November 27, 2009
Posted: 02:57 PM ET
By Amy Argetsinger and Roxanne Roberts
Michaele Salahi spent seven hours in a posh Georgetown salon getting ready for her big night out. She was going to the White House for the Obamas' first state dinner. Creating the perfect hair and makeup for the glamorous blonde for such a special occasion would take time, of course. But then there were the cameras, the takes and retakes.
The Northern Virginia socialite was being taped by a production crew for Bravo cable channel's forthcoming "The Real Housewives of Washington."
"It was a lot of schmoozing with the staff," James Packard-Gomez, CEO of Erwin Gomez Salon, said Thursday, explaining why the hair and makeup session lasted from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The salon was abuzz because Michaele and her husband, Tareq, were among the 320 VIPs invited to join the president and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. "They were asking, 'So, what do you think of them getting invited to this?' "
The stylist doing Michaele's hair asked to see the White House invitation, Packard-Gomez said. "She starts rummaging through her purse, and then said, 'It must be out in the car.' "
Would the film crews get into the White House, too? " 'We tried,' " he says she told them, " 'but they wouldn't let them in.' "
But the White House says there never was an invitation. Somehow the aspiring reality-TV stars managed to get themselves in Tuesday night and were photographed with Vice President Biden and White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel, causing an international uproar about security at the executive mansion.
The Secret Service said the Salahis crashed the party and that the agency is investigating how the couple penetrated presidential security. The Salahis' attorney, Paul W. Gardner, posted a statement on the couple's Facebook page: "My clients were cleared, by the White House, to be there. More information is forthcoming."
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