Michaele SalahiInternet Celebrity / Scandal Figure
Born: 1 October 1965
Best known as:
The wife half of the 2009 White House gate crashers
Name at birth: Michelle Ann Holt
Michaele Salahi and her husband, Tareq Salahi, gained notoriety in 2009 for worming their way into an official state dinner at the White House without an invitation. In what seems to have been a publicity stunt for a television show called The Real Housewives of Washington, D.C., the Salahis slipped past security and attended a reception with President Barack Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh, on 24 November 2009. Michaele then posted photographs on Facebook, featuring the Salahis alongside prominent Washingtonians, including Vice President Joe Biden and White House chief of staff Rahm Emanuel. The White House denied inviting them, and the Salahis were immediately dubbed "the D.C. gate crashers." The Salahis claimed the whole affair was a misunderstanding, but news of the upcoming TV show and details of their personal lives depicted a couple desperate for the bright lights of media attention. Doing business as Oasis Wines in Fauquier County, Virginia, they were known for promoting charity galas and polo-oriented events, and, as it turns out, a trail of debts and lawsuits. Little is known about Michaele's years before her marriage to Tareq in 2003. Their wedding announcement said she went to King's College (in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania, where she also worked for radio station WKRZ), but her claims of being a fashion model have been questioned, and her claims of being a Washington Redskins cheerleader have been contradicted by that organization. The Salahis' breach of White House security made them instant celebrities, but it also brought the threat of criminal charges and investigations into the charities they run. As their legal troubles dragged on, both appeared on the television series The Real Housewives of Washington, D.C. in 2010 and 2011. Tareq reported Michaele missing in September of 2011, but it turns out she had simply run off to have a love affair with Neal Schon, a guitarist for the 1970s rock band Journey. Tareq filed for divorce and they both pursued their careers as filler for the gossip sheets.
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