that’s the only way it might ever end.

That night was no different, but this time as it all escalated I cried and said I just couldn’t do this anymore. Instead of calming down and trying to talk and make things better, he took a gun that he kept by the side of our bed and shoved it at me, saying, “Here, here, take it! If you want to kill yourself, then why don’t you go fucking do it.” I kept pushing his arms away and saying no, and he was in my face and I was backed into a corner in the room, and in that moment I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I would not be OK if I stayed there. But I felt paralyzed.

Eventually he stormed out of the house with the gun. I took a sleeping pill and prayed that he wouldn’t drink too much and come in and start raging again with a loaded gun in his hand. I almost locked the door to our bedroom that night, but I knew that if he tried to come in and found it locked, it would be so much worse. And he could get in anyway. I don’t remember falling asleep, but I guess I did.

When I got up, I found him sleeping in the guest bedroom at the back of the house. I recognized that this could be my moment to leave, since I knew I’d never be able to do it with him there and he was never gone when I was home. So before I could talk myself out of it, I packed up everything from our room that I thought I’d need, but that wouldn’t be too obvious—I didn’t want him to have any heads-up that I wasn’t coming back. When I got on the road, I called my mom and asked if I could come stay with her for a while. She was very worried, of course, but I said I was fine and I would tell her more when I saw her that night. The next person I called was my campaign manager, who had to not only help manage the logistical challenges and fallout this might create for the campaign, but who also had become a tremendous friend and support to me as well.

All day, my husband texted me, apologizing for the night before, and sent memes and I love yous and lots of smiley emojis. I replied more or less as I normally would, not wanting him to suspect anything. But when I finished my campaign events that evening, I crafted a long text about how I wasn’t coming home. I tried to articulate why and asked him to give me the space I needed. Of course, he started calling me over and over until I finally turned off my phone. He then called everyone in my family and said he was going to come to my mom’s house. My mom asked my dad (the cop) to come over and wait with us at her place until he calmed down. Meanwhile, my stepfather and my campaign manager met up with him in a parking lot to try to calm him down, and they almost came to blows when he repeated to them what he’d already told me: that he’d ruin me if I left him. Eventually my dad convinced him that coming to my mom’s house was a really bad idea and that he should go home.

I stayed away from my house for a couple of weeks. My husband told me he’d started going to therapy and gone back on his meds. He promised he’d change, and he brought me cards and flowers all the time and told me how he couldn’t live without me. I missed my dogs so much, and I just couldn’t imagine how to actually make the separation permanent. And with Election Day nearing, I didn’t know how I would deal with everything, including the threats, and I thought maybe this time the good phase could last until after November 6, at least.

The absolute last thing in the world I wanted to do was walk back into that house, into that life, into our marriage. But there were always those words “I’ll ruin you.” So I went back.

katie hill at home
Katie Hill battled suicidal thoughts as she thought about the people she felt she’d let down.

Scott Suchman

That night in the tub brought me full circle to the night with the tree, the day I’d left, and his threat. I finally did leave my husband for good. And, sure enough, he fulfilled his promise by releasing those images and texts that ended my career. So here I was again, not contemplating death with a car and a tree, but this time with a bath and a knife. But those things that had made me veer off to the side before, made me pause this time, too.

Lying in the cold water tracing my veins, I thought about the people I had already let down so much with my scandal and by resigning. What would this do to my parents? To my brother and sister? To my staff and volunteers and supporters, just like before? Except now, even though I was resigning. I felt an even greater sense of responsibility. Because we’d won, and we’d showed people it was possible for someone like me—someone like them—to make it into power, to achieve something people said we couldn’t do. I thought about the high school students who said how inspired they were by me, the Girl Scouts whose troops I’d visited, who told me they wanted to grow up to be like me, and how their parents would explain it if I killed myself, and what it would do to them.

I couldn’t do it. This whole thing was bigger than me before the election, and it had only grown since then. I didn’t get to quit. I had to keep pushing forward and be part of the fight to create the change that those young girls are counting on, even if it’s not in the way I thought.

The next day was my true day of reckoning, of coming to terms with what had happened, what it meant for me, and what I needed to do. I spent the day writing my floor speech. Everyone who has taken a basic psychology class has learned about the stages of grief. That day I cycled through all of them over and over. But writing the speech alone in my apartment gave me an outlet to work through them and what had led me to this point in my life and to the decision to resign. I looked back at the ten days or so leading up to that horrible moment in the bathtub.

We first heard rumors that pictures might be coming out a few days before they did, but I was in total denial at that point. First, I didn’t even know about all the photos that would have been damaging. I didn’t know my husband had taken them, so I didn’t quite grasp what that meant. Second, I honestly didn’t think he would stoop to that level. When you’ve known and loved someone for your entire adult life, no matter how bad things get, you just don’t think the person you’ve trusted with everything would be capable of such cruelty.

But on October 18, 2019, RedState, the right-wing online publication that often posts conspiracy theories and all kinds of hit pieces on Democrats, published the first in a barrage of articles that included pictures and text messages related to the most intimate details of my life. When it first started, I thought that I could stay in office and we could fight it, ride it out. Then more and more photos were released. The harassment was incessant. And it became clear that the longer I resisted, the further those who were launching these attacks would go. A local Republican operative said they had a shared drive with more than 700 photos and text messages (this operative said they were supplied by my ex, though my ex has claimed he was hacked), and would keep releasing them bit by bit until I resigned or was forced out. Literally every single day from when the first article was posted, RedState published a new slew of images or texts taken out of context, fodder provided by my ex for that takedown he’d promised.

