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Time-travel, crashing 101, and old news: D.C. "Housewives" recap and fact-check (#4, Aug. 26)


Finally! The episode where they took this photo we've been overusing for the better part of a year: Sixty percent of the 'Wives at the Ted Gibson Salon opening party last September. (Jamie Windon)

Welcome back to "The Real Housewives of D.C." -- the episode with seedless grape-stomping, family mysteries, and, best of all, time travel! It's also the episode when the show's producers finally started to catch up with the nine-month-old headlines (i.e., party crashing) that spoiled all its suspense long before it aired. (At least in OUR world, that is. In recent days, we've seen TMZ break the astounding news that someone has sued Tareq Salahi for an alleged unpaid debt of $4,000, and RadarOnline reveal that he's embroiled in a feud with his mother. To which we can only say: OLD! Those of you who choose to get your "Housewives" recaps from The Paper That Brought You Watergate already know that for the Salahis, a $4,000 lawsuit is chump change -- a Post investigation last year found at least 30 such lawsuits filed against them since 2004, many in the five figures -- and the messy, sad family feud over Oasis Winery has been simmering in our pages for three years now.)

It opens with Lynda Erkiletian, in her Georgetown Ritz condo, cooking for her boyfriend Ebong... and her roughly college-aged kids, two of whom are wearing colorful patterned footed PJs. (Maybe they felt the need to ramp it up, personality-wise, so as not to get lost on Bravo's cutting-room floor.) She talks more about her search for a new home (she sold the Ritz place around the time this was being filmed last fall and moved to McLean). "The apartment just is not big enough," she tells the camera. "I'm going to miss Georgetown -- nothing like security and a concierge and 24-hour room service." (True, actually -- that's what it's like living in the Ritz.) But, "everything I've put my family through in the last five years, I owe it to them to give them a yard." (Aren't these kids too old to need a yard? Of course, one's never too old for footie pajamas...)

Stacie Turner sits in her living room with three women identified as her sorority sisters (she is a Delta Sigma Theta), back in town for Howard University Homecoming. One of them asks (in an apropos-of-nothing way that I'm sure wasn't prompted by a producer) for an update on Stacie's search for her birth parents. Revelation: Her birth mother, it turns out, was white, of Scandinavian descent -- and her birth father was a Nigerian man she met in the Peace Corps. Who doesn't know that Stacie exists. And the birth mother is doing nothing to help Stacie (who was adopted out of foster care, now her big cause) find him, and has been keeping Stacie a secret from her white family, which Stacie finds hurtful. And frustrating -- she wants to know who her people were. (This is easily the most interesting thing to happen on this show thus far, so obviously producers have to cut away from it pretty quickly.)

Mary Amons arrives early at the opening of Ted Gibson's new salon in Chevy Chase. She tells the camera that she feels responsible for getting him established in D.C. "People like to call Washington the Hollywood for ugly people," she explains. (Someone supposedly said this once, but mostly it's lazy feature writers using it in the same indirect way Mary does -- "It's been said that Washington is Hollywood for ugly people..." -- so they can pivot away with a cheesy transition like, "but whoever said that must not have met THESE eligible bachelors/stunning singles/Beltway trendsetters/whatever blah blah blah...") Anyway, says Mary: "I want to put us on the map." But then Michaele shows up in a white backless dress, hugging Ted over and over and saying she loves him. We see Mary bristle, a bit jealous; and wary, too, as Gibson thanks Michaele for "sponsoring" the opening party. All Michaele did, says Mary, is bring some wine.

(And hey! It turns out that this party about to unfold is the ur-D.C. Housewives party, the big camera-mobbed party last fall, the one that pretty much confirmed who the main Housewives would be. You know -- the one we keep running the same damn picture from. That was so far back we didn't even know yet who the mysterious blonde British woman was.)

(And hey again! It also turns out that we are time-traveling! This party, according to the Reliable Source archive of all things Housewives, was way back in September -- just a few days after the America's Polo Cup event we saw in the first episode. And the Gibson salon party was a couple weeks BEFORE the Washingtonian best-dressed party we saw in that same episode, nearly a month before the Paul Wharton birthday party featured in the second, and at least a few weeks before the Turners' Paris trip we saw in last week's episode. It could be that Bravo is taking reality TV to the next level by experimenting with the non-linear narrative form so well deployed by Fellini, Altman, Tarantino, and ABC's "Lost." It's an approach that, upon second or third viewing, renders the hugs and "I love you"s exchanged here by the recently feuding Michaele Salahi and Lynda no longer nonsensical but deeply poignant -- we're in the past, you see, before the ugliness began and they were still friends. Or maybe Bravo got lazy, kind of like when they accidentally inserted footage that made it look like a 3rd District D.C. cop car was escorting the Salahis to a party instead of a Park Police vehicle. Reality!)

Highlights of the party: Mary tells the camera she thinks the Salahis "use their wine to get into places and get to know important people." She smirks to Catherine Ommanney about "people who get into charity just to promote themselves -- social climbers." And Cat exclaims, as if the two of them have discovered some rare affinity, "I despise social climbers!" (Poor social climbers. Won't someone stand up for them?) Then Mary tells the camera, "In D.C., there is a certain standard of integrity that you must demonstrate, otherwise you're not going to make it." (Make up your own joke. I'm getting tired.)

In McLean at Mary's home, we see her oldest daughter Lolly talking about her new job as an executive assistant and her hopes to find a place of her own -- which Mary reminds her better have room for her big, heavily shedding dog Kona. (We met Kona in episode two; Mary has since clarified on her Bravo blog that he is part Bernese mountain dog, part English mastiff.)

Michaele places phone calls inviting everyone to come grape-stomping at Oasis Winery. Lynda can't make it on account of her son's ball game, but she tells Michaele how much she'd like to see her: "I miss my old Michaele-ah." (Lynda appears to be the only person who pronounces the name this way.) To the camera, though, she says "I prefer to save my energy for people I love and care about."

