Michaele Salahi versus Whoopi Goldberg: You be the judge

By Dan McDermott
Warren County Report

We received the following press release from a representative of Tareq and Michaele Salahi shortly after midnight this morning. What do you think? Leave your comments.

Statement of Lisa Bloom, attorney for Michaele and Tareq Salahi:

Michaele Salahi, along with the other Real Housewives of D.C., was a guest on The View this morning. 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 “White House party crashers.” From the inception of that allegation to the present, the Salahis have consistently and vehemently denied that they were “party crashers,” 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. Nevertheless, many in the media continued to defame them by referring to them as “party crashers.” Few in the media even bother to add “alleged” to the title.

In fact, the government has not alleged that they are party crashers. While a grand jury investigation, costing untold tax dollars and wasted hours of time, drags on for eight months, the Salahis have never been charged with any crime. Nor is there any indication that they can be charged with any crime, since by all accounts – including the government’s account – they presented their real names and real IDs at several White House checkpoints, where they were cleared into the dinner. Video of the event shows the Salahis being announced by their real names and entering the dinner. After the dinner, the Salahis emailed a thank you note to the White House liaison, who responded the following afternoon with, “You are most welcome! I here (sic) the smile in your email and am delighted that you and Michaele had a wonderful time. Have an extraordinary Thanksgiving and many blessings to you both!”

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. 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 “crashed” that dinner as well. Again, a fabrication.

In advance of Michaele Salahi’s appearance on The View, the show was advised not to refer to Mrs. Salahi as a “party crasher,” as that statement is false and defamatory. Nevertheless, she was called a “party crasher” at least five times on air, by my count, including by Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and by the prerecorded male voice that announces the show.

During pointed questioning about an unrelated incident where Mrs. Salahi had been called “anorexic” (also untrue), Whoopi Goldberg came from backstage behind Mrs. Salahi, shook her arm, and told her to move on and talk about the White House. This was startling to Mrs. Salahi, as she was being interviewed by Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopi Goldberg was not part of the segment. Ms. Behar and Ms. Shepherd were conducting the interview, so it was up to them to “move along” to whatever topics they chose. As a guest, Mrs. Salahi was answering all questions asked of her as best she could, and at that point, she was being asked about another incident, so that’s what she was answering. Mrs. 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. If Ms. Goldberg didn’t like how the interview was being conducted, she should have taken her grievances to the shows producers and co-hosts — not Mrs. Salahi, and certainly not while she was a guest on the live show.

Sherri Shepherd then told Mrs. Salahi on air “you should be in jail!,” the applause light went on, and the audience and Real Housewives members cheered that statement. 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. 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. This is outrageous and defamatory.

Backstage, Mrs. Salahi was in tears. She told a show producer she was upset that Whoopi Goldberg had come up behind her and grabbed her arm. The producer went to get Ms. Goldberg, who then yelled a long series of profanities at Mrs. Salahi (yelling the word “fuck” or “fucking” at her dozens of times in a loud voice), accusing her of accusing Ms. Goldberg of “hitting” her. Mrs. Salahi said she’d never said that, got the producer back in the room, and the producer admitted that “hit” was her word, not Mrs. Salahi’s. Ms. Goldberg continued to verbally berate Mrs. Salahi, refused to apologize for her language or her on set behavior, and left the room.

Mrs. Salahi’s overall experience on The View was degrading and demeaning.

Original segment:

Whoopi Goldberg’s response:

What do you think? Leave a COMMENT.

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Published in: on August 5, 2010 at 6:13 pm  Comments (18)  

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  1. […] of DC' premiere: Housewives desperate. Very desperate.Entertainment Weeklymsnbc.com -Warren County Report Newspaper -People Magazineall 1,112 news […]

  2. When a person becomes enraged and dispenses expletives at the target that is clearly telling of how ignorant that person is.
    This incident was reported today on WTOP news. However WC Report had the integrity to include information that is favorable to the Salahis.
    Thank you Dan McDermott.

  3. Regardless of what the circumstances are, you must not put your hands on another person without their permission.

  4. Although I believe the entire event right from the beginning is a ploy, I still find it interesting.
    I never did like Whoppi Goldberg or that Joy woman, and I think The View is just as fake as D.C. Housewives!

  5. Boy, I sure hate to “side” with the attention-ho Salahis,but it does look like Whoopi was kind of out of line here?

  6. -The Salahis have not yet gotten their due!!! They will!!!
    -For those of us without access to the FACTS (and by that I mean weren’t actually there to see it with our own eyes) where there’s smoke there’s fire, and it’s impossible to believe their right when their “facts” are different than everyone else’s who was at each happening. They are the worst kind of publicity seekers.
    -From what I understand:
    1. Mr. Salahi’s parents immigrated to this country years ago and built a very successful wine business (Oasis) from scratch by their own sweat & tears. They raised him & paid for him to study viticulture (wine making) at the University of California ~ Davis, which has a specialty in that field. They paid for him to travel round the world apprenticing and playing polo, and taught him all they had learned. As thanks, he has laid claim to their winery while his father was too sick to resist and his mother was too engrossed in helping her husband. The vines are now mostly dead and he has forced them into bankruptcy. Yet he claims a “GRAND REOPENING.

