Sometimes 15 minutes in the spotlight can turn into a lifetime of dealing with a felony.
No charges have been filed against Michaele and Tareq Salahi, who sneaked into the White House state dinner, but a “deeply concerned and embarrassed” Secret Service has not ruled out criminal charges.
It is not clear what charges will be pursued, and it will likely depend on what story and methods the Salahis used to get through the security checkpoints.
The Salahis have already obtained counsel, though so far it does not appear they’ve employed a criminal attorney. Entertainment lawyer Paul Gardner of Baltimore said his clients had been “cleared, by the White House” to be at the event, The New York Times reported.
A Secret Service agent disputed that assertion and said he had no idea how Gardner could make that claim.
According to the article, the Salahis have been involved in “extensive litigation” relating to the ownership of Oasis Winery, which was founded by Tareq Salahi’s father. They and the winery faced “hundreds of thousands of dollars of unpaid bills” according to “bankruptcy and legal findings.”
As the story continues to unfold, it will be interesting to see if the Salahis considered the legal fall-out of walking into the White House uninvited — whether they considered it worth the risks or did not consider the risks at all.
Bravo has confirmed the couple was under consideration to be part of “The Real Housewives of D.C.”
In the two recent examples of high-profile attention-seeking (the Salahis and the Balloon Boy extravaganza) it appears the failure to contemplate the criminal consequences is the most gaping hole in the blueprint of becoming a quasi-celebrity.
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