Then I saw how my colleagues—especially other freshmen from tough districts—were put in the position of having to either denounce or defend me. My roommate, Representative Lauren Underwood, said that trackers (people paid to chase politicians with cameras and catch them with a bad answer or in a gaffe) were following her around and asking her how, as my roommate, she didn’t know this stuff about me, and why she didn’t do anything about it.

I knew I was going to have to step back from my position as freshman representative to leadership. I couldn’t risk harming my colleagues by being the face of the class. I also knew I should step back from being vice chair of Oversight, since a huge part of that role was acting as a spokesperson. The day before the RedState article was posted, we’d learned of the tragic passing of Chairman Elijah Cummings, a hero and a mentor to me. Serving as his vice chair was the honor of my lifetime, and, honestly, I’m glad that he didn’t have to see everything that happened. But because of his passing, the role of vice chair, if I stayed in it, would have been even more magnified. And with my controversy, I was no longer even remotely the right person to discuss the committee’s work in front of the press.

Finally, and perhaps most important, was the fact that the House was about to vote to officially open an impeachment inquiry into the president, and undergo an intensive investigation process during which the right-wing media and Republicans would be seeking any opportunity they could find to distract from the issue at hand: a corrupt and dangerous president. I would not allow myself to be that distraction.

I was supposed to go to Chairman Cummings’s funeral on Friday, October 25. I stayed home, not wanting my presence to take away any of the attention that should be paid to celebrating the life of such a great man. But I was heartbroken. It was the day I fully realized that I didn’t know how things could go back to normal, how I could be an effective legislator, an effective leader. I tried to imagine what Chairman Cummings would have said to me about my situation if he were alive and could give me advice. I honestly didn’t know what he would say—if he would tell me to keep going and stick it out or to step aside. He had often reminded me of my grandfather, Papa, who had passed away from Alzheimer’s in 2011. Papa was the other person whose advice I desperately wanted at that point because he was the person who always told me to never quit, never give up.

Sad, scared, and looking for answers, I did what I’ve always done when I feel that way. I called my mom. I had been talking to her every day, of course, but until this point, my posture had been to stand strong. Fight it out. Don’t let them—don’t let him—win. Finally I cracked. I told my mom how miserable I was. How I couldn’t sleep because of the anxiety over what was coming next. How I felt about the impossibility of going back to the roles that mattered so much to me. How horrible I felt for the team, for my family back at home, for my colleagues, knowing that the only way it would all end was if I stepped down. But how I felt like stepping down was giving in, showing I’d been broken, letting down all the people who believed in me.

My mom finally said to me, “Katie, you don’t have to keep doing this. You’ve already done so much by running, by showing it was possible, by flipping the seat, by making sure people know they can have a real representative who works for them. None of that will ever go away. It’s up to you.”

I mumbled weakly, “Yeah, I guess that’s true.”

She went on, “I know you’re thinking about how Papa would say to never quit. But you wouldn’t be quitting—you’d be moving on to another fight.” And she said exactly what I needed to hear.

After we got off the phone, I called my sister, my dad, my chief of staff, and a couple of my closest advisers who had been with me from the very beginning. They supported my decision and knew exactly how hard it was for me. Over the next couple of days, I worked with my chief, my top advisors, and a legal team to put a plan in motion to announce my resignation. The plan needed to be executed quickly so the right people knew in the right order before something was leaked to the press. Of course, the first person on that list was the Speaker of the House.

katie hill's seat
Hill departs the U.S. Capitol following her resignation speech in October 2019

Win McNamee/Getty Images

I had been so fortunate to work closely with Nancy Pelosi during my time in Congress. As the freshman leadership rep, I got to participate in leadership meetings with her, along with fewer than ten other members, at least twice a week. I was able to see her in action, to learn from her behind the scenes, to see her masterful strategy, to see how she managed the complex and often conflicting wings of the Democratic Caucus and somehow kept the whole thing together, especially during the chaos that was the Trump presidency. I had the privilege of traveling with her on two Speaker’s Congressional Delegations—once to the Munich Security Conference and later to Central America’s Northern Triangle and the U.S. border as we dealt with the immigration crisis and the inhumane and disastrous policies of the Trump administration.

I respected Speaker Pelosi more than anyone, and I, along with so many members of the Democratic Caucus, had come to see her as a matron of sorts—one who is incredibly powerful and tough but also compassionate and kind. I dreaded that call so much, and I couldn’t contain my tears by the time she got on the phone. Before anything, she said, with the utmost concern in her voice, “Are you OK? I’ve been so worried about you. What they’re doing is so nasty. Tell me what you need, how I can help.”

My voice shaking, I told her that I was so incredibly sorry for the position I’d put her and my colleagues in. She tried to stop me and said, “Please, don’t worry about that right now.” But I continued. I explained that there was more coming, that my ex had provided endless ammunition to the Republicans, and that I didn’t know what to expect but that I knew I was going to be at best a distraction and at worst a liability, especially during the impeachment. And more than anything, I knew I wasn’t going to be able to do the kind of job that I wanted to do and that my constituents deserved. She knew what I was about to say, and said, “Oh, no, Katie, you don’t have to do this. We need you. You’re so talented.” I could tell she meant it. Her voice was pained. She had invested in me. She had believed in me. She had, publicly and privately, given me opportunities and praised me as one of the promising new leaders within Congress and within the party. As far as I could tell, she actually valued my opinion and the contributions I made at leadership meetings, in committee, and to the caucus as a whole. She asked me not to resign, reinforcing her belief in me and my future. But ultimately she understood my decision and thanked me for my service. I just prayed she could one day forgive me, because I knew I had let her down.