Then we have a scene with Mary, Cat, and Ted Gibson's husband/partner Jason Backe at Contemporaria furniture store in Georgetown (and briefly meet its owner Deborah Kalkstein, who is said to have been in talks early on with producers about maybe being a Housewife; didn't happen, obviously). Mary is irked with Cat for dissing her idea of painting her dining room high-gloss black, and for making fun of the chairs in the store. (Or so it seems -- a definite sense of pique is at least suggested by the editing of this scene, but who ever knows.)

And then, in another magical apropos-of-nothing moment, Jason announces, "I've been dying to tell you this story all day" -- which turns out to be the story of how the Salahis crashed the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner. He says the Salahis invited him and Ted, but when they arrived, it seemed the ticket only said, "admit one." But the Salahis told him not to worry; they maneuvered their way past security, and once in, started working the room and looking for empty chairs. Until finally, "five or six Secret Service walk over" and escorted them out. Mary is horrified, considering that she'd used some of her precious social currency to introduce Ted and Jason around town: "It does not look good to sneak into a party, especially when Secret Service is involved." Says Cat: "I'm really embarrassed for everybody!"

(So, this was a real thing. The news of this particular breach broke last November, a few days after the Salahis became world-famous for crashing the White House state dinner in November. The Salahis, asked about this incident in their first post-crash interview on "Today," insisted that they were there properly as guests of their lawyer Paul Gardner -- which then compelled Gardner to hire his own lawyer. What a mess, huh? However, this is the first we've heard that Ted Gibson and Jason Backe were along for the madcap ride; in Jason's telling, it seems the hairstylists did not get bounced out with the Salahis. We tried to tease out some more details from the hair guys, but Gibson's publicist responded that he's not discussing this.)

A black stretch limo drives around to pick up the whole gang, or much of it, for a day of grape-stomping -- Stacie and her husband Jason, Cat and Mary (both sans husbands), and Jason Backe. (Hey, where's Paul Wharton this episode? Not the same without him!) Meanwhile, Michaele and Tareq are raising an Oasis flag at the winery. "We're back!" Michaele explains, before telling the camera: "This is the first time we've had guests here since the ruling from the judge. It was two and a half years of litigating." (Hmmm? Yeah, this is the family feud we keep telling you about. Tareq's parents Corinne and Dirgham, the founders of Oasis Winery, sued him a few years ago for an amount that ultimately reached $3 million, alleging he ran their business into the ground by embezzling funds and taking wine without payment for his own enterprises; Tareq countersued. Eventually, the winery filed for bankruptcy, as did Tareq's business, and the judge last year dismissed the suits after both sides essentially ran out of money. His parents also filed to evict Tareq and Michaele from their apartment at the winery.)

The drama appears not to have subsided, though. Tareq and Michaele have hired private security, to ward off any interference from his mother. "My mother disrupts everything we try to do," he says. Corinne is on the property (her face is fuzzed out; apparently she didn't sign any waivers to join this little goat rodeo), and the couple fusses that she has beckoned a reporter to the scene. (We know him! Dan McDermott, publisher of the Warren County Report, which has diligently covered the drama around the Salahis in Front Royal and Hume, Va. Dan was either saddened or relieved today that he didn't fully make it on screen. Last fall, he told us about his surreal adventures stumbling upon this shoot -- read about it here, at the end of our story about the making of Housewives -- which involved producers at first shooing him away, and then -- after Tareq delivered to Dan an on-camera soliloquy about how screwed up his family was -- kissing up to him to get him to sign a waiver. Alas, in the end, they didn't use that scene.)

Tareq calls the gang in the limo and leaves a message advising them to pull up to the right of the winery, since "we've had some issues with my mother trying to disturb the day." This gets the gang talking. Mary offers that the only time she's ever seen Michaele without Tareq was way back in the day "when she was behind the counter at Nordstroms selling me makeup." (Catty? Maybe. But true.) Jason Backe tells everyone the story of the CBC gala, which freaks out Stacie. "It's just rude, disrespectful, especially to the African-American community." And when she hears that Tareq has guards at his place: "I've got two young kids, I can't be walking into something with security in the middle of Virginia!" (For a beautiful moment, it seems that Stacie is about to say, "Hey, I didn't sign on for a TV show like THIS!" Bless her heart, she stays in character, doesn't break the fourth wall... but you know that even nine months before the Whoopi-Michaele smackdown, that's exactly what's what she's thinking.)

At the winery, Tareq explains that "my mom is unpredictable, you never know what she is going to do." Cat tells the camera (months later, judging from her grown-out bangs) that all this security is ridiculous. Tareq, in jolly host mode, insists that everyone's going to have to stomp out three gallons of grape juice; he blows a whistle at them. Cat thinks this whole scene is weird, and says so. She refuses to play: "I'm not stomping, I'm spectating... I hate being bossed about." There is much griping about Cat being a bitch, but she endears herself (to us, the viewers) by gaping at the weird staginess of the whole thing: "Is this my life? Is this my life?" Mary and Stacie gamely get into the grape-stomping vat with Michaele (everyone absurdly wearing at least one item of white clothing into the vat), but soon Mary is badmouthing the whole scene to the camera as well: The grapes, she said, aren't legitimate winemaking fruit but the same as the "seedless grapes I have in my refrigerator." (Dan McDermott tells us he learned from a Front Royal grocer that the Salahis came in that morning to buy a big crate of grapes and tried to haggle over the price. Have we already mentioned that Oasis is more or less defunct, the vineyards no longer producing grapes?) Still she and Jason insist on declaring the event was "great" and "fun," to which Cat replies several times, "Bollocks!" Then, of course, she leaves early with Jason Backe.

