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Meet the so-called "Real Housewives of D.C." (photos)

The Real Housewives of D.C.: Mary Amons (Jaime Windon), Stacie Turner (family photo), Catherine Ommanney (Jaime Windon), Lynda Erkiletian (Matthew Worden/Washingtonian), Michaele Salahi (Jaime Windon). See more photos of the "Real Housewives of D.C."

Washington, you're forgiven if you don't know what to make of your "Housewives."

Are the stars-to-be of "The Real Housewives of D.C." representative of our city? Of course not. Four out of five are white, all are affluent, and most live in the 'burbs.

Are they prominent Washington players? Not really. A few have social pull in limited circles, but none are A-listers.

Should they all be on TV? Federal and Virginia prosecutors, still weighing charges against Tareq and Michaele Salahi for the White House dinner-crashing and certain business practices, didn't have a say.

But who cares! This will be reality TV in all its semi-staged glory. Bravo touts the series as portraying "connected D.C. power players" navigating "the unwritten social rules of the Beltway." But none of these women works in government or politics; for the most part, neither do their husbands. Friends tell us most of the cast didn't know each other before taping began last year. Bravo gave serious consideration to a lobbyist and a fundraiser, but both dropped out, because their jobs either required discretion or were too boring.

Instead, we've got a modeling agency owner, a socialite mom, an expat, a real estate agent and, well, Michaele Salahi. We've written about them only a kajillion times over the past year as they've shown up at parties and cafes with TV cameras in tow, but let's meet them -- and the other housewives -- again!

The Salahis on the infamous night at the White House (Bill O'Leary/The Washington Post)

  • Michaele Salahi, 44. Even before she and husband Tareq turned up at the November state dinner uninvited, they were notorious for their flamboyant polo matches and a long-running family feud over their Oasis Winery in Fauquier County. Raised in Oakton, Michaele worked at Nordstrom before marrying Tareq in a splashy 2003 ceremony. Though the statuesque blonde turned up with camera crews at Redskins cheerleader alumnae events, the organization denied she was a member. And we're still getting e-mails from people who say the Salahis owe them money.

    Catherine Ommaney (Photo by Jamie Windon)

  • Catherine Ashley Ommanney, 40-ish. A D.C. newcomer, the British interior designer moved to the United States in summer 2008 when she married Charles Ommanney, a prizewinning photojournalist with Newsweek, after a brief courtship. The mother of two girls, Jade and Ruby, from a previous marriage, she was little known here before she emerged as part of the "Housewives" set. Turns out she's perfect for reality TV: In 2006, she blabbed to a British tabloid about her makeout session with much younger Prince Harry. Bravo's press release makes no notice of the news we broke last week -- that she and Charles have recently separated -- but this is probably irrelevant for them, since filming wrapped months before the split.

    Mary Amons (Jamie Windon)

  • Mary Schmidt Amons, 43. The McLean socialite and mom of five is a native of the area. She's the daughter of a telecom exec and the wife of a telecom guy, Rich Amons, a stylish fellow on Washingtonian's best-dressed list. They started early: Their oldest, Lolly, is 23; she and Mary were featured in 2005 stories in Marie Claire and on "Good Morning America" about mothers and daughters who look the same age. Mary also helped found Labels for Love, which runs the popular District Sample Sale, a semiannual shopping-for-charity event. Random fact: Her grandfather was 1950s broadcaster Arthur Godfrey. And something totally new we're just learning from the Bravo press release: "Mary spent summers at the Kennedy residences as a child." Fancy! No idea which Kennedy to call, so we'll take their word for that.

    Stacie Turner (Family photo)

  • Stacie Scott Turner, 42. She's the only one with much connection to politics: Husband Jason worked in Adrian Fenty's administration but left amid upheaval in the parks department. They've also hosted fundraisers. She's a Howard University grad and a Harvard MBA who worked in marketing at BET and other companies before becoming a real estate agent with Long & Foster. They have two young children, Jacob and Catherine, and live in a former church in 16th Street Heights that they renovated into a mansion. Jason's brother is a Paris-based hip-hop musician. Bravo's press release touts Turner's charity -- brand-new, by the looks of it -- set up to help teenage girls in foster care.

    Lynda Erkiletian (Kyle Gustafson)

  • Lynda Erkiletian, 52. A divorced mom of four children, she's the owner of T.H.E. Artist Agency, a Georgetown modeling firm that says it represents 500 models and stylists. (Bravo calls it "one of the top modeling agencies in D.C." We say: How many others are there?) She used to date Christopher Reiter, the 40-ish owner of MulĂ©h boutique, but now is involved with Ebong Eka, a mid-30s man-about-town accountant/aspiring designer. Last fall, she sold her four-bedroom condo at the Georgetown Ritz-Carlton for $5.3 million and moved out of the city. She was named last year to Washingtonian's best-dressed list. Bravo informs us she's into astrology, "shooting clay pigeons, riding ATVs and cooking a mean fried chicken."