    2. Michelle & Tareq have no visible means of support, yet live a lavish life style. They had an extravagant wedding at a large cathedral in Washington (perhaps it was the Washington Cathedral) and a reception which was “over the top” for a king. They bragged 186-Food Servers, 50-Bartenders, 46-Chefs & 198 cases of Champagne (ON Facebook). Wonder who footed that bill??? Braggarts??? Ya think.

    3. Michelle claims to have been a Washington Redskins cheerleader, yet none of the alumni or current staff remembers her!!!

    4. Mr. Salahi’s “valuable” watch he gave the Court for collateral on unpaid obligations is a fake??? Come on!!!

    5. They say a book will explain it all!!! Bet you can’t wait (to pay for it!!!).

    6. And they crashed the Black Caucus too!!

    7. The State of Virginia is investigating their claim of tax exemption that they didn’t file for???

    I’m sorry. This goes on and on. I’ve had enough. They may believe all their deception and think there’s a fairy godmother, but I for one have had enough & think it’s time to close the door behind them and throw the key away!!!

    • Wow, Bill. Take a deep breath. It would be advisable for your health to let this one go. Not that big of a deal. If they are scammers then they are scammers. The White House security still let them in…that is their fault.

      • I do not blame or Bill. On the contrary, it is a “big deal”.

        I work for a living, I pay my bills, and I don’t bounce checks, as I assume Bill also does. His outrage is certainly understandable.

        Is this what it takes to “succeed” in the U.S. today? Scam artists, multiple unpaid debts and multiple judgment creditors throughout various jurisdictions in VA and MD, but “now we’re famous, that doesn’t matter”?

        Gee, what the hell is wrong with that picture?

        My opinion is these people should be in jail. If not for their White House escapade, then for their continuing fraud perpetrated against a lot of honest people who actually work for a living.

        I’m not going “to let this one go”, and neither should Bill. Otherwise, what is the point of those of us who are law-abiding, tax-paying, bill-paying citizens?

        Get my drift?

  7. Do these people own stock in WCRN News? It sure looks like it!
    Real cheerleaders don’t lie btw.
    These people sure like to explain their side of the story. A LOT!
    Sorry Bravo, I’m not buying this one at all.
    Your 15, I mean 5 minutes are UP!

  8. My oh my, can the daughter of famed legal (insert colorful adjective here) Gloria Allred really be defending these vipers? Of course she can. Lisa Bloom also advises the caring father of Lindsay Lohan, Michael Lohan, (allegedly).

    Now I know why lawyer jokes are so popular, well respected legal minds not withstanding.

  9. Fame whore supposed “lawyer” representing fame whore clients. What else did you expect?

    Note the Salahis’ high-powered DC lawyer dropped out of the picture not long after the Salahis’ appearance before the Congressional Homeland Security Committee. Why? Because any lawyer worth their salt is going to insist their clients KEEP THEIR MOUTHS SHUT after invoking the Consitutional privilege of the 5th Amendment until (a) they have received written confirmation that they have been cleared of any potential criminal wrongdoing [which has not happened]; or (b) the applicable statute of limitations has expired [which has not happened]; or (c) conclusion of any trial on possible criminal charges [and that hasn’t happened either].

    But NOW these people are peddling some tell-all book on Amazon.com, in the hopes of lining their pathetic pockets by having the American public PAY for what they should have disclosed under subpoena before Congress. That public disclosure is a waiver of any privilege they might have legitimately invoked in the past.

    Does it strike anyone else that this obvious attempt at personal gain is a perversion and abuse of the valuable right they so forcefully invoked before Congress? And isn’t that, for all intents and purposes, an indication of abject contempt for the American public?

    For crying out loud, they might have well said, “We invoke our 5th Amendment privilege against self-incrimination now as a convenience, but just wait to buy our book.”

    Pardon my incredulity, but what the hell is wrong with that picture?

    Just my thoughts.

  10. Oh, and a PS to Ms. Bloom, that famous Hollywood legal expert [Don’t know if she actually reads the Warren County Report, but given the fact this community publication received her press release, one has to wonder]:

    Calling someone, especially a public figure, a “party crasher” or “gate crasher”, I don’t believe rises to the level of defamation, since there are at least 17,000 posts on the internet using that moniker; and indeed, your clients actually have utilized that moniker for their own publicity purposes.