The remaining visitors sit down to eat in the winery's vat room, and Michaele starts gossiping about the just-departed Cat. (The following conversation is poignant, because you sense that Michaele is still under the illusion that this is just another season of "Housewives," where they sit at dinner tables and talk about the others, and that Cat is the antagonist character, the Teresa-the-table-flipper if you will, and she herself is the heroine.) Mary sorta defends, or at least explains, Cat -- "If she gets the sense she's not into it, she's out." Says Michaele, "It's not good to insult people -- or do you feel good about that?" (This is a tautology comparable to hating social climbers.) Mary is nudged by the invisible hand of the producers to bring up Jason's story of how they crashed the CBC gala -- and the Salahis sort of dismiss this by saying, well, that's ludicrous. Michaele, to the camera: "No one gets into a place where the president is speaking without tickets!" (On her Bravo blog, Michaele acknowledges there was "a little drama" that night, but denies that "Secret Service" escorted them out. She's splitting hairs here -- CBC officials made it clear the Salahis were escorted out, but by a different breed of security personnel working the event, not Secret Service.) And then she turns it into a why-are-you-talking-about-me-behind-my-back thing, and oh god, we're back to the debate over whether Lynda said that Michaele is too skinny (FOUR episodes they've devoted to this!), with an added back-and-forth about was Mary making fun of Michaele before the Ted Gibson party, or was that just Lynda and Cat. (Ladies, please. If you can't say something incendiary enough to start some table flipping, maybe best to say nothing at all.)

And then, the invisible hand nudges Mary again to look at the tense-faced Tareq and say, "You have something to say." And he say, "I'm just going to say something..." -- and, cliffhanger! The previews make it seem very exciting: Mary asking if Tareq is implicating her daughter, and Tareq threatening that "everybody's going to jail!" and Mary weeping. (We think this involves a criminal charge that Tareq attempted to file against friends of Lolly Amons -- we told you a little bit about it at the end of this story about reality TV hijacking the news cycle -- but we'll just wait to get into it next week. Hell, it's all old news anyway, if it's even news at all.)

Who wins this round? Stacie and Cat, for subtly revealing their deep remorse for being on this show. Cheers!



Read The Washington Post's coverage of The Real Housewives of D.C.

Also:
Episode Three (8/19): This looks a little bit staged
Episode Two (8/12): Whose house is that?
Episode One (8/5): Who are these women?

By The Reliable Source  |  August 27, 2010; 11:56 AM ET
Categories:  Housewives recaps , Real Housewives of D.C.  
Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   Del.icio.us   StumbleUpon   Technorati   Google Buzz   Previous: Amelia Earhart flies into Statuary Hall
Next: Love etc.: Russia House lovebirds marry in Moscow

Comments

I've read other recaps of these initial episodes, some of which do add hilarious snark. But yours are unique in helping us understand what the heck was actually going on when they shot the footage.

Thanks so much. It's tawdry stuff, but that's clearly why we like it.

Such a windfall for you two, eh? Lloyd Grove and your other predecessors must be eating their hearts out!

Posted by: MeriJ | August 27, 2010 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Agree with MeriJ - hilarious as always, ladies!

Posted by: Lizka | August 27, 2010 4:53 PM | Report abuse

Does anyone really give a damn about these deadbeats!

Posted by: Jimbo77 | August 27, 2010 7:18 PM | Report abuse

The litigation appears to be ongoing. In Michaele's blog on BravoTV.com, she mentions a court case regarding the winery that will begin on September 25.

Posted by: red_hawk1968 | August 27, 2010 7:25 PM | Report abuse

There is nothing real about Michaele Salahi. Broke and self-absorbed she wants everyone to stop talking about her and her husband Tared Salami Crashing the WH. If we don't talk about that all that is left is a trail of bad debts, a winery in bankruptcy, a family's internal fued fought out in the courts, charity scam scandals, and a narcissistic, self-proclaimed "It" couple thinking if they put on the pretense long enough they will be accepted as part of Washington DC's elite.
Join our Facebook page: Tell the White House Party Crashers to Go Away http://www.facebook.com/WhiteHousePartyCrashers

Posted by: seraphina2 | August 27, 2010 8:31 PM | Report abuse

It's all just so... Gosh. The mind boggles, the heart weeps, and the laughter just won't stop. I don't think I have it in me to actually watch this mess, but I'm loving the recaps!

Posted by: Bob-S | August 27, 2010 9:43 PM | Report abuse

So if Jason and Cat rode all the way out to Oasis in the limo, how'd they get home?

Posted by: twb6yz | August 27, 2010 9:51 PM | Report abuse

"seraphina 2" aka rachel janickey harshman
get a life. you devote all your time to hating on Michaele . Like Laurie said you look scary. At leat you eased up on your facebook - now try to get a life and get off all the blogs with your hate.
really, when you had no where to live
Michaele was the only one to help you and Cal. Lauren you go next on this .
I guess this is the only way she can get people to talk to her.

Posted by: lisag1 | August 28, 2010 1:24 AM | Report abuse

lisag1:

I really am curious. Everyone assumes you are Michaele. Are you?

I saw the show (ep 4) for the first time this evening. Several people came off differently than I expected. So now I'm ensnared and have to go back to watch the older episodes.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 28, 2010 3:16 AM | Report abuse

seraphina2:

Keep up the good work.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 28, 2010 9:43 AM | Report abuse

Some words written by a certain W. Shakespeare many years ago best sum up what Dirgham & Corinne Salahi have no doubt been thinking about their son Tareq: "How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is to have a thankless child."

Posted by: ehsmith1 | August 28, 2010 10:26 AM | Report abuse

@twb6yz- This is unreality TV. Anything's possible...;)

Posted by: semilost44 | August 28, 2010 10:30 AM | Report abuse

ehsmith1:

Very well put.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 28, 2010 10:53 AM | Report abuse

Where did Michale stage her "dialing for stompers" routine? It looked like the lobby of the old Library of Congress and since apparently their real abode is a 1/4 step above a pad site in Manassas (when not at their retreat, or should I say in full retreat, when they live out of the trunk of an Audi one step ahead of the repo man) this was not "home".

Stacy is the only worthwhile human being on this show, certainly the only one that bears passing resemblance to anyone I actually know or would want to know. She is your typical upwardly mobile, educated, well spoken, well modulated, young mother type which is a better representation of DC then the failed Vegas lounge acts the others characterize.

The brit is particularly galling with a veneer of pretension(because we in Washington have never seen this act before)slopped onto a broken down Heather Mills wannabe.

