White House party crasher says Journey profited from split with wife
Noted party crasher Tareq Salahi, whose non-invited appearance at a White House party with his wife in 2009 made waves and caused the President's staff to rethink its security protocols, is blaming retro-rockers Journey for his current mental and emotional ruin in a lawsuit filed against his now ex-wife.
The Northern Virginia Daily is reporting that Salahi has filed a $50 million suit in Warren County, VA, against Michaele Salahi and several additional defendants, including Nomota Inc., the rock band's business arm, accusing his ex of "humiliating him" by leaving him for Journey guitarist Neal Schon.
The suit reportedly alleges that Salahi and the band were in cahoots, and that his wife leaving him was part of a plan to generate media interest and bump up ticket sales for the group.
"Journey was currently touring the country and the concerts were not selling out," the complaint states. "Having been involved in the reality television business for several years, the defendants knew that a public affair would generate interest in both of them and immediate income for Neal Schon and Journey."
Michaele Salahi joined her new boyfriend Schon last year at the 2011 Billboard Touring Awards, where Journey was named "Legend of Live." According to Billboard, the band racked up more than $40 million from touring last year, which placed them 18th among all touring acts.
Salahi's main claim to fame before crashing the White House state dinner with his ex-wife was helping to run his family's wine business. Following the widely-publicized incident, the couple appeared on the Bravo reality show "The Real Housewives of D.C." in 2010.