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Husband of White House gate crasher, TV personality Salahi 'devastated' she may have left him
FRONT ROYAL, Va. (AP) ' Celebrity White House gate crasher husband Tareq Salahi is glad his wife, Michaele, is OK but heartbroken that she's left home to be with another man, reported to be lead guitarist for the rock band Journey, the couple's attorney said Thursday.
Tareq Salahi had reported his wife missing Tuesday night, telling authorities in Virginia he feared she had been kidnapped. Authorities, however, said ex-reality TV personality Michaele Salahi told them she was fine and didn't want to return home. Then celebrity website TMZ reported that a representative for Journey said she was safe and with guitarist Neal Schon.
"Tareq is devastated but he is relieved to know that Michaele is safe," Salahi attorney David Silek told ABC's "Good Morning America. "That was his first concern."
Silek said it's premature to say if the couple would get a divorce.
"He's so devastated there's not a goal other than trying to figure out what is going on at this time," Silek said of Tareq. "If there's an opportunity for reconciliation, that's something they can and ought to explore."
Calls to Silek and to Journey's agent were not immediately returned. An Associated Press call to a number for Tareq prompted a recorded message that the line could not accept additional calls.
Diane Dimond, who wrote the book "Cirque du Salahi" about the couple, told the morning show that Michaele had been frustrated with her husband and that she had a previous relationship with Schon.
"She told me, in effect, that he was one of the loves of her life," Dimond told the show.
Warren County Sheriff Daniel T. McEathron told the AP that deputies believed Tareq's report was genuine and that authorities did not plan to press charges.
"We believe the Mr. Salahi did not know where his wife was. We know that she was not home, and we know that she was where she wanted to be. As of right now we don't think it's any different than the way it came in.
"If we know that this may have been some type of ... false complaint, I assure you that we would look into it a whole lot closer in a different direction because a lot of man hours were spent yesterday to work on this."
FBI spokeswoman Dee Rybiski also said no charges were likely because "there's nothing to indicate any violations of federal law occurred."
McEathron said the sheriff's department had investigated complaints from the couple about comments they found threatening posted on Facebook "for quite a while now," but that they hadn't found any viable threats.
"Some of it is maybe that the person didn't really threaten them but they took it as a threat," he said.
But McEathron said deputies weren't concerned that the threats had led to a kidnapping because they were able to talk to Michaele Salahi within minutes of her husband's report and determine that she was unharmed.
"They had a good long conversation so it wasn't like she was being prompted to say any one thing, so we didn't feel that played a part in it at all at that time," he said.
The Salahis burst onto the scene in 2009 when they crashed a White House state dinner. Michaele Salahi was a cast member of the reality show "Real Housewives of D.C." last year, but the show was canceled after one season.
The couple posted a picture of Twitter of themselves with Schon and other band members last week. TMZ posted video of the couple partying with Schon at their embattled winery last year.
Aside from the couple's gate crashing troubles and failed reality television attempt, they also have experienced business problems. The winery filed for bankruptcy, and its assets are scheduled to be auctioned off on Sunday. Michaele Salahi also released a single entitle "Bump It" that was not successful and was thrown off the reality show "Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew" when it became apparent she wasn't addicting to anything.