Poor hapless Mary should back away from the "Carol Joynt Other People's Bottles of Whine Georgetown Breakfast Tour" and try to get the dosages on her medications stabilized. And stop beating up on that poor dog!

The other broad, what's her name, is just kind of scary and it won't end well, but it does have something to do with human trafficking.

Posted by: SoCali | August 28, 2010 11:48 AM | Report abuse

LisaG1 is Obviously one or Both of the Salahi's taking turns writing glowing reviews about themselves all over the internet. Each time swearing everyone is Jealous of them.
Is it Hate Missy? Or more like calling you out on the Con artist that you are? You and your Cosby sweater sporting husband are as Authentic as the Fake Patek Phillipe watch you were sporting,desperately trying to keep up the illusion of wealth and status when in fact you are DEAD BEATS,Broke and penniless, living above the winery in an apartment, that of which your own MIL is in court trying to get you EVICTED. 40+ yrs old,so DESPERATE to hang onto your parents business tooth and nail. GET A REAL JOB-Contribute something worthwhile to society other than being LEECHES an hosting PHONY Charities to line your own pockets.
I APPLAUD Seraphina! Love your site! Keep it comin!!

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 28, 2010 8:42 PM | Report abuse

Your both Parasites. The fact that your not even permitted to visit your ailing father Tareq without Police supervision speaks for itself. All those cases of wine you claim to have donated..Funny how there were Police reports filed by your own Mother of break ins of those very cases of wine Missing..Yet you continue to keep up this Flimsy fascade of prominence The whole world isn't laughing with you, WE'RE LAUGHING AT YOU and your Faux Pretentious pompous delusional selves. I take sheer pleasure at laughing at your expense! The only talent you have is being a FAILURE.

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 28, 2010 8:48 PM | Report abuse

Tareq & Michaele, both of you have to be two of the most miserable people I have ever seen in my life. What deep insecurities feed this obsessive need both of you have to be part of Washington high society, so much so that you craft phony charities, run your family winery into the ground, arrange phony polo matches, attempt to pay off debts with fake watches, and crash the White House?

Both of you have no one to blame but yourselves for the bitter fruits you are now harvesting, including the ever-growing list of angry creditors to whom you owe money. It's definitely a sign of high society to be living in an apartment above your parents' winery, only to have your own mother trying to get you evicted.

Posted by: ehsmith1 | August 28, 2010 10:34 PM | Report abuse

I'm personally offended by Stacie's incessant need to throw in the Race card each time any non black person disagrees with her, or God forbid not feel comfortable around her. I too am not a fan of Tyra, does that make ME RACIST? NO, it doesn't. I happen to like Cat's brutal honesty, had it been ME at the winery with the Salahi's there would've been Worse things said. How any of those ladies can contain their composure is beyond me.. I would've called them out on their actions, told them EXACTLY how I felt.

How Ironic that Stacie has learned her mother is White. Karma?

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 28, 2010 10:46 PM | Report abuse

Missy has no other defense other than, people are Jealous and Obsessed with her. She spewed the very same crap on The Today show, The View and Bravo blogs.

Yes, you are correct Missy...I'm seething with Jealousy- How I wish I could be in my 40s being Evicted from a squalor of an apartment above a winery barn, having everything I've ever owned Repo'd, being sued by practically Every person I've come into contact with. I wish I possessed the desperate need and talent for Pathological Lying in order to create a delusional life that never was,not to mention the Endless desperate self promotion,starved for attention is Psychotic. Instead of spending all your time on the internet perhaps you should invest some of that Bravo money and time into checking yourself into some sort of Mental facility. You both obviously suffer from a deep seated self HATRED hell none of us can imagine. I have nothing but absolute Contempt for the two of you, I cannot wait until the day your Carted off to Prison. I cant even imagine the Jubilation across the globe -Headlines everywhere Celebrating your incarceration.

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 28, 2010 10:59 PM | Report abuse

LAWPOOL:

In the course of search through earlier posts (to see who Holly1971 is) I found the following tidbit of yours from back in February. I had never heard this, although I did examine the Journey For the Cure financials for a recent year, which I believe showed a couple thousand or so in grant dispursements and $20K or so in expenses.

But this is even wilder than I expected. Do you still believe it to be true? Your words from here on:

"And here's a detail the press has yet to pick up."

"Remember the $24K bad check written to the Montgomery County Maryland government for booze at the Salahis' May 2009 "America's Polo Cup" [a corporation also organized and owned by the Salahis]? Well, guess what? That check was not written from their America's Polo Cup business account, but rather from the account of their so-called charity, Journey for the Cure Foundation."

"The event was billed as America's Polo Cup with proceeds to benefit the Foundation. Instead, it appears it may have been the exact opposite-- the purported charity underwriting their business venture and supporting their lavish party lifestyles."

Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 1:15 AM | Report abuse

Regarding LisaG1:

I guess Lisa isn't going to answer, but it occurred to me after watching episode 4 laaate last night that she might also be Michaele's assistant, Jennifer Wood.

I thought her comeback to Cat ("Love is better than being bitchy to everybody") at the wine stomp was classic.

But I don't know if she's still on Team Salahi at this point.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 1:31 AM | Report abuse

LisaG1 is none other than Missy herself. As I said, anytime anyone makes a comment about their Ridiculous fraudulent escapades she has no other Retort other than accusing ppl of being Jealous and Obsessed. I doubt highly its the Assistant, but then again given Missys limited vocab and lack of brain cells, she probably has her comments ghost written...She has the mentality and attention span of a Gnat.

If you wanted to know anything about me, feel free to ask,I'm also on FB. Other than that I am a regular tax paying citizen residing in the city of DC.

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 29, 2010 3:13 AM | Report abuse

Let's not forget about their Recent scam with the Premiere party they claim they weren't actually hosting at EFN lounge in DC- Proceeds were supposed to go to an organization called "Honor and Remember" dedicated to our brave soldiers, not a single solitary CENT was ever donated.Despite charging 20-500,the charity received NADA, meanwhile the Salahi's once again back pedaled their story -using their excuse the media was once again "Misinformed"

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 29, 2010 3:18 AM | Report abuse

They also continue to use their Law group as an excuse stating they were invited by Paul Gardner, the only problem with That story is, The Law firm was NEVER on the list either.

