The TV Column: Michaele Salahi: I'm not thin, I have MS
This post has been updated with Bravo statement.
Tareq and Michaele Salahi fired a big ol' shot at Bravo network and the other cast members of "The Real Housewives of DC" when Michaele announced on Fox News Channel's "Fox & Friends" Wednesday morning that she suffers from Multiple Sclerosis.
"I've never had an eating disorder," Salahi told Fox News.
For the rest of the show's run, any time one of those chicks makes a comment about how thin Michaeles is - it's been one of the leitmotifs of this edition in Bravo's "Real Housewives" franchise - or rolls their eyes at something Michaele says or does, or says they don't want Michaele invited to their Fill In The Blank, both that Other Housewife, and Bravo, are going to look really, really cold.
Even though all the comments and all the eye rolling you see Thursday nights on Bravo was shot months ago, before Michaele's big announcement on "Fox & Friends." Which totally will not matter to "Housewives" fans, who, like fans of so many other reality soaps, seem to enter a Wonderful World of Reality TV Time when they're watching their fave franchise.
Wednesday's announcement is a public relations blow to those other housewives who have been at war with Michaele and Tareq since the time of the show's debut. There was the wine throwing incident at Summer TV Press Tour 2010. And the tension on "The View" stage when they all had to share a sofa was so thick you could've sliced off a wedge and spread it on a cracker -- though the biggest screaming match wound up being backstage between the Salahis and show co-host Whoopi Goldberg.
Cameron Blanchard, senior vp communications for Bravo and Oxygen networks, told The TV Column Wednesday morning "Michaele did not inform Bravo or Bravo's production company before or during production that she has MS."
Bravo has no plans to go into the remaining episodes of the first season to make any changes based on the Salahi's announcement on FNC, Blanchard added.
Asked whether Michaele's announcement would have any impact on a possible second season of the show, Blanchard responded, "We are focused on this season, which still has several episodes to go. We don't make decisions about a season 2 on a series until its freshman cycle is completed."
Yes, "The Real Housewives of DC" has now officially turned into "The Michaele Salahi Show."
Technically, it was Diane Dimond, who has written that book, "Cirque Du Salahi," who made the announcement on FNC Wednesday morning.
The Salahis were there to plug the book and because they had, as show co-host Gretchen Carlson put it, "a major announcement to make exclusively here on 'Fox & Friends'."
Michaele, sitting with husband Tareq, started to make the big reveal:
"I don't deal with anorexic. I'm not an anorexic and I've never had an eating disorder," She began. "But one thing I have kept a secret is, for 17 years...."
She became too choked up to continue. Dimond jumped in:
"For 17 years Michaele has suffered from Multiple Sclerosis. And when I watch 'The Real Housewives of DC' and I see this storyline of them picking on her, frankly - you know, there's always got to be somebody in those [reality series soaps] casts they pick on, and it happens to be Michaele: 'Ooh, she's anorexic, we have to have an intervention!'
"It keeps the storyline flowing," Dimond continued. "But unfortunately it's not true, just like it wasn't true that they were gate crashers."