Michaele and Tareq Salahi
There was a lot of ruckus last week over the stories that White House party crasher and Real Housewives of D.C. castmember Michaele Salahi had left her husband to take up with guitarist for Journey, Neal Schon, while he was on tour. At first Michaele’s husband, Tareq, tried to claim that his wife was kidnapped. Tareq reported Micheale missing to the FBI and cried to the local news about it. Then he realized that she had just left his sorry ass, so he leaked a bunch of stories to TMZ claiming that their sick dog died of a broken heart when she left. It was pathetic, and he even filmed the dog’s funeral and burial and gave (sold maybe) the video and photos of it to TMZ. Tareq filed for divorce and we got to see Michaele and Tareq’s prenup, in which Michaele forfeits her rights to any money if she commits adultery.
Tareq did an interview with E! that aired last night telling his side of the story. He thought everything was fine in his marriage until his wife disappeared, and then he said he received an e-mail at the main address for his winery from Schon containing an attached photo of Schon’s pen1s. Really. Tareq showed a printout of it on E! and everything, but they blurred most of it out. Tareq called Michaele a “groupie slut” and warned her that Schon, who is also married, has been married five times, and whose wife of a whole two months got cheated on too*, is bad news and will cheat on her too. He’s probably right.
Meanwhile Michaele and Neal have a new interview with The Daily Beast describing how they got together after a separation of nearly 15 years from their first romance. The highlights are:
In my book, Cirque du Salahi, the 46-year-old Michaele first revealed she has suffered from multiple sclerosis for nearly 20 years and the disease was the deciding factor when choosing her husband. She had been dating both Neal and Tareq in the late ’90s (for the record, she dated Neal first) and there came a time she had to make a life decision.
“I chose Tareq over Neal because I thought life would be less stressful living on a vineyard in Virginia. Life on the road with a rock band … well, I thought I might not have been able to keep up.” Yet during research for the book last year, in private talks away from her husband, Michaele made it clear she still had deep feelings for Neal.
So how did they ultimately come together just 10 days after they saw each other backstage at a Journey concert in Bristow, Va.? The couple now admits they had been communicating via text “for a while” over a device a friend had sneaked to Michaele so the controlling Tareq wouldn’t find out she had a pipeline to the outside world. (Repeated e-mails and calls to Tareq Salahi for comment for this story have gone unanswered.)
“Neal was like, ‘Are we going to do this forever?’ And I said, ‘No, we’re not,’” Michaele said of the moment she realized it was time to make another life decision. “I began to see he really loved me. I had to begin to feel it completely–in my soul.” That was when she knew she would leave her husband.
Neal sent complimentary tickets and backstage passes to the Salahis to come to the Labor Day weekend concert being held just 20 miles east of their home in Linden, Va. The ever-sociable Tareq showed up backstage with a video camera, Michaele, and Michaele’s friend Irina. He urged the women to surround Neal and kiss him, “Ahhh. There you go … hugs and kisses for Neal!!! Rock on, Journey!” Tareq is heard cooing in the background. (Tareq would later supply that video and other materials to the gossip website TMZ in an effort to humiliate his wife.)
Tareq had no way of knowing exactly what had happened just moments earlier in Schon’s dressing room. But if he did have an inkling of his wife’s behavior that night, he chose to put on a happy public face.
“What happened was … she takes off her wedding ring, OK, right in front of Tareq—takes it off,” Neal told The Daily Beast, sounding astonished. “And then she proceeds to come into my dressing room where I’m sitting down. I have tennis shoes on and she’s, like, nine feet tall over me.”
Neal’s voice took on a joyful tone as he told the story, and I could hear Michaele giggling in the background. He continued: “And she looks down at me like she’s standing on stilts and says, “I love YOU. And, that’s never gonna change. And when that happened I said, ‘Get over here! This has taken 15 years!’”
In retelling their story on the phone these not-too-young lovers sounded like teenagers who had just gotten the keys to Dad’s car. They were finally together and nothing else mattered.
The night of the concert, Sept. 4, Neal urged Michaele to get on the tour bus with him. “I was pretty close to doing it,” Michaele said. “But then I thought, No, that’s not who I am. That would be public humiliation for Tareq.” She explained to Neal that she had obligations and things to wrap up over the next few weeks but she told him that night: “We will be together. I promise.” She went home with her husband that night.
Nine days later, Michaele says she realized she couldn’t stay. “I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I realized I was hurting myself.” And, according to Michaele, “Tareq was too controlling.” Neal jumped in to elaborate. “He says, ‘Don’t go out of the house, you can’t have any money, I took all the money, you don’t have a telephone, you can’t drive’—plus, there are cameras in every room!” (After spending considerable research time in the Salahi house in mid-2010, I can confirm it contains a sophisticated surveillance system.)
Last Tuesday, Tareq left home to go to the family’s nearby Oasis Vineyard to ready things for an upcoming bankruptcy auction that was held this past weekend. He did not know that Michaele and Neal had been texting back and forth:
“Michaele come, I don’t want to wait anymore,” Schon wrote. Michaele agreed, and told The Daily Beast, “I was going crazy. Because when you want to be with someone that bad, you start to go crazy. He sent someone to come get me. I got on a plane by myself and I just went. I just walked away from everything.”
[From The Daily Beast]
So Michaele chose Tareq back in 90s because of her illness, but she meant to chose the Journey guy, who has been married five times. She would have burned through that guy in a year or two if she would have picked him back then instead of Tareq. How many groupies has he been with? It’s probably into the dozens at least.
And of course Michaele wants a reality show with Neal and hopes to be a singer. The Chicago Sun Times reports that she’s working with Neal to “both shepherd her singing ‘talent’ and participate in a TV show that apparently is being pitched to a couple of independent production companies.”
Props to all of you who mentioned Journey songs in our last story on this, particularly that Schon had welcomed Michaele with “Open Arms,” that they shouldn’t “Stop Believin’” in their crusty love, and that she was no longer acting “Faithfully” to Tareq.
*The Daily Beast reports that Schon’s marriage in Paris two months ago might not have been legally binding. Still, Schon had been with his latest partner for two years.
Check out this guy’s bad face lift.
photo credit: WENN