A lawyer for Rachel Powell, a participant in the harrowing Capitol riot on January 6 known as “the bullhorn lady,” says his client found inspiration for her now-famous mesh face mask from another famous mesh face mask wearer: Lana Del Rey.
As The Hill reports, U.S. District Judge Royce Lamberth ruled earlier this month in Powell’s trial that she was required to wear a face mask “whenever she leaves her residence.” After the ruling, HuffPost reporter Ryan J. Reilly posted a video of Powell at her place of work wearing a mesh face mask, apparently in violation of the order, and a move which tracked with reporting by The New Yorker that she was an avid anti-mask “advocate” before storming the Capitol with a bullhorn. The judge, of course, later asked her to explain the mesh mask in court. Per the ruling, Judge Lamberth wrote, “The court does not take the defendant’s willingness to flout the court’s order lightly.”
Judge Lamberth also demanded in April that “defense counsel shall include an explanation of his alleged instruction to his client to dispose of evidence of her non-compliance,” after Powell told the court she had thrown the mask away on his orders. Michael Engle, her lawyer, told Politico in a statement at the time: “I have to review the matter with my client and file a response with the Court. However, I can state with absolute certainty that the characterization of any legal advice I may have provided to my client is not accurate.”
Now, a Monday filing from Engle states that Powell had “seen stories about a singer, Lana Del Rey, who fashioned a clear plastic barrier under a see-through fabric for a public book signing event.” Engle also wrote that the “creation and use of the mask at issue was not designed to mock the court or its release condition,” adding that Powell made a “poor choice in wearing the mask at issue, however it was not done with a bad intent.”
The filing also stated that “members of her community who have interacted with her at work and at religious services” could attest that since the mesh mask incident, she’d only worn masks that “are clearly and obviously compliant.”
Coincidentally, both Lana Del Rey and Powell wore their mesh face masks in bookstores. Following backlash for her sartorial choices, Lana tweeted:
Reps for Lana didn’t immediately respond to Jezebel’s request for comment; this post will be updated if and when they do.