What happened here is so complex, with so many layers. I was exploited online by my abusive ex-husband and the right-wing media in a coordinated attack. I was a victim. But I also made serious mistakes that I will always regret. Worst of all, I had a relationship with a campaign staffer. I understand power dynamics; I know that having a relationship with someone on my staff is inappropriate. I also know that sometimes it’s not that simple—that a gray area does exist. I loved this woman, and it was a consensual relationship with an adult. And I was nearly fifteen years into a very abusive relationship, and looking for a way out. But right now there’s no space for gray.

I know my story plays a part in all of this, and it doesn’t create an easy or simplistic narrative. But I’m trying to figure out how to make the most of it—how to keep pushing forward, despite my mistakes, my flaws, and all the times I’ve wanted to quit. I have to know I am still a warrior—an imperfect one, with many scars—but I have more to offer in the battles to come, and I refuse to let my experience deter others.

Excerpted from the book SHE WILL RISE: BECOMING A WARRIOR IN THE BATTLE FOR TRUE EQUALITY by Katie Hill. Copyright © 2020 by HER Time, IncReprinted with permission of Grand Central Publishing. All rights reserved. 

RELATED: Katie Hill Is on a Mission to Get Young Women Elected to Office

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

Afternoon Update: WarnerMedia Ousts Two Top Programming Chiefs

» After just 90 days on the job, WarnerMedia CEO Jason Kilar announced a major shakeup: two of the company’s top programing chiefs, Bob Greenblatt and Kevin Reilly, are departing. Greenblatt’s mandate upon being hired in 2019 was to help with the launch of HBO Max, which has reportedly gotten off to a rocky start. [Variety]

» Celebrity “news” program E! News is going off the air after 29 years, along with two other programs that rely on paparazzi photos and red carpet happenings, which have been nearly nonexistent during the pandemic. [CNN]

» Opening a food hall in Thai town seemed like a good enough idea, but for Chancee Martorell, it’s turned into a nightmare. “It’s just the most complicated and torturous and painfully excruciating process and I would not want anyone to have to go through that,” she says. [The LAnd]

» A former spokesman for the Anaheim Angels is being charged in connection with pitcher Tyler Skaggs’s fentanyl overdose in 2019. [CNN]

» A Hasbro doll themed to the movie Trolls World Tour is being recalled for featuring a crotch button some parents worry will groom their children to be molested by pedophiles. In a breathless petition, one parent wondered, “What will this toy make our innocent, impressionable children think? That it’s fun when someone touches your private area? That pedophilia and child molestation are ok? It’s not ok!” [Refinery 29]

RELATED: Joan Collins Opens Up About Her Sexual Assault and Hollywood’s Grim Realities 

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

DAILY TRACKER: Updates on L.A. County’s COVID-19 Cases


Coronavirus Cases Los Angeles, Update 8/7/2020:

Below is the current breakdown of coronavirus cases as of 8 p.m. on August 6. Data may be incomplete due to a delay in the state’s electronic lab reporting system.

There are now 204,167 total confirmed cases (+3,116 from prior day). There have been 4,918 deaths (+53 from prior day). The regions with the highest rate of infections per capita are Saugus, Castaic, and City of Industry. The most deaths have been recorded in Glendale (144), Westlake (126), and El Monte (101).