    Read also: Our colleague Lisa de Moraes looks at the history of D.C. reality shows and wonders if the nation will tune in. Bravo reiterates they had no idea the Salahis were nonvites to the White House until after the fact -- and discloses that another gate-crash, at the Congressional Black Caucus gala, will be portrayed. "'Real Housewives': Will wonky Washington again have reality-TV viewers tuning out?"

    Read also: Our colleague Emily Yahr's highlights from past seasons and other cities, "'Real Housewives' tales we won't soon forget."

    Read also: Chasing fame: Tareq and Michaele Salahi and the making of "The Real Housewives of D.C.", Nov. 30, 2009

    See more photos of the "Real Housewives of D.C."

    Get text alerts for Reliable Source blog posts and articles about Bravo's "Real Housewives of D.C." reality show. To subscribe, text "dcwives" to 98999. Message and data rates may apply.

  • By The Reliable Source  |  June 15, 2010; 1:06 AM ET
    Categories:  Real Housewives of D.C.  
    Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Rep. Bob Etheridge gets vicious in viral video -- but who filmed it and why?
    Next: Madeleine Albright's pin collection comes to Smithsonian


    Finally. We all have waited to hear this!

    Can't Wait to see Michaele Salahi.

    Seems the whole world is waiting too.

    Posted by: lisag1 | June 14, 2010 11:23 PM | Report abuse

    I wish reality tv shows would stop giving trash like the Salahis a platform. I don't know anything about anyone else on the show but I've heard more than enough about the Salahis to last a lifetime.

    Posted by: VAChristopher | June 15, 2010 12:25 AM | Report abuse

    Thank goodness I don't watch Bravo. The Salahi's don't live, vote, or pay taxes in D.C. They live in the State of Virginia. The show should be entitled, "Real Housewives of Virginia".

    Posted by: Ward4DC | June 15, 2010 12:38 AM | Report abuse

    I hope they are more dignified than their predecessors.

    Posted by: hakafos44 | June 15, 2010 12:55 AM | Report abuse

    And the point is? The whole country is falling apart and this rag posts fluff stories designed to show off a lot of rich privileged witches. They don't look like DC housewives to me. The 'real' DC housewives are hanging on by their fingernails not showing up for photoshoots.

    Posted by: Calabrese99 | June 15, 2010 3:56 AM | Report abuse

    I'm ashamed to say I clicked on this article because I have a fascination with grifters and con men/women like the Salahis. Accidentally the link came up about Teka Adams, an expectant mother in DC who was kidnapped and held hostage by another woman who wanted her unborn baby. I ask you what is the reality of being a "real housewife" in DC. The vapid, airheads (who all probably live in the suburbs) or young women like this who actually live in the District without wealthy husbands to support them? I suspect it is somewhere in between, but you would never know this by watching these so-called reality shows.

    Posted by: ExPatYankee | June 15, 2010 4:09 AM | Report abuse

    Most people have already read about these grifters in the Post after they crashed the White House dinner.

    Why would anybody want to see more of them? They don't have one accomplishment, other than suing Tareq's parents for control of their winery and having crashed a White House State Dinner.

    They are the stereotypical grifters, however. If they were any more polished at the art of not providing a straight answer to any given question, they could pass for politicians.

    Posted by: postfan1 | June 15, 2010 6:33 AM | Report abuse

    Enough of this garbage of one woman in particular - Michaele Salahi - who remains but a con artist and criminal in the eyes of this writer and evidently most other viewers. The other women featured appeared to be accomplished women of the community and area; however after reading the earlier article this weekend of the 'The Polo Match on the Mall associated with this woman and her husband, enough is enough. The Post is too good of a newspaper to publish such garbage as it continues to do with this woman esp. She is truly a liar and thief of other's monies. Please no more!

    Posted by: davidmswyahoocom | June 15, 2010 7:04 AM | Report abuse

    BRAVO should change its name to CRAP.

    Posted by: UnknownHenson | June 15, 2010 7:17 AM | Report abuse

    Lynda Erkiletian looks like Danielle Staub on the NJ Housewives - ick nast.

    Posted by: jackdmom | June 15, 2010 7:46 AM | Report abuse

    Micheale Salahi picture taking up nearly half the front page of the Style Section--it sickens me.

    It's not enough that Bravo feeds into her graving for attention but you choose to disgrace us as well with her photo. Oh sure, the article may not be too flattering about the show but hey...Micheale, the liar, fraud, got what she wanted.