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 29, 2010 3:25 AM | Report abuse

FYI- Her name isn't Missy - she was born Michelle Ann Holt. Apparently Michelle just couldnt bare to go through life as plain old Nobody, hence the name changes/,monikers.

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 29, 2010 6:06 AM | Report abuse

MeriJ:

In response to your inquiry, here are the facts:

1. The 2009 America's Polo Cup was an event organized & promoted by Americ's Cup of Polo, Inc., a VA corporation created and wholly-owned by Tareq & Michaele Salahi.

2. The event was billed as a charitable function, with proceeds going to benefit Journey for the Cure Foundation, Inc., another VA corporation created & controlled by Tareq & Michaele Salahi.

3. The event was held over a weekend in May of 2009 at the grounds of the Capitol Polo Club near Poolesville.

4. The Salahis secured a temporary liquor license from the County to serve/sell beer & wine at the event.

5. The week before the event, the Salahis ordered approx. $24,000.00 of product from the MC Dept. of Liquor Control.

6. The Dept. always operates on a COD basis, so when the product was delivered to the custody of the Salahis, they presented a non-certified check for the full amount written on an account of Journey for the Cure Foundation.

7. It is my understanding it didn't take long for the County to determine the check was no good.

8. It also is my understanding the Salahis explained they had made a "mistake" and written the check off the "wrong" account [their finances being so sophisticated, don't you know].

9. It also is my understanding the Salahis promised to provide a good check on the following Monday [notice-- after their event].

10. When the County went to the premises on Monday, the Salahis were nowhere to be found, nor was there any aubstitute check.

11. The County did manage to repossess approx. $10K in unopened product.

12. Repeated attempt to contact them by the County over the summer in order to collect the difference were unsuccessful.

13. On December 2, 2009, Montgomery County filed a civil suit against Journey for the Cure Foundation and the Salahis indvidually in the amount of $14,440.75. That is docketed as Case No. 0601003452009 in the District Court of Maryland.

14. To date, the Defendants appear to have been adept at avoiding service of process, so this case is languishing in the Court.

I trust that answers your inquiry.

As an aside, I will note that passing a bad check in an amount in excess of $500.00 is a criminal offense in MD [and a FELONY at that-- punishable by up to 15 years in the state prison], and I don't understand why the County has not sought the filing of a criminal complaint against these deadbeats as well.


Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 29, 2010 11:21 AM | Report abuse


MeriJ:

And as a P.S.:

1. Given the fact it has now been over 17 MONTHS, anyone with a grain of common sense would conclude this was no "mistake" on the part of the Salahis.

2. But for the fact they were able to fast-talk their way into snookering the County of Liquor Control to wait for payment until after their "presitgious" event, thereby giving them an opportunity to pull of the event and then skip, the County trucks would have been out there in a heart beat to recover the product.

3. Some may opine that just might be a good indication that these people are not nearly as stupid or clueless as they would have you believe.

Just my opinion.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 29, 2010 11:31 AM | Report abuse

Sorry, Holly. I wasn't trying to figure out who you are, literally, but rather what kind of posts you've made in the past.

LAWPOOL and I were chatting the other day about the tone of our posts when discussing the Salahis. For the record, LP, compared to Holly you don't seem angry at all! --grin--

I remember back in December when those fake IDs starting cropping up after every Salahi article. That was back before this voices.wp blog thing was set up and you could still right-click a person's name to see all their comments at the Post going back several years. (Why doesn't that work now in most Style section articles?)

Anyhow, a blogger named Spring_Rain pointed out that all the pro-Salahi IDs(with nearly identical wording in their posts) had zero prior history commenting at WaPo until that very day, whereas all the people he or she was claiming to be Rachel Harshman in disguise had histories going back at least a year or two.

So there is no doubt in my mind that LisaG1, Susan etc. are one person. One sees his or her posts all over the Internet. And, yes, Occam's Razor would suggest they are Michaele. But we don't know that. It could be an obsessive uber-fan. They do exist, you know.


Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 1:06 PM | Report abuse

>FYI- Her name isn't Missy - she was born Michelle Ann Holt. Apparently Michelle just couldnt bare to go through life as plain old Nobody, hence the name changes/,monikers.

There's so much that is truly despicable here, I find the emphasis on her changing her name to be a distraction. Plenty of people change their names to better convey who they are hope to become. It's not a bad thing. Suggestive of a larger pattern, maybe, but not a bad thing, per se.

I try to call people whatever they choose to be called. Referring to her as Missy in our posts doesn't feel good to me.


Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 2:10 PM | Report abuse

If the Salahis were pure evil, I would not be as interested in following their story.

What fascinates me -- and I admit, I do find them fascinating -- is 1) trying to imagine what's going on in their heads and 2) imagining how their path sank to such depths over the last six years.

I doubt either of them were as awful as they have become since joining forces. The potential must have been there, but the opportunities they've created for themselves as a team appear to have overwhelmed their sense of balance and certainly any sense of propriety.

And as unforgivable as I find their behavior -- specifically, the charity fraud -- I still wonder how horrible it must feel like to be so reviled in the public eye.

Omarosa established a niche that captured who she is but is presumably satisfied with the outcome. These people's reputations are dead in any of the circles where they would hope to associate. What they have left is pretty grim: paid appearances at parties where people find it amusing to mingle with headline trash.

Even grifters are people. That's why I find them fascinating. There is a tragic element to their story. But without heroes.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 2:33 PM | Report abuse

BTW, I would pay to mingle with them! I know that's an embarassing admission, because we shouldn't reward them, etc.

But I would be fascinated to experience them pouring out the charm, looking me in the eye and convincing me in that moment that everything I had believed about them was wrong. And then waking up the next day trying to reconcile that experience with the hard cold facts.

I'd consider it an immunization.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 3:27 PM | Report abuse

Your right Meri but I think the various alias's supports her desperate need to create a life that never was.