Novel Coronavirus Cases in Los Angeles County, by Neighborhood
Acton 51
Adams-Normandie 188
Agoura Hills 122
Agua Dulce 20
Alhambra 981
Alsace 282
Altadena 500
Anaverde 9
Angeles National Forest 7
Angelino Heights 54
Arcadia 438
Arleta 1082
Artesia 251
Athens Village 178
Athens-Westmont 1199
Atwater Village 171
Avalon 5
Avocado Heights 211
Azusa 1534
Baldwin Hills 490
Baldwin Park 2183
Bassett 496
Bel Air 61
Bell 1224
Bell Gardens 1478
Bellflower 1819
Beverly Crest 88
Beverly Hills 549
Beverlywood 122
Bouquet Canyon 2
Boyle Heights 3476
Bradbury 17
Brentwood 220
Brookside 3
Burbank 1085
Cadillac-Corning 96
Calabasas 212
Canoga Park 1392
Canyon Country 88
Carson 1385
Carthay 180
Castaic 1867
Central 1719
Century City 95
Century Palms/Cove 1219
Cerritos 448
Chatsworth 526
Cheviot Hills 51
Chinatown 89
Claremont 270
Claremont 4
Cloverdale/Cochran 243
Commerce 442
Compton 3078
Country Club Park 237
Covina 1361
Covina (Charter Oak) 243
Crenshaw District 252
Crestview 153
Cudahy 875
Culver City 336
Del Aire 53
Del Rey 282
Del Sur 8
Desert View Highlands 33
Diamond Bar 428
Downey 3195
Downtown 574
Duarte 482
Eagle Rock 517
East Covina 4
East Hollywood 521
East La Mirada 79
East Los Angeles 4974
East Pasadena 57
East Rancho Dominguez 511
East Whittier 54
Echo Park 177
El Camino Village 120
El Monte 3417
El Segundo 100
El Sereno 938
Elizabeth Lake 6
Elysian Park 81
Elysian Valley 209
Encino 414
Exposition 63
Exposition Park 1028
Faircrest Heights 26
Figueroa Park Square 258
Florence-Firestone 4563
Gardena 922
Glassell Park 530
Glendale 2587
Glendora 1026
Gramercy Place 191
Granada Hills 908
Green Meadows 751
Hacienda Heights 779
Hancock Park 179
Harbor City 383
Harbor Gateway 736
Harbor Pines 16
Harvard Heights 458
Harvard Park 1279
Hawaiian Gardens 407
Hawthorne 1562
Hermosa Beach 158
Hi Vista 5
Hidden Hills 6
Highland Park 872
Historic Filipinotown 349
Hollywood 921
Hollywood Hills 235
Huntington Park 2242
Hyde Park 631
Industry 27
Inglewood 2190
Irwindale 54
Jefferson Park 210
Kagel/Lopez Canyons 27
Koreatown 913
La Canada Flintridge 132
La Crescenta-Montrose 122
La Habra Heights 30
La Mirada 666
La Puente 1136
La Rambla 75
La Verne 370
Ladera Heights 66
Lafayette Square 70
Lake Balboa 748
Lake Hughes 1
Lake Los Angeles 152
Lake Manor 14
Lakeview Terrace 451
Lakewood 961
Lancaster 2342
Lawndale 501
Leimert Park 243
Lennox 529
Leona Valley 15
Lincoln Heights 869
Little Armenia 338
Little Bangladesh 399
Little Tokyo 55
Littlerock 58
Littlerock/Juniper Hills 7
Littlerock/Pearblossom 61
Llano 3
Lomita 187
Longwood 99
Los Feliz 154
Lynwood 2572
Malibu 87
Manchester Square 136
Mandeville Canyon 18
Manhattan Beach 279
Mar Vista 256
Marina del Rey 62
Marina Peninsula 27
Maywood 1085
Melrose 1525
Mid-city 250
Miracle Mile 134
Mission Hills 577
Monrovia 632
Montebello 1748
Monterey Park 677
Mt. Washington 430
Newhall 6
North Hills 1367
North Hollywood 2652
North Lancaster 18
North Whittier 152
Northeast San Gabriel 268
Northridge 1072
Norwalk 2552
Pacific Palisades 100
Pacoima 2571
Padua Hills 3
Palisades Highlands 19
Palmdale 2905
Palms 447
Palos Verdes Estates 76
Palos Verdes Peninsula 3
Panorama City 2142
Paramount 1864
Park La Brea 86
Pearblossom/Llano 19
Pellissier Village 20
Pico Rivera 1852
Pico-Union 1493
Playa Del Rey 20
Playa Vista 106
Pomona 4068
Porter Ranch 256
Quartz Hill 128
Rancho Dominguez 64
Rancho Palos Verdes 235
Rancho Park 61
Redondo Beach 441
Regent Square 23
Reseda 1707
Reseda Ranch 87
Reynier Village 29
Rolling Hills 5
Rolling Hills Estates 32
Roosevelt 7
Rosemead 642
Rosewood 16
Rosewood/East Gardena 14
Rosewood/West Rancho Dominguez 68
Rowland Heights 511
San Dimas 397
San Fernando 675
San Gabriel 441
San Jose Hills 553
San Marino 62
San Pasqual 9
San Pedro 1635
Sand Canyon 5
Santa Catalina Island 11
Santa Clarita 2376
Santa Fe Springs 408
Santa Monica 675
Santa Monica Mountains 93
Saugus 20
Saugus/Canyon Country 1
Shadow Hills 45
Sherman Oaks 785
Sierra Madre 60
Signal Hill 195
Silver Lake 512
South Antelope Valley 1
South Carthay 91
South El Monte 676
South Gate 3574
South Park 1637
South Pasadena 227
South San Gabriel 142
South Whittier 1306
Southeast Antelope Valley 11
St Elmo Village 113
Stevenson Ranch 123
Studio City 196
Sun Valley 1129
Sun Village 104
Sunland 352
Sunrise Village 40
Sycamore Square 5
Sylmar 2496
Tarzana 511
Temple City 421
Temple-Beaudry 977
Thai Town 123
Toluca Lake 85
Toluca Terrace 17
Toluca Woods 14
Torrance 1119
Tujunga 303
Twin Lakes/Oat Mountain 10
University Hills 46
University Park 610
Val Verde 47
Valencia 37
Valinda 576
Valley Glen 438
Valley Village 414
Van Nuys 2134
Venice 218
Vermont Knolls 582
Vermont Square 273
Vermont Vista 1490
Vernon 10
Vernon Central 2398
Victoria Park 169
View Heights 35
View Park/Windsor Hills 112
Walnut 215
Walnut Park 556
Watts 1450
Wellington Square 96
West Adams 722
West Antelope Valley 4
West Carson 306
West Covina 2245
West Hills 401
West Hollywood 447
West LA 39
West Los Angeles 400
West Puente Valley 290
West Rancho Dominguez 19
West Vernon 1788
West Whittier/Los Nietos 733
Westchester 310
Westfield/Academy Hills 4
Westhills 8
Westlake 2029
Westlake Village 22
Westwood 269
White Fence Farms 36
Whittier 1730
Wholesale District 1986
Willowbrook 1144
Wilmington 1308
Wilshire Center 890
Winnetka 954
Wiseburn 103
Woodland Hills 687
Under Investigation: 4143

RELATED: Gavin Newsom Explains What It Will Take to End Stay-at-Home

Stay up to date with everything you need to know about L.A. by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

L.A. Restaurants That Have Closed Amid the Pandemic, by Neighborhood

Local restaurants and bars are what give our neighborhoods their distinct character. As the months pass, we’re seeing numerous restaurants closed permanently, watching as the pandemic decimates the hospitality industry, and wondering what Los Angeles will look like when we get to the other side (whatever that ultimately means).