    Posted by: hessjack | June 15, 2010 8:14 AM | Report abuse

    What is wrong with this country ?

    Stop watching reality TV and

    Posted by: DaveinDC3 | June 15, 2010 8:32 AM | Report abuse

    One has to wonder how society creates people such as these----totally self absorbed and entitled, and who contribute nothing to society. equally sad, if not moreso, is that anyone would care about them or want to watch whatever this program is actually about. Just one more sign that our country has gone down the tubes.

    Posted by: ihave4ducks | June 15, 2010 9:11 AM | Report abuse

    If the rest of America already didn't hate Washington enough; this show will probably push disdain for Washington over the edge...

    Posted by: Aerowaz | June 15, 2010 9:18 AM | Report abuse

    Only in DC would anyone worry about whether these people are truly representative of power players in the city. In Atlanta and NYC no really cared! It is just a "reality" show!

    Posted by: john_baxter | June 15, 2010 9:19 AM | Report abuse

    "But who cares! This will be reality TV in all its semi-staged glory."

    But who cares? Jeez, I guess anyone that has a freaking brain in this country. Tired of this regurgitated cr*p. REAL Housewives? Please, what a load of garbage, you should all be ashamed to be excited to watch this.

    Posted by: Bigfoot_has_a_posse | June 15, 2010 9:24 AM | Report abuse

    Just remember this: No one is completely worthless - they can always serve as a BAD example.

    Posted by: ehsmith1 | June 15, 2010 9:52 AM | Report abuse

    I care so little that I can barely muster the energy to type this.

    Posted by: losthorizon10 | June 15, 2010 10:13 AM | Report abuse

    Question who are these people? Does anyone from DC actually know these folks? And another thing I went to the Bravo TV website and it mentions nothing about the "Real Housewives of DC" so tell me is there really going to be a show? Just because they film something doesn't mean it is going to be aired. It maybe the case that the Salahi's have messed that up for everyone else.

    Thinking this might be a good thing for the residents of DC. With people like the Salahi's disrespecting the President by illegally attending that party who needs them representing DC? We Sure Don't!!

    Posted by: msruby36 | June 15, 2010 10:16 AM | Report abuse

    DC just got a little bit dumber. Do any of these broads even live in DC?

    And couldn't they have at least picked a bunch of attractive women instead of these old cows? Way to make us look like a bunch of ragged out hasbeens.

    Posted by: damnit79 | June 15, 2010 10:31 AM | Report abuse


    Hi Michaele [or Michelle, your legal name].

    You know, you just might try to be a little more creative and not quite so obvious.

    Just a thought.

    Posted by: LAWPOOL | June 15, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

    More, more, more of the Salahis!! We want more!! They are big news!! Please, write more about them!!

    Posted by: LifeBeforePrinciple | June 15, 2010 10:47 AM | Report abuse

    Looks like ugliness was the requirement.

    Posted by: boblas | June 15, 2010 10:57 AM | Report abuse

    Thumbs down from ME! Washington,DC is a predominately African-American city-state. The characters are not a good representation of our city. One Korean, One Spanish, Two African-American, One Mixed Race and a Caucasian or two would make the picture perfect!

    Posted by: beautifiedone | June 15, 2010 11:08 AM | Report abuse

    More white people on tv..what's so new about this show. I love Real Housewives of Atlanta.

    Posted by: clifton3 | June 15, 2010 11:12 AM | Report abuse

    Stacie seems to be the only one who has the stats to be a part of the cast. I'm so dissappointed. Basically, Bravo is saying that no self-respecting socialite would live in DC.

    Posted by: BrooklandReppa | June 15, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

    Good heavens! What trash.

    Posted by: jeanlucca | June 15, 2010 11:46 AM | Report abuse

    In DC, there should have been at least one male housewife.

    Posted by: PepperDr | June 15, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

    All I can say is.. yuck. Which is what one usually says when they see a pile of garbage.

    Posted by: Logan1245 | June 15, 2010 1:51 PM | Report abuse

    I will consider cancelling my subscription to the Washington Post if I see one more article about the Salahis. These are local scam artists who have taken advantage of local citizens. It is an outrage that they are constantly being shown as the "beautiful couple." I cannot stand it anymore and I see that I am in very good company. Please stop giving these people and platform.

    Posted by: helenemw | June 15, 2010 3:11 PM | Report abuse

    That Erkiletian woman strongly resembles the chestburster from Alien in that photo.

    Posted by: Michael36 | June 15, 2010 3:26 PM | Report abuse

    Michelle should really create a new screen name other than lisawhatever...I'm actually starting to feel a little sorry for her. By the way, we never heard who the superstar musical guest was at the Popeyes fest (not quite fair as I'm very fond of Popeyes). How did the flyover's and military parades go? Were the representatives from your main sponsor Kingfisher pleased? Did the Pakastani's make it back to Florida OK? Please let us know...I guess I missed the big profile that your other sponsor the CW ran of the event on TV.

