Michaele and Tareq Salahi may arguably be the most outrageous Real Housewives characters to hit the franchise. Not only did they create a media and legal frenzy last November when they crashed the White House State Dinner, but Tareq’s family business has gone bankrupt (his relationship with his parents is also in turmoil, which may be shown on,the show) and their annual Polo charity event has questionable financial practices. Some may even call it is a scam, con, or fraud.
Featured on the very first episode of The Real Housewives of DC (airing tonight at 10 p.m. EST) the Salahi’s America’s Polo Cup brings the glitz, glamour, and hyperbole. Tareq describes the event as “the kick-off really, for the season of galas, parties, balls, cocktails, and networking. These are the power players. These are the who’s who in terms of every segment you can imagine.”
It’s amazing that the who’s who of every segment you can imagine would be attending an event like this every year but the general public had no knowledge of it before last fall’s antics. The website even claims that the event has been “patroned every year by the President of the United States.” Again, interesting that this happens but the public has had no knowledge of it.
But, apparently the Salahis are always run a bit loose when it comes to true statements. For instance, the website also claimed that Land Rover, Cartier, the St. Regis Hotel in Washington and the Ritz-Carlton Hotel Co. were sponsoring the event, but the Washington Post says these companies deny any such sponsorship.
There are now a gaggle of angry vendors who have set up booths at the America’s Polo Cup in years past and say they haven’t been paid for their services. Among them is fellow Real Housewives cast mate Lynda Erkiletian, a modeling agent who once helped the Salahis with the runway portion of the event. She explains on camera during the first episode that she’s participated in America’s Polo Cup in the past, but “nobody got paid.”
“Even if she’s a friend, I cannot work with people who are not being professional. When I have worked in the past with the America’s Polo Cup, nobody got paid! I just have no desire to ever go back or be associated with that little goat rodeo.”
CNN found the Salahis to be involved in 16 different civil suits, which include over $500,000 in unpaid expenses to America’s Polo Cup vendors.
This is all extremely troubling, but let’s move on to the most questionable aspect of this sporting event (which also features a fashion show and a silent auction): the money is supposed to go to charity, but it doesn’t.
A couple years ago Tareq Salahi told The Washington post that the 2007 event sent $250,000 to charity, but their charity Journey for the Cure Foundation only reported receiving $18,608.
If these numbers are to believed, it looks like the Salahis may be running some kind of game with this event to fund their lavish lifestyle and fill in the financial gaps in their struggling winery.
That’s exactly the conclusion Washington advice columnist Andrea Rodgers of AskMissA.com has come to. In fact, she believes that the whole White House crashing was really an attempt to help boost fund-raising for this year’s USA vs. India match, by proving to interested corporate sponsors that they were tight with both Barack Obama and India’s prime minister Manmohan Singh.
They did something similar in 2007 by taking pictures with Prince Charles and then claiming to the State of Virginia that the Queen of England was coming to the Cup and Prince William would be playing in the U.S. vs. England match.
These two certainly seem to get be getting away with a lot, but will it ever catch up with them?
As Michaele Salahi (who constantly lies to the press about being a former Miss USA and Redskins Cheerleader) says in the promo below “People have a hard time saying no to me, and that’s just been my blessing.”
Bravo, you’ve outdone yourselves with these two.