The alleged White House "party crashers" have finally spoke out . Michaele and Tareq Salahi made their first live appearance since the story broke last week. It has been speculated that the couple attended an elite dinner, on November 24th 2009, at the White House without invitation. Proper procedure was not taken by the Secret Service and the D.C. socialites slipped on through security and into the dinner that was held to honor India's Prime Minister. The uninvited guests made their way through with no problems at all. The couple even posed for pictures with President Obama.
The couple have been D.C. socialites for years and are very well known among their community. Mr. Salahi was chief executive of a Virginia winery, Oasis Winery, started by his father back in the 70's. The winery filed bankruptcy in February 2009 after a long control dispute with Salahi's parents. Following the bankruptcy, the Salahis acquired a great amount of debt. Apparently the couple is now trying out for a role in the D.C. series of "The Real Housewives", a reality series that airs on Bravo TV and follows the lives of women, usually women of wealth, in their daily activities and lifestyles. The camera crew for the show was apparently following the couple the night of the White House occurrence.
On December 1st 2009, one week after the White House incident, the couple appeared on the "Today" show where they were interviewed by Matt Lauer. They began by saying how "devastated" they are by the allegations being held against them, they expressed that that they have been "mischaracterized" and that their lives have been "destroyed" by all that is going on . The Salahis stated that they "were invited" to the dinner, yet they would not say who invited them. They gave little information on how they got in, stating that they were working closely with the secret service on the investigation and "respecting their timeline". The couple further stated that they did have documentation which was, "turned over to the Secret Service" in regards to an invitation . It is speculated that this documentation may contain some type of e-mail from a Senior Pentagon Official discussing attendance to the party. The couple had been corresponding with Michele Jones, a special assistant to the Defense Secretary Robert Gates. However, Mrs. Jones has made it clear that she, in no way, extended any type of invitation to the couple. In fact, the White House released a statement claiming that Mrs. Jones told the couple that they, "did not have the authority to authorize attendance, admittance or access to any part of the event's activities." It is still being decided whether or not charges will be pressed against the Salahis.
NBC also reported that the back in September of 2009 the couple had attended a Congressional Black Caucus of which they were not invited. It is said that the couple was escorted out, however the couple denies these allegations just as they denied crashing the Presidents dinner.
While the couple made it clear that they were not paid for the interview on the "Today" Show, the Associated Press has reported that the couple is requesting up to six figures for interviews that would include pictures and other items that may aide them in telling their side of the story. The interview on the "Today" show could have been an attempt to draw out publicity and gain further requests for paid interviews.
So far it seems that the couple has been strategical in their actions. Although completely unethical, their actions stand a shot at topping the list of extreme measures taken to become part of the ever growing world of reality TV. We don't yet know if the couple did indeed crash the Presidents dinner in hopes to land the spot on the Bravo hit TV Show "Desperate Housewives of D.C." but if so, it will be interesting to see if there scheme pays off. However, it seems as though they are putting a backup plan into place by requesting that six figure paid interview- another strategic move by the Salahis.
So far this story is racking up with "Octomom" and "Ballon Boy", who are both still waiting for their reality TV show after their desperate attempts to gain reality fame! Guess we'll have to wait and see what the future holds for these two!