'The Real Housewives' Michaele Salahi and Whoopi tangle after 'View'
By Reality TV World staff, 08/05/2010
The Real Housewives of D.C. star and alleged White House party crasher Michaele Salahi found more drama on Wednesday when she got into a heated backstage argument with The View co-host Whoopi Goldberg following an appearance on the ABC daytime talk show.
Salahi and Goldberg clashed following a contentious and tense The View interview in which Salahi and The Real Housewives of D.C.'s four other stars where interviewed by co-hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd to promote the new Bravo reality series, which will premiere tonight at 10PM ET/PT.
After beginning the cast's appearance by interviewing The Real Housewives of D.C.'s four other women, Behar and Shepherd turned their attention to Salahi, who, along with her husband Tareq Salahi, allegedly crashed a White House state dinner without an invitation in November.
However the co-hosts' attempts to ask Salahi about the event began to derail when Salahi and fellow Housewives star Lynda Erkiletian began to argue about a recent Television Critics Association summer press tour incident in which reporters saw Salahi's husband throw a glass of red wine at Erkiletian, resulting in Goldberg -- who was not part of The View interview but watching backstage -- briefly coming out on stage and putting her hand on Salahi's back and asking her to "get back to the White House, please."
Salahi appeared to brush off by Goldberg's action during The View's live broadcast. "If you want us to, we can go there," she replied before joking that "I felt someone touch me, I was like, 'Ew.'"
But once the live broadcast ended, Salahi allegedly began crying and accusing Goldberg of hitting her, leading to an altercation between the two women and Salahi's husband -- who was originally also scheduled to be part of The View interview, according to Shepherd, but had remained backstage due to the cast feeling "uncomfortable" around him following the wine-throwing incident.
"At one point during Michaele Salahi's appearance on The View on Wednesday, Whoopi lightly touched Ms. Salahi to get her attention and said to her 'Excuse me, can you get back to the White House, please,' meaning could Ms. Salahi return to the original subject of the conversation," ABC said in a media statement released Wednesday afternoon.
"After the show, Ms. Salahi and her husband accused Whoopi of hitting Ms. Salahi. As the broadcast clearly shows, the accusation was completely unfounded and erroneous. After the show and after being told she was being accused of hitting Ms. Salahi, Whoopi proceeded to defend herself verbally from this baseless claim in a heated exchange with the Salahis."
However Salahi lawyer Lisa Bloom claimed otherwise in a lengthy media statement about the interview -- which later featured Salahi dodging questions about the White House incident and claiming The View co-hosts were trying to "beat me up and hurt me" after Shepherd said "you guys should be in jail" and Behar (a former English teacher) corrected her repeated mentions that she had been the first woman "casted" on The Real Housewives of D.C..
"She was treated very poorly by the hosts of the show," Bloom said in the statement obtained by X17 Online. "In advance of Michaele Salahi's appearance on The View, the show was advised not to refer to Ms. 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 precorded male voice that announces the show."
"During pointed questioning about an unrelated incident where Ms. Salahi had been called 'anorexic' (also untrue), Whoopi Goldberg came from backstage behind Ms. Salahi, shook her arm, and told her to move on and talk about the White House. This was startling to Ms. Salahi, as she was being interviewed by Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopi Goldberg was not part of the segment. Ms. Behar and Ms. Shepherd were conducting the interview, so it was up to them to 'move along' to whatever topics they chose."
"Sherri Shepherd then told Ms. 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, Ms. 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 Ms. Salahi (yelling the word 'f--k' or 'f--king' at her dozens of times in a loud voice), accusing her of accusing Ms. Goldberg of 'hitting' her. Ms. 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 Ms. Salahi, refused to apologize for her language or her on set behavior, and left the room."
"Ms. Salahi's overall experience on The View was degrading and demeaning."