LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Are they up to their old tricks again?
Tareq Salahi and his wife Michaele Salahi, reality TV stars who gained infamy as the so-called White House gate crashers, grabbed headlines on Wednesday when he reported his wife was abducted, and she later contacted law enforcement officials to say she was fine and didn’t want him to know her whereabouts.
A spokeswoman for the rock band Journey said Michaele and the group’s guitarist Neal Schon were together in Memphis for a concert. “Nobody kidnapped her,” said the spokeswoman.
The FBI and law enforcement officials are investigating.
The mix-up, if that is what it was, began late Tuesday when Tareq Salahi contacted local authorities claiming Michaele was missing and had left their house without taking any belongings. He believed she was abducted, according to media reports.
But in a news conference outside the Salahi residence on Wednesday afternoon, a sheriff’s official from Warren County, Virginia said Michaele Salahi told their department she left with a good friend, was where she wanted to be and did not want her husband to know, according to Kris Van Cleave, a reporter for the local ABC TV station, who spoke to Reuters.
The sheriff’s official said they were working with the FBI to contact Michaele again in order to “assure her well-being,” and that officials were in touch with her family and friends.
A Los Angeles-based spokeswoman for Journey and Schon seemed to put an end to the story by late Wednesday, saying in a statement, “Scoop Marketing can confirm that nobody kidnapped her and that she and Neal are together, in Memphis, for Journey’s concert tonight at the Bridgestone Arena.”
This is not the first time the Salahis have created a media stir. The publicity-hungry couple famously snuck past White House security and into a state dinner in 2009. The exploit earned them headlines worldwide, and shortly thereafter she became a castmember on the “Real Housewives” reality TV show.
In a tearful interview with an NBC TV reporter in prior to the Warren County sheriff’s new conference, Salahi broke down and denied his wife’s disappearance was a publicity stunt.
Editing by Bob Tourtellotte