This list is just a slice of the restaurants that have closed, and we will be continuing to add to this page often. Know of a closure in your neighborhood? Let us know here.

Restaurants Closed Amid the Pandemic

Downtown L.A.

Plum Tree Inn
After more than 40 years, Plum Tree Inn has shuttered. Chinatown was among the first of L.A.’s neighborhoods to see a dramatic drop in patronage, and those diners have yet to return.

Bon Temps
Less than a year after opening, Lincoln Carson’s soaring Arts District concept shuttered for good. It was the third restaurant to give it a go in the space in the span of just a few years, none of which were able to make it work for long.

Bäco Mercat
Credited with ushering in a new era in DTLA dining, Bäco Mercat, the Spanish-fusion by chef Josef Centeno, has permanently closed. Centeno’s restaurants Bar Ama, Orsa & Winston, and Amacita are still open.

Broken Spanish
Chef Ray Garcia’s popular modern Mexican restaurant has called it quits after five years. It won’t be the last you’ll see of Garcia; he’s launching a new take-away project called MILA.

restaurants closed pandemic
Broken Spanish

Photo: Andrea Bricco

Beverly Grove

Bibo Ergo Sum
An elegant cocktail bar known for elaborate drinks served in a theatrical setting, Bibo Ergo Sum was owned by ArcLight Cinemas heir Tait Forman.

Throughout its 27-year run, Swingers was the perfect place for post-bar trips and late-night hang sessions. Unfortunately, ownership has no plans to reopen even after the pandemic ends. So long, Swingers. We’ll miss you.

Somni & the Bazaar
Both of the José Andrés-connected concepts inside the SLS Hotel will close. The company that owns the hotel is suing Andrés’s ThinkFoodGroup, alleging TFG failed to abide by the owner’s “cost-cutting measures”; TFG calls the suit “baseless” and says the company’s actions are what torpedoed intentions to reopen after the initial shutdown.

Vienetta with almond ice cream and chocolate coquant at Somni

Photo: Misha Gravenor

Beverly Hills

Villa Blanca
Lisa Vanderpump’s first restaurant, Villa Blanca lacked the reality show caché of her other concepts.


Granville Cafe
While other locations are still in business, the Granville at the Americana has shut its doors for good.


One of the city’s most creative fine-dining restaurants closed down after just a year in operation. Chef-owner Eric Bost announced the news in April, stating that “it was just too much risk to continue to try to finance.”

The Pikey
This British-inspired pub established itself as one of the favorites during its nearly eight-year stint in Hollywood. Memories of the live performances and raucous late nights will remain.

Trois Mec
The tiny project that made Ludo Lefebvre a big star has shut its doors, but the chef’s other properties are operating.


Dong Il Jang
A staple for more than 40 years, owners feared their make-at-your-table KBBQ concept might be unsustainable, even as restaurants inch toward reopening.

Here’s Looking at You
The closure is, technically, “temporary,” but HLAY owners have made clear it’s unlikely they’ll ever bounce back. For now, they’re focused on their still-open project, All Day Baby.

Jun Won
Considered one of L.A.’s best Korean restaurants, Jun Won was simply not able to weather the pandemic downturn. Even offering takeout, losses were piling up, and at 74-years-old, chef-founder Jung Ye Jun decided the risks of continuing had become too great.

Heres Looking at You

Photo: Dylan + Jeni

Long Beach

Federal Bar – Long Beach
Federal Bar’s owners have found themselves stuck between a rock (operating a bar and live music venue) and a hard place (another business owning a record label and promoting concerts and fests), getting doubly hit by the downturn. North Hollywood’s Federal Bar is still open.


Lincoln Pasadena
One of L.A.’s best bakery-cafes, Lincoln was famed for its exceptional pastries and cakes. After six years, chef-owner Christine Moore made the difficult decision to call it quits.

Du-par’s Pasadena
Owner Frances Tario has been open about how hard the downturn hit Du-pars, describing days with total sales of $4.95. For now, the Original Farmers Market location remains open, keeping an 82-year tradition alive.

Cafe 86
Cafe 86 has shuttered its Old Town Pasadena location, sending fans of Filipino-inspired treats to other outposts around the region.

Playa del Rey

The Tripel
Top Chef star Brooke Williamson’s westside gastropub was a popular neighborhood hangout with destination-worthy burgers.

San Fernando Valley

The Bistro Garden
The pandemic put an end to the 30-year run of The Bistro Garden, a popular spot that popped up in many film and TV productions over the years.

Four ‘N’ 20
Both locations of this retro diner–particularly famous for its pies–have shuttered, after a run of over four decades.

Krimsey’s Cajun Kitchen
Krimsey Ramsey’s vegan Cajun spot, which closed in June, may return in the future; until then, fans can whip up dishes at home thanks to an online cookbook.

San Gabriel Valley

Din Tai Fung – Arcadia
The global dumpling chain’s first location in the U.S was this one, opened 20 years ago in Arcadia. Though the SGV outpost is shuttered, all other locations remain open for now.


Alpine Village Restaurant & Bar
After 51 years, the Oktoberfest favorite has poured its final stein. Sources say the business was struggling before pandemic hit and unable to survive the shutdown. Other parts of the Alpine Village complex, including a Bavarian market and bakery, are open.

Silver Lake

Donut Farm
Vegan doughnut fans have one less option with the closure of this spot. The brand’s original Bay Area locations remain active.

mtn venice restaurants closed pandemic
Pork ramen at MTN

Photo: Ashley Randall


MTN, which brought $20 ramen to an architecturally arresting spot on Abbot Kinney, has permanently closed. The space is currently operating as a Oaxacan pop-up called Valle.

