Posted on Thu Aug 5, 2010 08:01 AM PDT
The Real Housewives of D.C. stopped by The View ... and from the get-go, the interview became awkwardly addicting. The heated drama went from the set ... to allegedly backstage.
Michaele Salahi, who has been referred to as the "White House Party Crasher," was there to promote the upcoming reality show with her other castmates, but talk quickly turned to that infamous day when Michaele and her husband Tareq managed to get close to President Obama at a White House party. Hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd certainly didn't hold back with the questioning ... accusing Salahi of not giving a direct answer to those questions.
During the View appearance, there was a moment where Whoopi Goldberg, who was not part of the interview at the time, came on set and touched Ms. Salahi ... a "touch" that Ms. Salahi claims was a bit more than that. ABC had this to say about her accusations:
- "At one point during Michaele Salahi's appearance on The View on Wednesday, Whoopi lightly touched Ms. Salahi to get her attention and said to her 'Excuse me, can you get back to the White House, please?', meaning could Ms. Salahi return to the original subject of the conversation. After the show, Ms. Salahi and her husband accused Whoopi of hitting Ms. Salahi. As the broadcast clearly shows, the accusation was completely unfounded and erroneous. After the show and after being told she was being accused of hitting Ms. Salahi, Whoopi proceeded to defend herself verbally from this baseless claim in a heated exchange with the Salahis."
Lisa Bloom, who represents the Salahis, called the View's treatment of her client "degrading" and "demeaning."
In a statement, Bloom says, "In advance of Michaele Salahiâ€™s appearance on The View, the show was advised not to refer to Ms. Salahi as a â€œparty crasher,â€ as that statement is false and defamatory. Nevertheless, she was called a â€œparty crasherâ€ at least five times on air, by my count, including by Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and by the precorded male voice that announces the show."
Check out Lisa Bloom's entire statement, describing how Ms. Salahi was in tears, after the jump ...
Statement of Lisa Bloom, attorney for Michaele and Tareq Salahi:
Salahi, along with the other Real Housewives of D.C., was a guest on The View this morning.Â She was treated very poorly by the hosts of the show.
False and defamatory allegations have swirled around the Salahis since November 2009, when they were accused by the media of being â€œWhite House party crashers.â€Â From the inception of that allegation to the present, the Salahis have consistently and vehemently denied that they were â€œparty crashers,â€ and have publicly revealed emails from a White House liaison to substantiate the fact that they were led to believe that they were invited and welcomed at the state dinner.Â Nevertheless, many in the media continued to defame them by referring to them as â€œparty crashers.â€Â Few in the media even bother to add â€œallegedâ€ to the title.Â
In fact, the government hasÂ not allegedÂ that they are party crashers.Â While a grand jury investigation, costing untold tax dollars and wasted hours of time, drags on for eight months, the Salahis haveÂ neverÂ been charged with any crime.Â Nor is there any indication that theyÂ canÂ be charged with any crime, since by all accounts â€“ including the governmentâ€™s account â€“ they presented their real names and real IDs at several White House checkpoints, where they were cleared into the dinner. Â Video of the event shows the Salahis being announced by their real names and entering the dinner.Â After the dinner, the Salahis emailed a thank you note to the White House liaison, who responded the following afternoon with, â€œYou are most welcome!Â I here (sic) the smile in your email and am delighted that you and Michaele had a wonderful time.Â Â Have an extraordinary Thanksgiving and many blessings to you both!â€
Similarly, the Salahis were invited to the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation Dinner, held several months before the White House dinner, as guests of their prior attorneys.Â Nevertheless, once the media whipped up a frenzy about the Salahis after the State Dinner, some went back and developed the additional false and defamatory claim that they â€œcrashedâ€ that dinner as well.Â Again, a fabrication.Â Â
In advance of Michaele Salahiâ€™s appearance on The View, the show was advisedÂ notÂ to refer to Ms. Salahi as a â€œparty crasher,â€ as that statement is false and defamatory.Â Nevertheless, she was called a â€œparty crasherâ€ at least five times on air, by my count, including by Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and by the precorded male voice that announces the show.Â Â
During pointed questioning about an unrelated incident where Ms. Salahi had been called â€œanorexicâ€ (also untrue), Whoopi Goldberg came from backstage behind Ms. Salahi, shook her arm, and told her toÂ move onÂ andÂ talk about the White House.Â This was startling to Ms. Salahi, as she was being interviewed by Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopi Goldberg was not part of the segment.Â Ms. Behar and Ms. Shepherd were conducting the interview, so it was up to them to â€œmove alongâ€ to whatever topics they chose.Â As a guest, Ms. Salahi was answering all questions asked of her as best she could, and at that point, she was being asked about another incident, so thatâ€™s what she was answering.Â Â Ms. Salahi was surprised and unnerved (as anyone would be) that someone would come up from behind on live TV and tell her to stop answering the question that the actual interviewers had posed to her. Â If Ms. Goldberg didnâ€™t like how the interview was being conducted, she should have taken her grievances to the shows producers and co-hosts --- not Ms. Salahi, and certainly not while she was a guest on the live show.
Sherri Shepherd then told Ms. Salahi on air â€œyou should be in jail!,â€ the applause light went on, and the audience and Real Housewives members cheered that statement.Â The U.S. Attorney, after a laborious eight-month review of the evidence, has not seen fit to charge her with a crime to date.Â But Sherri Shepherd, who apparently has not reviewed any of the evidence, sees fit to tell a guest on her show that she should be in jail.Â Â Â This is outrageous and defamatory.
Backstage, Ms. Salahi was in tears.Â Â She told a show producer she was upset that Whoopi Goldberg had come up behind her and grabbed her arm.Â The producer went to get Ms. Goldberg, who then yelled a long series of profanities at Ms. Salahi (yelling the word â€œfuckâ€ or â€œfuckingâ€ at her dozens of times in a loud voice), accusing her of accusing Ms. Goldberg of â€œhittingâ€ her.Â Ms. Salahi said sheâ€™d never said that, got the producer back in the room, and the producer admitted that â€œhitâ€ was her word, not Mrs. Salahiâ€™s.Â Ms. Goldberg continued to verbally berate Ms. Salahi, refused to apologize for her language or her on set behavior, and left the room.
Ms. Salahiâ€™s overall experience onÂ The ViewÂ was degrading and demeaning.
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