The affair became public knowledge last week after Michaele’s soon to be ex-husband Tareq Salahi publicly stated she had been missing and kidnapped. TMZ however reported the next day that the former Real Housewives of DC star had simply decided to run off with Journey guitarist Neal, whom she had been having a 2-year affair with.
In their first interview since the incident became public, the two are speaking out about their relationship and how they became a couple.
“It’s like a fairy tale. It is, it really is,” said Neal to the Daily Beast about finally being able to be out in the open with Michaele. “I’m very happy, very happy after waiting for her for 15 years. Now I want to get beyond all this media hype that Tareq has put out there. It’s really quite embarrassing.”
It gets even better as Michaele goes on to reveal that she dated both Tareq and Neal back in the late ’90s, but ultimately decided to choose Tareq after being diagnosed with multiple sclerosis. She apparently believed she would receive better care from him.
“I chose Tareq over Neal because I thought life would be less stressful living on a vineyard in Virginia,” said Michaele. “Life on the road with a rock band…well, I thought I might not have been able to keep up.”
The two admit that the Journey concert at Tareq’s winery in Virgina early this month (Tareq was also in attendance) was a turning point in their
affair relationship. “I began to see he really loved me. I had to begin to feel it completely in my soul, ” she said with Neal adding that Michaele told him she loved him that night.
“What happened was…she takes off her wedding ring…right in front of Tareq. Takes it off,” Neal explains. “And then she proceeds to come into my dressing room where I’m sitting down. I have tennis shoes on and she’s like, nine feet tall over me. And she looks down at me like she’s standing on stilts and says ‘I love you, and that’s never gonna change.’ And when that happened I said, ‘Get over here! This has taken 15 years!”
Michaele adds that she wanted to get on the tour bus and run off with Neal that night but ultimately decided to go home with Tareq to avoid humiliating him. Though she would end up doing just that about a week later.
“I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I realized I was hurting myself,” she said of her decision to finally leave Tareq, whom she refers to as “controlling.” Neal chimes in adding that Tareq would order Michaele around, take away her money, phone and car so she had to be dependent on him, and also tell her when she could and couldn’t leave the house.
“I was going crazy,” says Michaele. “Because when you want to be with someone that bad, you start to go crazy. He [Neal] sent someone to come get me. I got on a plane by myself and I just went. I just walked away from everything.”
There’s also speculation that Neal’s July wedding to wife Ava Fabian might have been more of a spiritual ceremony and not a legally binding wedding.
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