RELATED: Is It OK to Eat at a Restaurant During the Pandemic?

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

A Local Congressional Candidate Is Frothing Over Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion’s ‘WAP’

Los Angeles congressional hopeful Republican James P. Bradley was gushing with righteousness Friday after he “accidentally” heard Cardi B.’s lyrically whimsical, definitely NSFW new song “WAP,” featuring Megan Thee Stallion.

Bradley—who is trying to unseat Ted Lieu in the 33rd Congressional District—tweeted that he wanted to wash his ears out with holy water when he listened to the song, apparently in error.

“Cardi B & Megan Thee Stallion are what happens when children are raised without God and without a strong father figure,” he wrote. “Their new ‘song’ The #WAP (which i heard accidentally) made me want to pour holy water in my ears and I feel sorry for future girls if this is their role model!”

Some Twitter users, however, took issue with the idea that his happening upon the catchy number had been beyond his control, while others suggested he’d be happier watching the video with the sound off.

One Twitter sleuth also pointed out that “WAP” isn’t even on the radio yet.

After taking a beating, Bradley piped up again, complaining that his right to free speech was under attack, which received its own slew of responses.

Meanwhile, many fans found the only thing offensive about “WAP” was the inclusion of Kylie Jenner in the middle of the video, and they’ve started a petition to remedy that situation. Naturally, Twitter has some interesting suggested replacements.

RELATED: How to Have a Hot Girl Summer, Megan Thee Stallion-Style

Stay up to date with everything you need to know about L.A. by following us on Facebook and Instagram.

Kanye West Apparently Has No Problem Being a Spoiler Candidate for the GOP


As reports continue to mount that GOP-connected lawyers and activists—including one convicted of voter fraud—have worked to get billionaire rapper Kanye West on the presidential ballot in Colorado, Wisconsin, Ohio, Vermont, and Arkansas to siphon votes away from Joe Biden, the mogul wants to make one thing clear: He’s totally cool with it.

When Forbes asked West on Thursday whether he realized he could be hurting Biden’s election chances, West responded, “I’m not denying it; I just told you.”

Although West refused to answer whether he feels he’s being used, when it was pointed out that he has already missed too many election deadlines in too many states to ever actually with the presidency, and is therefore just a spoiler, West replied, “I’m not going to argue with you. Jesus is King.”

Forbes also noted that the entire campaign didn’t feel like a Kanye West production.

“It’s a God production,” West said.

Meanwhile, if Kanye’s run is some kind of devious GOP plot, it’s also a rather stupid one.

David Jackson, a political science professor at Bowling Green State University, tells the Hollywood Reporter that while a third party candidate could certainly influence a tight race, African Americans tend not to vote for candidates solely because they are Black. What’s more, West actually ranks more unfavorably than favorably with Americans 18 to 29 overall.

“It proves that people from the opposite party really know nothing about the appeal of the other party,” Jackson said.

Donald Trump denies having anything to do with West’s presidential bid.  “I like Kanye very much,” he told reporters Wednesday. “I have nothing to do with him being on the ballot. I’m not involved.”

Of course, mere math and reality cannot dampen Kanye’s optimism.

RELATED: Kanye West on Vaccines, the Devil, and God Calling Him to Be President

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

They Met During the Pandemic, but Still Managed to Make It Work

Neither the coronavirus nor distance could keep Megan and Simon apart.

In the second month of the pandemic, Megan started following Simon on Instagram. “I got this DM from Megan after our mutual friend suggested she follow me,” says 33-year-old Simon, a tech entrepreneur. “We started messaging back and forth and I asked if she lived in L.A.” He quickly discovered she was based in Chicago, but that didn’t stop them from chatting over FaceTime for the next month.

“When everything started to open up, we decided to meet up in person,” says Megan, a 28-year-old model.  “Now, we’re kind of inseparable.”  They spend their weekends going to the farmers market, barbecuing, and figuring out how to safely see one another again.

“It has been a pretty cute story,” admits Simon.  “Let’s see what the future holds.”

RELATED: This L.A. Couple Met at a Game Night, but Didn’t Play Around

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

When Comedian Laurie Kilmartin’s Mom Was Dying of COVID-19, She Tweeted Her Way Through the Pain

Laurie Kilmartin writes jokes for a living. The Emmy-nominated comic has been a writer for Conan since 2010, and in her stand-up routine she riffs on everything from sex and relationships to her family and having a child in her 40s. She can crack wise about anything, even her mother’s death from COVID-19.

JoAnn Kilmartin passed away at age 82 on June 18 after she became infected at a nursing home, just one of the 59,000 patients and workers—more than 40 percent of COVID-19 cases—who’ve died from coronavirus in nursing homes in America, according to a recent New York Times article. Kilmartin tweeted daily during the last days of her mother’s life, sharing with her 100,000-plus followers the strange, painful, and sometimes comical details of remotely looking after a dying family member in the middle of a pandemic.

“I just left a one-star Yelp review of the skilled nursing facility where Mom caught COVID-19,” read one of her tweets.

Kilmartin is no stranger to using social media to talk about parental loss in an irreverent way. In 2014, the comedian tweeted about her father, Ron, while he was dying from end-stage lung cancer, also at 82, in a home hospice in the East Bay Area.

“Hospice is a medical term that means ‘here, you do it,” she tweeted that year.

