Thursday, November 26, 2009
Tareq and Michaele Salahi -- polo-playing socialites known for a bitter family feud over a Fauquier County winery and their possible roles in the forthcoming "The Real Housewives of Washington" -- were seen arriving at the White House and later posted on Facebook photos of themselves with VIPs at the elite gathering.
But a White House official said the couple were not invited to the dinner, not included on the official guest list and never seated at a table in the South Lawn tent.
While the White House offered no official explanation, it appears to be the first time in modern history that anyone has crashed a White House state dinner.
Ed Donovan, spokesman for the Secret Service, said a preliminary internal investigation Wednesday identified "a Secret Service checkpoint which did not follow proper procedure to ensure these two individuals were on the invited guest list." He declined to give further details. An administration official said the White House will conduct its own review.
Polanski will have views of snowcapped Alpine peaks, spacious rooms and the all the amenities of a town with a reputation for catering to the wishes of the rich and famous.
But he won't be able to go out the front door.
In this isolated bastion of wealth—whichElizabeth Taylor once called home andMichael Jackson visited—the 76-year-old director will be placed under house arrest as soon as he posts $4.5 million bail, surrenders his identity documents and is fitted for an electronic bracelet that allows authorities to monitor his whereabouts.
The Justice Ministry declined Thursday to appeal a court decision granting Polanski bail, and said it would release him from jail while it considers whether to extradite him to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.