Tareq himself created an entire persona that doesn't exist in the form of a supposed Polo official "David Mortz" who only exists online. No one in the Polo world has ever heard of or laid eyes on in person, yet he is (from the Salahi's proclamation)a Big wig.

If I sound Angry, Guilty. I cant imagine any person with a shred,ounce of decency wouldn't be.

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 29, 2010 8:55 PM | Report abuse

And don't forget those broadcast emails from "Roger Stern," CEO of the equally fictitious National Polo League!

Yeah, you don't have to convince me that they are grifters. Case closed.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 9:16 PM | Report abuse

Wow. Talk about serendipity! To respond to Holly I had to google to remind myself what that fake polo commissioner's name was. Guess what I found while doing so?

Three comments by Michaele's assistant JenniferWood1 following that First Chukker vs America's Polo Cup article in the Style section way back in July 2009:

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2009/07/rs-polo28.html

Check out some of the keywords in her third entry:
------------------------------

"Horselover? Got to be a first chukker polo player who is angry. Cheap shots. Reading this you are quite a jealous guy. You are consumed with the Salahi's. I am happy to meet. Let's all meet. Maybe I can get the money from first chukker back that you made me give you. You are the one hiding in "horselover"?

"Attacking the nurse was low. Anything, but that. These chukker guys are gross. Horselover can't give his name. We have.
The article was about chukker. Horselover is obsessed with Salahi."

"I encourage that nurse to send to a paper her story. Jealousy is consuming these first chukker guy's. No one seems to know who they are anyway? Now we will never forget."

Posted by: JenniferWood1 | July 29, 2009 9:36 PM | Report abuse


Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 9:28 PM | Report abuse

Of course, if you guys are correct, that might have been Michaele posting via her assistant's ID... Either way, it comes close to matching the wording in the fake ID posts.

Something about Jennifer speaking up in episode 4 made me wonder. Funny how the brain works, no?

Posted by: MeriJ | August 29, 2010 9:34 PM | Report abuse

I disagree with your statement the Salahi's arent pure evil. I Personally believe the potential to go all Mendez on his parents is there. Tareq isn't permitted to visit his ailing father without a police officer present. Tormenting his elderly mother through the court system,legally raping his parents of their own business. When they did give him a chance to take the helms, due to his fathers deterioration, he ran Oasis into the ground.
I cant help but feel such sorrow and empathy for Corrine, being a mother myself I just can't imagine the magnitude of pain shes endured all these years..

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 30, 2010 1:53 AM | Report abuse

Holly1971 & MeriJ:

I probably should not even go to the time of commenting [believe me, I have more important things to do -- like actually working for a living, unlike the Salahis].

Don't you know, the problem with any written or spoken words of opinion or characterization is that those words have different meanings to all of us, sometimes nuanced, sometimes substantial, dictionary definitions notwithstanding.

Think about it. It really is entirely subjective.

I can tell you what Uraniam is. I can tell you what the numeral 5 stands for. And I can point to the sun and say that is the sun. I cannot tell you, however, nor could I ever be so bold as to tell you, what "evil" is. That's one of those terms like "obscenity" which is impossible of accurate definition, only description to the effect that one "knows it when they see it", and even then, it's up to the discretion/definition of the viewer.

Ezcept in the absolute rarest circumstances, [i.e., sociopathic serial murderers], I sort of doubt most people could ever agree on what is truly "evil".

And even with regard to a wretched sociopathic murderer, some might opine they are not actually "evil", according to one's own subjective belief, but rather just mentally challenged from a pathological behavioral standpoint. [I don't necessarily buy into that BS, but a lot of otherwise intelligent people do.]

So, as a practical matter, different people can come to different conclusions/opinions/descriptions within a very broad range. That is the subjective nature of such charticaterizations and more or less descriptive terms.

One might consider some people good-hearted but misunderstood; another might say the same people are well-intentioned liars; another might say the same people are intentional liars and consummate grifters; another might say "despicable" and/or "outrageous", but nevertheless redeemable. Others might opine such people are just "evil" and may be sociopaths in their own right with no redeemable qualities.

It is up to each one to draw their own conclusions based upon the facts. I will not criticize or chastize anyone for publicly expressing their opinon about anything. That is their right. I might tell them I disagree and tell them why, but that is, after all, the true nature
of public discourse guranteed to all of us by the Constitution.

Just my opnions.


Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 30, 2010 3:23 PM | Report abuse

Gosh, I’m going to pout in the corner until someone points out how brilliant or scary I am for spotting that Jennifer Wood post. That article came out six months prior to the onslaught of fake ID posts (like LisaG1) that pop up every time the Salahis are mentioned in the media.

So allow me to bore you with a recap:

1. Everyone assumes that LisaG1/Susan/Jennifer/Kathleen, etc. are actually Michaele using fake IDs.

2. Jennifer Wood is Michaele’s assistant (the one with the great one-liner in defense of Michaele last week on RHODC)

3. In JenniferWood1’s post after the First Chukkers article in July 2009, she (or maybe Michaele or maybe the two of them writing together) used the following themes in chastising an anti-Salahi commenter named Horselover:

“Horselover? Got to be a first chukker polo player who is angry. Cheap shots. Reading this you are quite a jealous guy. You are consumed with the Salahi's […] Horselover is obsessed with Salahi. […] Jealousy is consuming these first chukker guy's.“

Posted by: JenniferWood1 | July 29, 2009 9:36 PM

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/reliable-source/2009/07/rs-polo28.html
.
.
C'mon. Tell me that’s not cool! And I owe it all to Holly. Any other week of the year and I wouldn’t even have recognized Jennifer's name.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 30, 2010 4:48 PM | Report abuse

It's even more interesting if you read the article and then all the comments. The primary theme is whether most of the people posting comments are using fake IDs to vouch for or malaign the Salahis.

The pro-Salahi continguent includes two separate stories of Tareq and Micheale interventing directly to save the lives of children with cancer.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 30, 2010 5:27 PM | Report abuse

Folks:

I thought I would share this.