Those tweets led to Kilmartin’s comedy special, 45 Jokes About My Dead Dad, and her 2018 book, Dead People Suck: A Guide for Survivors of the Newly Departed. In it, she humorously described the indignities that come with taking care of an aging parent, death, and the grieving process: doctors’ lingo, adult diapers, planning a funeral, misspelled condolences, post-mourning sex, “morternity leave.”

“This book is dedicated to my mom, who probably won’t get this much ink when she dies,” she wrote.

Kilmartin’s mom was a Trump voter. After her father’s death, the two lived together for four years in Kilmartin’s Burbank home. She posted on Twitter that their relationship was, simply put, “complicated.”

In May, Kilmartin took her mother to a Burbank hospital for shortness of breath and other medical complications. She later moved her into York Healthcare & Wellness Centre, a nursing home in Highland Park, to recuperate. Within days, JoAnn tested positive for COVID-19. Kilmartin ultimately doesn’t know how her mother got infected, but says she was later told by the staff that the nursing home had experienced a coronavirus outbreak. According to the Los Angeles Department of Public Health, 18 people associated with the location have died.

A week after her mother was transferred to Huntington Hospital in Pasadena, she died from COVID-19, pneumonia, and heart and liver failure. Kilmartin and her sister, Eileen, were able to visit her just once for an hour and a half.

“The worst part is you can’t touch them,” says Kilmartin. “You can’t reassure them. We were in full PPE gear. The few times we got to touch my mom, we were wearing plastic. That was really heartbreaking. She was denied the final dignities of a person, which is to be touched and comforted by your loved ones.”

The day she announced her mother’s death on Twitter, Kilmartin received more than 12,000 comments from friends and others in the comedy community. People who’d gone through similar experiences also had reached out to her.

“I got a lot of people whose parents died of COVID and they weren’t allowed to visit,” says Kilmartin. “Or they had cancer or heart disease and weren’t allowed to visit.”

Thanks to the hospital, which had hooked up its coronavirus patients with iPads, Kilmartin was able to communicate with her mother every day via FaceTime; their final call session lasted nearly 70 hours

“We just talked to her nonstop,” recalls Kilmartin. “Obviously, my mom didn’t respond, but she could hear. We just tried to reassure her that she’s not alone, but she was alone.”

Kilmartin provided constant updates on her mom’s deteriorating health, right up until the moment she took her last breath. But not all of her messages were grim. Kilmartin shared the music she was playing for her mom on her iPad—Debussy, Lady Gaga, Johnny Cash, Emmylou Harris, Linda Ronstadt—as well as photos of her parents’ wedding and her mom’s many right-wing books, which Kilmartin wants to burn in a “bonfire.” She even Tweeted an image of the box she’s currently using to store her mother’s ashes and locks of hair.

“I was just notified that since my mom was a Trump supporter who died from COVID, her death has been ruled a suicide,” she joked.

Kilmartin says that her humor kept her from not wanting to “completely sink into despair.”

Whereas her father’s funeral was a celebration of life with family and friends, her mother’s was held over Zoom, which Kilmartin surprisingly admits was “awesome.”

“We were able to get more people on Zoom than at a regular funeral,” says Kilmartin. “We had some 80-year-olds that she went to high school with. She was a preschool teacher, so some of her former colleagues and former students logged in. It was an hour and a half. People spoke if they wanted to. They listened the whole time. We were able to record it. It was a lot to organize, but in a way it was pretty cool.”

Kilmartin now performs Zoom stand-up shows from her mother’s old bedroom. She doesn’t mince words when chiding people who still don’t want to wear masks and socially distance to help combat coronavirus’ spread.

“I just wanna hit them with a baseball bat,” says Kilmartin. “I don’t wanna tell them anything. There are no excuses at this point. If you’re being obstinate, you’re just being stupid and cruel, and I hope you get COVID. I honestly do.”

RELATED: Here’s What It’ll Cost You to Be Caught without a Mask in Some Local Cities

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

The People Who Get Stars Red-Carpet Ready Brace for an Unusual Awards Season

With awards season looming, thousands of hairdressers, manicurists, makeup artists, and fashion stylists are scrambling to figure out how they’ll make their high-wattage clients shine at unconventional ceremonies during the COVID-19 pandemic. September’s Emmys will be a virtual affair, taped over multiple nights in various locations instead of streaming live from one big event. Other shows are likely to follow suit, while the Oscars have been pushed back from February to April in the hope that a traditional ceremony will be possible by then. Those in the beauty and fashion business are eager to get back to work primping stars to accept trophies. After all, the red-carpet hoopla of awards season brings in $130 million in revenue per year.

But getting glam will be decidedly less glamorous these days. “Celebrities will still get dressed. They will still need to wear a dress and jewelry and all that, so it will happen in some capacity,” says jewelry designer Deborah Pagani, who has lent her gems to Rihanna, Anne Hathaway, and Shailene Woodley. “There’s just too much at stake and too much money that’s derived from these events.” Hair teams and self-tanning professionals each rake in upward of $10,000 per person, per event. The average day rate for a stylist’s service is $6,000 per client.

While the shows will go on, prepping for them will be vastly different. Nail artist Mazz Hanna, who has worked with Emma Roberts, Julia Roberts, and Greta Gerwig, notes that a staggered schedule—rather than a chaotic all-hands-on-deck setup with hair, makeup, and nail pros working on a star simultaneously—will become the new norm. She now plans to do a client’s nails the night before a big event, since manis and pedis, unlike a face full of makeup, look the same even after a night’s sleep. “It’s not what we’re used to,” laments Hanna, “but you sort of adapt.”

“There’s just too much at stake and too much money that’s derived from these events.”

