The entrepreneur who once ran a thriving skin care business with an A-list clientele that she says included Jennifer Aniston, Courtney Cox and Nicki Minaj is opening up about how a criminal case destroyed her life.
Dawn DaLuise called it “it was an absolutely perfect life,” before unexpected trouble came her way after she says she received vulgar and anonymous text messages.
Then fliers were posted around her salon with her face Photoshopped onto X-rated images.
“Ads were being placed on Craigslist under casual encounter category stating that I had a rape fantasy and they should break down the door,” she told Inside Edition.
She wondered if that the person behind her torment was Gabriel Suarez, who had opened a rival salon — right next door.
DaLuise was so distraught that she admits to sending a damning text that changed her whole life.
“I found someone who is going to take Gabriel out,” the message read.
DaLuise says she was just joking and it was her way of venting in the face of the stress she was dealing with, adding that she never intended to kill her neighbor.
But the text was enough to get her arrested for soliciting a hitman to assassinate her business rival. She sat in jail for 10 months while awaiting trial.
“I spent 23 hours a day in lockdown and it was really pretty awful,” she said.
In January 2015, it took a jury just 40 minutes to find her not guilty.
But it turns out that her thoughts about Gabriel Suarez were wrong. He was never charged with any wrongdoing by police and was completely innocent. He did not send the vulgar texts or X-rated images.
Police instead arrested Nick Prugo, who was already known to authorities as leader of the infamous "Bling Ring" — a gang of good-looking and fame-obsessed young people known for burglarizing celebrity homes.
DaLuise believes Prugo had his sights set on becoming the new facialist to the stars.
“No sooner was I in jail, Nick Prugo was in beauty school to get an esthetic license, [in] another words to do exactly what I was doing,” she said.
It's a claim that Prugo's lawyer Pat Harris, denies, telling Inside Edition in a statement that Dawn "has a lengthy history of not telling the truth."
Arrested along with Prugo was a client of DaLuise, Edward Feinstein. Both Prugo and Feinstein have pleaded guilty to misdemeanor stalking.