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It's not all glitz and glamour for Virginia socialites Michaele and Tareq Salahi

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It's a glamorous image.

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But Harshman, who says the couple owe her tens of thousands of dollars, said she had noted something odd when she had first met Michaele in the 1990s. At the time, she said, Michaele was working jobs in retail and living with her parents in a simple condominium in Oakton. The family was not wealthy, Harshman says.

One night out with friends, Harshman said, she was surprised when Michaele casually mentioned that she was a model. "I said, 'You never mentioned this to me before.' " Later, Harshman said, "it grew into 'supermodel.' I ignored it half the time."

Last year Michaele, now 44, told a Post reporter that she had been a Washington Redskins cheerleader, and she has been photographed at several alumni events. But the cheerleaders' director of marketing, Melanie Coburn, wrote in an e-mail: "We have no record of her being a member of the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders."

Nor could the Washington Redskins Cheerleaders Alumni Association find any record of her, said Terri Crane-Lamb, president of the association.

One former cheerleader, Konnie McKee, said Michaele came to alumni events, but no one remembered her being on the squad. McKee and Crane-Lamb noticed Michaele attending WRCAA events. "I remember Terri and I talking: 'What's the deal? Does anyone remember her?' "

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Tareq Salahi, 40, a polo player and wine expert, was also running up a sizable number of detractors.

He got involved in the Courage Cup, a polo match launched in 2004 by Greg Ball, a former Air Force officer. Salahi was later one of the board members who sided with Ball in a bitter feud (involving e-mails blasted to hundreds of area polo fans) over who controlled the event -- Ball, or the two women he asked to run it in 2006 while he pursued a state legislature seat in New York.

A Post investigation later found that as much as $10,000 in ticket sales to the Poolesville, Md., match -- though widely advertised as benefiting polo training for underprivileged kids -- ended up in a political action campaign started by Ball, and eventually into his campaign treasury.

Salahi then launched America's Polo Cup in 2007.


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