This is a direct quote from Tareq Salahi, April 2009 re the charity, Journey for the Cure Foundation, Inc., a Virginia corporation created and controlled by Tareq & Michaele Salahi, seeking support for the May 2009 America’s Polo Cup, to be held in MD, another VA corporation organized, operated and wholly-owned by Tareq & Michaele Salahi [remember at that time the Foundation had never registered to fundraise in VA or MD, much less filed any financial statements with either jurisdiction]:

“We’re passionate about MS. . . . . . .The Journey for the Cure Charity comes in and they [Note: ‘They’ is his very curious term. It was never a question of ‘they’, it is in fact THEM, Mr. & Ms. Salahi, their corporation which they founded and which they exclusively controlled] provide funding for these different charities that we support. And we do direct and indirect funding, which is really creative, especially in these difficult economic times, we find ways of raising more money than you can just by using direct funding.”

Translation: ‘If you want to support MS, give your money to us through our America’s Polo Cup. We can make your donation go even father.’

Question: Exactly how much was raised for their so-called charity in light of the fact that vendors were not paid, and a 5 figure check was bounced from their so-called “charity” to the government of Montgomery County, Maryland just to pay for their booze?

And a final question: Was that just all a scam, duping gullible and otherwise intelligent people by perhaps trading on the image of handicapped children? One has to wonder. Indeed, some might be inclined to opine, given the substantial passage of time, it may now beyond the point of legitimate debate.

So, if that is the case, which I’m not stating it is, if some want to characterize the Salahis as “evil” for the possible depth and outrageousness of their potential deceit, while I may not necessarily agree with the utilization of that particular term, I certainly wouldn’t have a problem with it, if that’s what people wanted to believe.

Just my opinions.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 30, 2010 5:28 PM | Report abuse

For some strange reason, the Salahis come off as a far more pathological and dangerous version of Hyacinth Bucket from "Keeping Up Appearances."

To quote again a previous blog post after their appearance before Congress, "Fame is fleeting, and as the limelight fades, their future 'party circuit' will only include venues having sawdust on the floor."

Posted by: ehsmith1 | August 30, 2010 5:41 PM | Report abuse

ehsmith1:

Your comment is well-taken. And, yeah, I tend to agree. Sort of makes one wonder . . . .

Posted by: LAWPOOL | August 30, 2010 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for the recaps so I don't have to watch. You all are going to have to do some serious disinfecting when this show is over - eyes and ears for sure. Good luck!!

Posted by: MILWI | August 31, 2010 12:37 PM | Report abuse

Its funny, a good friend of mine posted a few comments on Michaele's facebook page,to her surprise Diane Diamond sent her a Friends Request. Yep folks, the very same Diane Diamond that penned the Salahi's book painting them to be victims of the media,along with her conspiracy theories of making accusations this was all an Plot to take down the Salahi's (so much for credible Journalism) per various news articles on the net giving their own thoughts and opinions on the book. While I don't plan on ever purchasing the "book" and I do use this term rather loosely, it seems to me its no more credible than rag mags at the check out line at Giant,with headlines in bold print about King Kong and Sasquatch sightings. Although, God forbid should I ever be in a dire situation in a public bathroom without toilet paper I would use it to do my business. lol

Posted by: Holly1971 | August 31, 2010 1:55 PM | Report abuse

I'm holding out hope that the book is not quite what the Salahis think it is. Up till now, Dimond was an investigative reporter, not a vanity ghostwriter. On the cover, the Salahis are not listed as co-authors -- all it says is that it was written with their full cooperation.

I'm sure I'll get flamed for admitting it, but I actually pre-ordered the book based on this frail, frail hope. (If I'm wrong, it should at least be a humorous read -- a book to read out loud to your loved ones!)

But if it actually is what the advance copy claims -- "innocent couple lynched by copycat mass media in the age of the Internet" -- I would imagine our commentary here might be a small part of the story.

According to that storyline, the gossip writers at WaPo twisted a simple misunderstanding into A BIG STORY, which was then copied without further verification across the media world. Meanwhile, WaPo churned out scornful follow-up pieces to feather the Reliable Source women's careers, thereby enflaming the public to lynch the poor Salahis, particularly here in the comments section of their home newspaper.

That's what I would write, anyhow.

The funny thing is that I've had those exact thoughts about a number of other news stories recently. Shirley Shirrod was the rare example where the injustice of the original reporting was so great that the system self-corrected before the cycle moved on to newer stories.

There really are few paid reporters left in America these days, and if you don't publish a hot story immediately, you get left in the dirt. So the original version is pretty much what gets reported everywhere. Virtually no fact checking, much less independent investigation. Go to any ten major newspapers and read the national news -- they all run the same AP wire story.

So maybe Dimond has an ax to grind with the state of the media these days.

But the Salahis!!! Making her case via their "story" would effectively end her career as a semi-credible journalist.

It's the case where the flawed system actually worked. Where, in fact, the real story was five times worse than the relatively minor incident that we heard about in the initial reporting.

So I'm clinging to my frail hope. Bring it on, Diane Dimond.

Posted by: MeriJ | August 31, 2010 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Salahis track record of fraud and deceit is amazingly consistent – at least based on what we have all read in news reports. When something like this happens once, you give the party the benefit of the doubt.

But when it happens 50 times in a row, you begin to wonder. Either that or you drink some more Kool-Aid.

The pattern I see:

1. They create fake aliases to praise themselves and attack their enemies.

Aside from the sock puppet comments that follow Internet posts, the fictitious Roger Stern, David Moritz and the National Polo League would prove this point. They not only used those fake personas to promote their polo event, they broadcast emails to the DC-area polo community issuing stern warnings about a rival charity polo group, pretending that they were issued from non-existent commissioners at this official-sounding “National Polo League” that no one in the Polo community has ever heard of.

2. They host charity events that benefit only themselves as hosts and certainly are not managed with an apparent goal of raising funds for charity.

