Although their run on reality television is over (for now) after The Real Housewives of D.C. was canceled last year, White House gate-crashers Tareq and Michaele Salahi have managed to remain in tabloid headlines, captivating the nation with tales of their divorce that involve kidnapping, adultery, Journey, and a dead Doberman Pinscher.
According to journalist Diane Dimond, "there was always some self-destructive, percolating drama beneath the surface of their lives and, in this reporter's opinion, Tareq was the instigator." She says cash-strapped Tareq has been selling information (like videos of the couple, their pre-nup, and a picture of their dog Rio's corpse) to gossip sites like TMZ, painting Michaele in a negative light in a delusional bid to win public favor, as though it were something even up for grabs in their divorce. Dimond has unique knowledge of the former couple's interior lives after spending a lot of time with them while researching her book Cirque Du Salahi, written with their cooperation. (It was in her book that it was revealed that Michaele suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.) In an article she penned for the Daily Beast, about how off-the-rails their divorce has become, Tareq uncharacteristically would not comment. Perhaps that's because she seems to have his number.
Dimond describes Tareq as, in a word, an asshole.
Forty-two year-old Tareq displayed an almost childlike need to be the smart guy in the room, the one in control. While he had a sense of how to make money, he also exhibited a disturbing pattern of finding specious excuses for why he didn't need to pay his bills. "The caterer ran out of food," he told me about a polo event he'd sponsored, as if that were enough of a reason not to pay for any of the food served that day. As I got to know Tareq better, after publication of my book, Cirque du Salahi, I came to believe he was used to getting his way–or else!
She paints a portrait of an unhinged man exhibiting erratic behavior whose life was spiraling out of control due to money problems, legal squabbles and a family feud, and responded to the chaos by becoming an over-the-top controlling husband. When interviewed for the article, Michaele said, "Tareq was freaked out about the 9/11 anniversary and he didn't want me to go out … he worried about kidnapping." He would take Michaele's car keys and wallet so that she couldn't leave the house. He may have also been the reason that Real Housewives of D.C. was not picked up for another season, as Dimond describes his "simmering fights with TV producers on the set," demands to have Bravo pay for first-class airfare to attend events to which only Michaele was invited, pissing off the NBC legal department after using the network's logo and Real Housewives name to sell tickets to one of his private events, and behind-the-scenes altercations that caused the other cast members to refuse to work with the couple ever again.
While Michaele doesn't address Tareq's recent claims that Michaele lied about having M.S., she has one last thing to say to her estranged husband, "Tareq, I wish you the happiness I have now."
Michaele and Tareq Salahi's Hellish Divorce [Daily Beast]