Tareq Salahi, Officially Divorced, Sets His Eye on the Virginia Governorship

Only time will tell if Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi marry, and whether Tareq has any success as a politician.

By: Carol Ross Joynt

Tareq Salahi. Photograph courtesy of Salahi.

Tareq Salahi, along with his lawyer, is making sure everyone knows he is now officially divorced from Michaele and that a settlement has been reached in his $50 million lawsuit against her, her lover, Neal Schon, and Schon’s band, Journey. We’d love to share details—as in, did Schon, Michaele, or Journey actually pay Salahi any money, or vice versa?—but that answer may remain a mystery. Salahi’s lawyer, Charles Roberts, is mum about details. We do know that Schon and Michaele Salahi, according to their lawyer, are “very happy with the resolution.” There have been murmurs about marriage.

The Salahis starred in the ill-fated Real Housewives of DC and got worldwide attention when they “crashed” a White House state dinner. Later, Michaele ran off with Schon, and the two have remained relatively quiet and off the radar, except for defending themselves against Salahi’s suit and Michaele filing her own defamation suit against her husband, which was also resolved.

Tareq, on the other hand, in the spirit of “hell hath no fury,” has been public and vocal since his wife bolted. Today, on Facebook and by phone, he was chipper. “Everything has been settled, and yes, we are divorced now. I’m pleased. Moving forward. Happy to close that chapter,” he said. We asked if he got any money. “Oh, I can’t say. Everything’s confidential.”

What he did want to talk about is his campaign for governor of Virginia. Yes, you read that correctly. The man who became infamous for a reality TV show, who will long be called a “gate-crasher” and who refused to answer questions before a House subcommittee, has turned his focus to state politics. He’s seeking the Republican nomination and will launch the effort with a September fundraiser at his home in Linden. He said he would reveal his platform at that time.

If any money did change hands in the legal settlement, would it pay for a campaign? Salahi wouldn’t say. But he did want us to know this: “I was involved in local politics long before Real Housewives. I was appointed by three different governors to boards for tourism. A lot of people don’t know that side of me.”

The would-be candidate is not done in the courts. He still has a case pending against a former business partner, who handled what Roberts calls his “celebrity” appearances. Salahi has requested a jury trial in that case.

Neal Schon’s lawyer, Bruce Blanchard, pointing out that Salahi’s case against his client had been thrown out of court twice previously, had only this comment: “Settlement discussions arose after we had twice been successful in getting Mr. Salahi’s claims in the civil case thrown out. You can believe our clients are very happy with the resolution that followed these rulings.”