    Putting “alleged” in front of it really doesn’t make a difference, since “party crashing” and “gate crashing” are not crimes identified in the United States Code in the first instance.

    Second, it does not rise to the level of accusing someone of a crime, i.e., rapist or murderer [which might be actionable absent a conviction]; you must realize it has become a colloquial expression used even by your own clients. I don’t believe anyone said “trespasser” or “felon” or “criminal”.

    Third, for someone to express an opinion to one of your clients that “you should be in jail” also is not an actionable defamatory statement. It is an expression of opinion, which thankfully all of us have the right to express, last time I checked the Constitution. And I’ll express my opinion here: I believe both of your clients should be in jail, for a variety of reasons.

    In conclusion, Ms. Bloom, your legal chest-pounding is without merit, and carries about as much weight as many years of legal chest-pounding by your clients, threatening to sue anyone and everyone who dared speak up against them. [For example, threatening the Washington Examiner, Fauquier County Times and the Washington Post when all they did was report the press release from the Commonwealth of VA warning consumers about the Salahis’ purported “charity” in May of 2009.]

    Sue me if you like, rest assured you will regret it in the long run.

    And by the way, Ms. Bloom, assuming I now have your ALLEGED attention, there is still the matter of the pending lawsuit against your clients and their ALLEGED charity by Montgomery County, MD for the 5 figure check that your clients ALLEGEDLY bounced for the purchase of booze for their ALLEGED 2009 America’s Polo Cup. It seems your clients ALLEGEDLY are very adept at avoiding service of process. So, if you are their ALLEGED attorney, will you accept service of process?

    I didn’t think so.

  11. Dan McDermott got it right.

    The Salahis are detestable. But the way Michaele was treated on “The View” was wrong, and Whoopi was wrong to come out and touch her to demand that she talk about that was not being asked by the actual segment hosts.

    But it’s kind of like Jerry Springer inviting a skinhead group to appear along with Hasedic Jews—it’s all a manufactured controversy to create a good show. As earlier commenter Veronica said, “The View” isn’t much more “reality” than “The Real Housewives of D.C.”

  12. You know, Micheale has no one to blame but herself. She knows she’s a target, that they only want her for interviews and on TV to stir things up. It’s not going to be a positive experience. So why do it. If it’s to show her side, then bring the proof, don’t keep saying time will tell, or we can’t talk about it. The sole purpose of her subjecting herself to this is to be in front of the camera and lights, to be the center of attention, for good or bad, to keep her name in the press and hope it makes her money down the road. Unfortunately, that road is a dead end of built on dirt.

  13. The whole Salahi situation is a complete & utter mess, being someone that was close friends with Michaele’s old personal assistant (why she needs one I have no idea, all he ever did was tend to their Doberman, take their car to the shop to be worked on or be a buddy to Michaele), I have been in their house they have in Linden, VA; I have heard all their “fairy tale stories”, seen his paychecks from them BOUNCE and now even sadder is another close friend of mine, Jennifer Wood, was shown on the Housewives show, as Michaele’s new assistant. I feel sorry for her family too knowing that she has been sucked into this circle of craziness. Jenn has always been a loving person with a great family, now she is a part of their lies- what happened to the Jenn we knew as the sports player (softball, volleyball, basketball); next thing you know Jenn is back to the area married, well divorced I believe now, her ex-husband A-WALL from the military and working for the Salahi’s. In the words of Cat “Complete Rubbish!”

    When Michaele was on “The View” I don’t feel Whoopi was out of line, she was just doing the same thing any normal person would; when you can’t get someone’s direct attention with words, you will tap them on the shoulder, arm, something to reel their attention back in. I am sure you will hear some lawsuit of it though, because they are TOO SPECIAL to be real people and be touched. These people are fake and I feel sorry for Tarque’s parents, especially Corinne, everyone who has been affected out at Oasis, and everyone else that has been drug into all their games.

  14. Whether you like Whoopie or not, whether you like what she did or not, it was not something that shouldn’t have happened. I liked Whoopie until she joined the show, but I like what happened here, and I would pay to see the footage of the exchange after the fact. They say bad press is good press, I think it is possible that this was staged. Who knows, but they should be careful how they keep bringing up that they weren’t charged-the case isn’t closed…

  15. All I want to say is that The View should get with the program and start letting their show be seen by CANADIANS on the net!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. I always liked Whoppie, even way back when she did the standup comedy. In this case, I think she thought she could get away with treating Michale Solahi rudely because of her “power ?!?” on the view. Shame on you Whoopie. I really believe Michale was the lessor of two evils. Sure, she loved the attention but her husband, Tarqe (sp) is the real culprit.

    Sherri, it’s totally obvious you are a true racist.!! And yes, Joy, you are ugly personally and physically, using everyone for the brunt of your jokes; no amount of work could ever,ever make you attractive.


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