Why no net proceeds, time and again? One, most of the alleged sponsors aren’t really on board (some of them make futile attempts to get Tareq to stop using of their name via emails, phone calls and legal notices for months prior to the event) and two, the Salahis comp all their friends to the events and the higher price VIP areas. As a result, there is virtually no income, leaving only huge vendor expenses that can’t be paid. Over and over this pattern repeats: the small business vendors are stiffed, the Salahis get to host a huge party for free -- but no money goes to charity. Tareq blames it all on the fictitious sponsors who failed to meet their obligations or even the vendors themselves for not having enough food in the VIP area where hordes of people were unexpectedly comp’ed.

And don’t even get me started on their closely-held Journey For the Cure Foundation. I’m sure it gave away some pittance of funds at some point in time. But mostly it appears to have been a shell in which to raise charitable funds that they spent on themselves. That’s just wrong.

(continued below)

Posted by: MeriJ | September 3, 2010 12:29 PM | Report abuse

3. To avoid paying creditors for their extravagant lifestyle, they counterattack via frivolous lawsuits and baseless accusations of physical abuse or theft.

It’s a classic con move (especially in politics, I’m sad to say): If you are guilty of something, accuse your accuser of the same thing, preferable before they can go public with their story. A tow truck driver shows up to repossess the Salahis’ car. Tareq grabs the guy’s keys and screams at Michaele to go get Tarek’s gun. The driver leaves in a panic. Within minutes the Salahis call 911 to report him for threatening them. (Tareq was found guilty in court for this one, but without consequence.) There have been so many of these calls to the police that only a child could believe them at this point.

And what about that attorney Cindy Revesman who accidently touched Michaele in a cramped courtroom? The lawyer was pointing and Michaele turned and came in contact with her finger. Michaele started shouting that the woman had hit her and filed a formal complaint to that effect, to the total bewilderment of the bailiff and other parties present. (I imagine Whoopi Goldberg dodged a similar bullet by the good fortune of having it on film.)

4. “Misunderstandings” are their friend.

When your kids pull this one, you let it go a few times. After years of the same pattern, helloo! It’s way beyond odd that this one couple is so consistently involved in unsavory episodes that they either blame on others or attribute to simple misunderstandings. The White House state dinner and the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation dinner are good examples here. They’ve learned that if they can pretend not to have understood that “no means no,” they can later claim anything they did was due to an innocent misunderstanding. Cool! Yet the week before the WH scandal Tareq is on record for having sought advice from Tim Burke of the gatecrashing reality show “MTV Blaggers!” for get tips for sneaking into black tie events. Helloo. And the Black Caucus was a charity event! Those tickets go for $750 or so. Maybe even more for the VIP section they supposedly snuck into later. Crashing a carefully orchestrated party you are not invited to is bad enough, but avoiding paying for tickets to a charitable event is just plain despicable.

It goes on and on. They made their initial splash into charitable society giving away the dwindling stock of his parent’s winery, thereby driving it more swiftly into the ground. They allegedly fulfilled the terms of a $100,000 USDA rural wine tourism research grant by submitting as their own work a previously published study conducted by the state of Virginia. People who scheduled weddings at Oasis allege mysterious credit card charges on their accounts. And on and on.

(cont. below)

Posted by: MeriJ | September 3, 2010 12:31 PM | Report abuse

They make up fake histories for themselves (such as Michaele’s Redskins cheerleader past) or grossly misrepresent minor roles as if they were something much bigger.

For example, Prince Charles. Let’s get this one straight. From what I’ve read Tarek went to England as a member of a Jamestown commemorative polo team to promote tourism in Virginia. Prince Charles graciously participated on the British team they played there. During the meet & greet that followed, just as the Prince reaches out to Tareq, a Salahi employee darts out to thrust a bottle of Oasis champagne in his stunned hand. Click goes the photo. Can you even imagine how tacky that would be?

Thereafter, Tareq claims that he represented the USA in its polo match with England, and further intimates that he can deliver both Prince Charles and the Queen at subsequent events here in America. And of course, he also claimed that the Prince had agreed to come to his America’s Polo Cup event, using that meet & greet photo as evidence.

Seen in isolation, these last examples are merely classless acts of self-promotion. But within the larger pattern of fraud and deceit, the term grifter is hard to avoid.

Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me 50 times in a row, shame on me. That’s why the Reliable Source reportage on the Salahis is indeed a public service. That it’s so over the top is why I find it entertaining.
.
.
But back to my earlier point. Despite everything I just wrote, I don’t think they are pure evil. And I have not lost sight of the fact that they are human beings like me. For one thing, they are too hapless to be pure evil. What professional grifter would agree to be filmed plying his or her trade? The Salahis are two seriously messed up individuals who enable each other’s weaknesses to the point that they have become caricatures. If so many people hadn’t been harmed by their antics, they would be pitiable.

Posted by: MeriJ | September 3, 2010 12:33 PM | Report abuse

"Evil", I believe, is a very subjective term, and people will define it as they wish across a broad spectrum, governed by their beliefs, including in some cases regligious beliefs, their own background, and their own internal moral compass.

"Sociopath", however, is a more or less defined term.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | September 3, 2010 1:13 PM | Report abuse

As Abe Lincoln I believe is crediting with coining, "You can fool some of the people some of the time, but not all of the people all of the time". Hopefully, this proves correct with the grifting issue...

Posted by: semilost44 | September 3, 2010 3:45 PM | Report abuse

semilos144:

Actually, the correct saying is:

You can fool some of the people all of the time;

You can fool all of the people some of the time;

But you can't ever fool all of the people all of the time.

Posted by: LAWPOOL | September 3, 2010 8:07 PM | Report abuse

Or as Barnaby, a local children's show host where I grew up in Cleveland, used to say:
.
.
Remember kids,

You can fool some of the people all of the time,

You can fool all of the people some of the time,

But you can't fool mom.
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However I date myself...

Posted by: MeriJ | September 3, 2010 9:41 PM | Report abuse

LAWPOOL:

I never was accurate with the verbatim thing. Actually, misquoting is one of my few character strengths.....;)

Posted by: semilost44 | September 4, 2010 6:55 AM | Report abuse

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