Tareq and Michaele Salahi's police escort raises eyebrows on 'Housewives' episode

Fashion is the ideal occupation for the stars of the "Housewives" franchise. Their job is to look good, stir up trouble and engage in consumer gluttony, says Washington Post fashion critic Robin Givhan.
Washington Post Staff Writer
Saturday, August 14, 2010

Trouble seems to follow wherever Michaele and Tareq Salahi go. Now, it's the cops who may be in trouble for hanging around with the Salahis.

On Thursday's installment of the reality show "The Real Housewives of D.C.," the infamous White House gate-crashers turned up at a party in typically grand fashion. As viewers watched, the couple arrived at a downtown District nightclub in a white stretch limousine escorted by at least one D.C. police car, lights flashing and siren sounding. The show presented the law-enforcement entourage as the Salahis' "police escort."

Except there could be a problem: D.C. police officers aren't supposed to escort ordinary civilians to parties, reality TV show or not.

On Friday, D.C. police spokeswoman Gwendolyn Crump acknowledged that the episode raised some questions. "The Metropolitan Police Department was not involved in any official escort of the Salahis," she said in a statement. "We are investigating the circumstances of the cruiser appearing in the segment." She declined to comment further.

A representative from Bravo, the cable network that airs "Real Housewives," could not be reached.

The segment in question was recorded last October, several weeks before the Salahis made worldwide headlines by slipping into a White House state dinner without an invitation.

The program, which aired Thursday night and will be repeated over the next week, showed the squad car lingering out front long enough for the camera to capture markings identifying it as a cruiser from the 3rd District. The nightclub, the Park at Fourteenth, is located at 14th and K streets NW.

The Salahis' arrival drew the attention of one of the other "housewives" on the show, Lynda Erkelitian, who sniped, "I think of that as being ostentatious, especially when they haven't been paying their bills." The Salahis have been sued by former business associates for the alleged nonpayment of debts.

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