Alternating schedules will also mean that stylists have less time to work on their clients—a glamour team typically gets two hours, but if everyone is working separately, they’ll have to work much faster and opt for lower-maintenance looks. “I don’t want to be doing full weaves,” says Kee Taylor, a top hairstylist whose clients include Tiffany Haddish, Tika Sumpter, Nafessa Williams, and Amber Riley. Instead, Taylor says, she’ll opt for “something quick, like a really good snatched ponytail.”

Virtual awards shows like the Emmys will feature taped segments from stars’ homes, which could be a plus. Beauty experts anticipate that they’ll have more control over how their work looks onscreen. Adam Breuchaud, a makeup artist whose clients include Sarah Paulson, Natalie Dormer, and Winona Ryder, notes that with in-home tapings he’ll be able to perform quick touch-ups and make sure the lighting is flattering. “On a red carpet, we don’t know what that lighting is gonna be like,” he says. “We kind of just send them out there. So there’s a bit more trial and error involved.”

The more intimate nature of virtual shows may allow more discreet elements (nails, earrings) to get more attention than they used to. “This could actually showcase jewelry better than before,” says Colette Steckel, a jewelry designer who has accessorized awards- show outfits for Brie Larson and Naomi Watts.

Cleanliness has always been a priority for beauty pros, but they’re taking it to the next level now. Nail artist Hanna says her agency, Nailing Hollywood, created new safety guidelines in June. Not only are face shields, masks, and gloves required, but entirely new tools will be used for each client. “I’ll start using disposable files and buffers,” she says. “I’ll have a very organized system: if I touch a bottle of polish in my kit with a gloved hand, that will go into a separate pile, and everything will be sanitized, wiped down with Barbicide before going back into my kit, for that extra level of caution.”

Groomer Simone Frajnd, who works with Jordan Peele, Mahershala Ali, Quentin Tarantino, and Billy Porter, began regularly disinfecting her already-pristine kit the very day L.A.’s stay-at-home order began. She also created personalized DIY kits for clients to use, with her remote guidance, for virtual events, though she worries that her male clients may struggle with applying their own makeup. “With men, I feel like less is more,” Frajnd says. “It’s hard to have a man apply [a product], especially concealer or foundation.”

Beyond the skin deep, the pandemic, along with the Black Lives Matter movement, will have a big effect on what stars wear. Fashion stylist Erin Walsh says she expects to see style statements about the toll of COVID-19 and racial injustice as well as more representation of Black designers and Black-led brands.

“Actors and their publicists, agents, stylists, hair, makeup, the whole team will be looking at ‘How does what I wear really represent what I want to say? How does it bring attention to designers who need attention? How does it reflect how I want the world to look?’ ” says Walsh, who counts Thandie Newton, Anne Hathaway, Beanie Feldstein, Alison Brie, and Zoe Lister-Jones among her clients. “If you’re not paying attention to how what you put on your body is made, you’re contributing to the problem, especially in a public space.” She adds, “During awards season, it’s going to be more important that people are conscious of all the details of what they’re wearing, not just the designer label.”

Walsh says that past preoccupations will now seem trivial as we cope with the pandemic and its economic aftermath.“The expectation that nobody wears the same thing again? The idea that two actors couldn’t represent a designer in two very different ways in the same look? It’s just so silly,” she says. “I don’t want to put that kind of message out there, especially when I think of how people are going to be shopping after all this craziness is over.”

RELATED: As the TV Landscape Changes, the Emmy Party Scene Is Changing Too

Stay on top of the latest in L.A. food and culture. Sign up for our newsletters today.

Morning Brief: Influencers Won’t Stop Partying During the Pandemic

» Influencers say they simply must keep throwing parties, pandemic be damned. Being seen having fun is literally their job, after all. It’s what the audience demands. [The New York Times]

» Donald Trump has taken his obsession with TikTok to a new level, issuing executive orders to ban TikTok and WeChat from operating in the U.S. after September 15. The ban will be lifted if the Chinese-owned apps are spun-off to American buyers. [CNN]

» A Hacienda Heights pastor is accused of sexually assaulting multiple young girls in his congregation. Charges relate to incidents spanning back over 20 years. [Los Angeles Times]

» ICE is reportedly refusing to test all detainees at a California immigration detention center on the grounds that “it would be difficult to quarantine” all the infected individuals.  A federal judge issued a ruling on Thursday, criticizing the agency for “cavalier” response to a health crisis and saying ICE as “lost the right to be trusted.” [Los Angeles Times]

» Alyssa Milano has tested positive for COVID-19 antibodies. The activist-actress hopes to use her experience to point out flaws in America’s testing system. [NBC Los Angeles]

» Three of Bon Appetit‘s biggest video stars–Sohla El-Waylly, Priya Krishna, and Rick Martinez–will stop appearing on screen for the publication. They say there has been no satisfactory resolution to their concerns about racism at Condé Nast. [Business Insider]


» As Students Speak Out, USC’s Greek System Reckons with Racism Inclusivity efforts are underway on the Row, but some students think more radical action needs to be taken

» How Public Transit Riders Are Managing Their Metro Commutes During the Pandemic Commuting by bus or train during the coronavirus era can be complicated, but passengers are looking to each other for a little consideration

» What to Stream This Weekend: Slay the DragonAn American Pickle, and More A roundup of the best movies and shows available right in your living room


gustavo dudamel

The Best Things to Do This Weekend

Get ready for a summer weekend of fun at home and, tentatively, outside. Find our picks for streaming content, drive-in flicks, and more.


Want the Daily Brief in your inbox? Sign up for our newsletters today.