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â??Unwantedâ?? White House guest has area ties

February 15. 2013 4:37PM

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By Sheena Delazio sdelazio@timesleader.comStaff Writer
WILKES-BARRE – A woman authorities say was an unwanted guest at a recent White House dinner has ties to the Wyoming Valley.

FILE - In this Tuesday, Nov. 24, 2009 file photo, Michaele and Tareq Salahi, right, arrive at a State Dinner hosted by President Barack Obama for Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh at the White House in Washington. This time, the picture is the story. After the Secret Service insisted that President Barack Obama was never endangered by a security breach that allowed a couple to crash his first state dinner, the White House has released a photo showing that not only did the pair get close to Obama, they actually shook hands and talked to him. (AP Photo/Gerald Herbert, file)

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Salahis: Don’t call us party crashers

Michaele Salahi, 44, and her husband, Tareq, of Northern Virginia, were allegedly allowed into the White House state dinner last Tuesday but were not on the guest list.
Rumors circulated Tuesday in the Wyoming Valley on radio airwaves and elsewhere that Salahi, whose maiden name is Michaele Holt, attended King’s College in Wilkes-Barre and Bishop O’Reilly High School in Kingston.
A records search Tuesday turned up a James Street, Kingston, address where Michaele Holt Salahi lived dating back to December 1991.
When reached by phone Tuesday night, Rosemary Holt, Salahi’s mother, confirmed her daughter had lived in Kingston for a short time, and that Rosemary Holt had grown up in the Scranton area.
“We’re a good family,” said Rosemary Holt, of Fairfax, Va.
John McAndrew, a King’s College spokesman, said no Michaele Holt graduated from the college, and that there are no photos on record.
McAndrew said “Inside Edition,’’ a popular entertainment show, also called to see if Michaele Holt Salahi attended the college. McAndrew said he can not say whether Holt attended the school, as that is private information.
A source confirmed Tuesday afternoon that Michaele Holt Salahi did, in fact, attend King’s, but only took one course at the Catholic college, and did not graduate.
Holt’s and Salahi’s engagement announcement indicates Holt graduated from a King’s College, but didn’t specify where.
According to the announcement in Washington Magazine, Holt and Salahi were married on Oct. 5, 2002, in St. Matthew’s Cathedral in Washington, D.C.
The announcement says Michaele is the daughter of Howard and Rosemary Holt of Fairfax, Va., a graduate of King’s College, and professional model who has appeared in magazines including VOGUE, InStyle and Modern Bride, as well as several appearances on television and print ads, including MTV, Chanel and Saks Fifth Avenue.
Tareq is the son of Dirgham and Corinne Salahi of Hume, Va., and is a graduate of the University of California. The announcement says he is the CEO and owner of Oasis Winery and served on the governor’s board of the Commonwealth of Virginia as an adviser for the Wine Growers Advisory Board.
A call to a phone number listed as the Salahis indicated a voicemail box was full and messages could not be left.
Nancy Judd, who has lived on James Street in Kingston for more than 50 years, said she couldn’t recall a family with the last name Holt or a Michaele Holt living in the neighborhood.
Rumors indicated that Holt Salahi attended, and might have graduated, from the former Bishop O’Reilly High School in Kingston.
Associate principal of Holy Redeemer High School, Anita Sirak, who was formerly a principal at Bishop O’Reilly, said she couldn’t remember a student by the name of Michaele Holt, but that isn’t uncommon, as she’s seen many students come and go as a principal.
A 1983 Bishop O’Reilly graduate, who asked that The Times Leader not publish her name, searched Bishop O’Reilly yearbooks dating from 1973 to 1983 and turned up no one with the name Michaele Holt, who should have graduated in either 1982 or 1983.
A Times Leader reporter called several Holts still residing in and around the Wyoming Valley, many who said they had no relation to Holt Salahi.
The current owner of the James Street home that records indicate Holt Salahi resided in in 1991 said she bought the home from Dr. J. Murray Dolphin and his wife five years ago.
The current owner, who asked that her name not be published, said prior to her purchasing the property, it was rented to several people through the years.
“What a small world,” the homeowner said. “I’m sort of honored to live here.”
According to reports, the Secret Service has apologized for the breakdown in security at the White House, and an investigation into possible criminal behavior is ongoing.
The couple, which is seeking a spot on the popular series “Real Housewives of D.C.,” on Bravo, has been called to testify before Congress on Thursday to talk about their guest list-beating hijinks, reports say.

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