Michaele Salahi unleashed a bombshell Wednesday morning on “Fox and Friends:” she has MS (multiple sclerosis). There are accounts of her illness in the Diane Dimond book about them Cirque Du Salahi: Be Careful Who You Trust, which is out today, so they had to come clean about it. Dimond accompanied the Salahis to today’s interview and even spoke for Michaele when she was too verklempt to speak.
Michaele says she was diagnosed with MS 17 years ago, and finds her cast mate’s accusations that she has an eating disorder “hurtful,” implying that her weight loss is connected with the disorder. She reportedly suffers from a tingling feeling and exhaustion, especially under stressful situations, and that’s why they had to leave the White House party before the food came, not because they didn’t have a table and weren’t supposed to be there.
This is definitely an interesting development, but it’s hard to parse out exactly what’s true and what’s false in Michaele’s revelation. So much of what she and her husband have said and done on camera and to the media over the past year or so has been deception and spin that it’s hard to believe anything they say. They are the Gatecrashers who cried wolf.
On the other hand, just because she’s lied in the past doesn’t necessarily mean that she’s lying about being ill. Medical records are private, so there’s no way to prove or disprove her claims. Even Dimond, who believes the Salahis didn’t crash the White House and that Michaele has MS, doesn’t believe that she was a Redskins cheerleader and describes their shady business deals. “They may have been downright duplicitous,” she writes. “I have to conclude that Michaele Holt Salahi made up the story of having been a Redskins cheerleader … and once caught in the lie she responded by confronting those who questioned her with more lies,” Dimond writes. “It raised the question, What else might she have been less than truthful about?”
Here’s what we can speculate about from what we do know:
While many people become disabled from MS, early stages of multiple sclerosis can be well hidden (or easily fabricated) and include (via MayoClinic.com):
- Numbness or weakness in one or more limbs, which typically occurs on one side of your body at a time or the bottom half of your body
- Partial or complete loss of vision, usually in one eye at a time, often with pain during eye movement (optic neuritis)
- Double vision or blurring of vision
- Tingling or pain in parts of your body
- Electric-shock sensations that occur with certain head movements
- Tremor, lack of coordination or unsteady gait
The Mayo Clinic also note:
“Most people with multiple sclerosis, particularly in the beginning stages of the disease, experience relapses of symptoms, which are followed by periods of complete or partial remission. Signs and symptoms of multiple sclerosis often are triggered or worsened by an increase in body temperature.”
Michaele is claiming that MS causes her rail-hin figure, but the diet she recently detailed for Life & Style revealed a calorie deficient diet that could arguably only consist of 500-700 calories, well below the minimum 1400 needed to keep a normal, thin woman healthy. Furthermore, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society (via The Washington Post), weight loss or an inability to put on weight is not a typical symptom of MS.
“I start the day with a hot chocolate and cereal — I love Lucky Charms or Kashi GoLean — then some fruit. I don’t really eat a lot in the middle of the day. I have an early dinner, which is always a salad, with plain chicken, grilled or broiled.”
A Bravo rep has responded to Michaele’s MS revelation, saying that they were not informed of Michaele’s condition while filming.
UPDATE: Michaele explained her weight/MS connection further in this week’s People Magazine: “With MS, if you weigh more, it’s harder. My doctor said. ‘Keep your weight balanced.’ For MS it’s critical.” She claims to weight between 123 and 127 lbs.
She also added: “I”m the denial patient. I always say I can do it, even when I can’t. But my attitude carries me through.”
That statement seems to say much more about her psychology then just how she would respond to illness.
Photos by Neilson Barnard/Getty Images