    What I actually think is funny is how the Salahi's think this is positive for them. I'm really jealous that I'm not going to be outed on national TV crashing the Congressional Black Caucus Dinner, the White House State Dinner, talking about the winery we own, my former days as a Redskins cheerleader and supermodel, all the money for charity we raise....etc. Let's not forget our close personal relationship with the Obama's and the British royal family.

    Unfortunately for them this might potentially give the agencies investigating them for fraud quite a bit of ammunition.

    Posted by: jennifers1 | June 15, 2010 3:52 PM | Report abuse

    First of all, how can you pick 4 suburbanites to represent Washington DC? The only real representative is Ms. Turner, she lives and works in DC. The Salahi's, be for real, they are criminals! Ms. Ashley has only been in the country for 2 years,and the other two are only connected to the city by owned businesses. Didn't want to take the time to find real women in DC huh?

    Posted by: bufordp1 | June 15, 2010 4:17 PM | Report abuse

    lisag1, are you personal friends with that White House crashing pond scum? Because I can't imagine any other reason you would post something so ridiculous.

    What is the world coming to when watching trash television about trash people is entertainment? Sad statement about our society....

    Posted by: CAC2 | June 15, 2010 4:34 PM | Report abuse

    So the white trash Missy Holt made it onto the show. She is such a phony. Those who know all about her in real life cant wait to start spilling the beans. Hold on to your weave michaela- its going to get really bumpy for you

    Posted by: arm320 | June 15, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

    Memo to CAC2: lisag1 is actually one of those White House crashing pond scum, only you just didn't realize it.

    Posted by: ehsmith1 | June 15, 2010 6:23 PM | Report abuse

    Maybe the money they 'earn' from Bravo will pay for the therapy that their children will need once the show finishes its run.

    Posted by: willoughbyspit | June 15, 2010 8:45 PM | Report abuse


    Well, your comment is interesting.

    But the Salahis [thankfully, perhaps] have no children.

    Don't personally know why, but if I had to guess, I'd venture to say they both are really much too self-centered and busy in their endeavors to deal with the annoyance and expense of children.

    But, your comment regarding the money they may "earn" is well-taken.

    There are many, many people out there owed money by this couple, and I hope all of them with recorded judgments are already stepping up to the plate and standing in line to serve Bravo with writs of attachment/garnishment to collect that which is justly due them before that $$ ever gets into the hands of the Salahis and disappears down a rat hole.

    Posted by: LAWPOOL | June 16, 2010 4:51 PM | Report abuse

    Join our Facebook page: Tell the White House Party Crashers to Go Away

    Posted by: seraphina2 | June 16, 2010 4:56 PM | Report abuse

    I actually know Mary and her husband Richard. (Richie). I've known them for years, and I'll tell you they are great people. Bravo edits things to make it look like, for instance, Mary is drunk (she was drinking water). Her dad, Bob, is a great guy and has long been involved in charitable endeavors. So, yes, to answer whoever wrote this article, people actually do know these people, and I'm here to tell you that Mary, at least, is a real person, and very nice too. I don't know the others...

    Posted by: | August 6, 2010 7:56 AM | Report abuse

    Watched an episode of DC Housewives the other night. I keep wondering if Mary Amons is a lush. I mean come on-----who carries bottles of wine to your family's Christmas card photo shoot? Is she that insecure? Then the drunken show at her birthday party was pretty embarrassing, Her "THIS IS A NEW DC" diatribe concerning the integration of hair salons was enough to make the audience cringe for eons. Maybe outre' behavior is just part and parcel of her lineage. I remember reading about her Grandfather, Arthur Godfrey, buzzing the tower at the Leesburg VA airport---a serious enough infraction that he was kicked out for awhile. Godfrey was pissed because he was not given VIP treatment in his choice of where to land his plane. Then he did it again while landing in Chicago. He was a real jerk. The funniest thing I remember was how Godfrey dissed NASA and the whole space program shortly following Neil Armstrong's first walk on the moon. Godfrey went on The Dick Cavett show in NYC back in 1968 and said we did not need anymore bags of rocks from the moon and made other disparaging remarks. Well, this really pissed off Richard Nixon and he punished many of the Cavett show staffers by ordering intense IRS perusal of their tax returns! Godfrey and his sour personality was the impetus for the movie "A Face in The Crowd", a memorable movie starring Patricia Neal and Andy Griffith.

    Posted by: normahjordan | August 12, 2010 4:15 AM | Report abuse

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