White House Crasher Accuses Whoopi of Hitting Her on The View

Entertainment Aug. 5, 2010 AT 9:28AM
White House Crasher Accuses Whoopi of Hitting Her on The View Credit: Ben Hider/Getty Images; Adam Olszweski/Bravo

Things get physical on The View Thursday.

Michaele Salahi -- who rose to fame for crashing a White House dinner last fall -- accuses Whoopi Goldberg of hitting her during her appearance on the ABC chat fest.

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"During pointed questioning about an unrelated incident where Mrs. Salahi had been called 'anorexic'...  Whoopi Goldberg came from backstage behind Mrs. Salahi, shook her arm, and told her to move on and talk about the White House," says her lawyer, Lisa Bloom, in a statement to UsMagazine.com. "This was startling to Mrs. Salahi, as she was being interviewed by Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd, and Whoopi Goldberg was not part of the segment."

But Goldberg -- in a statement released by ABC -- says that's not how it went down.

"At one point during Michaele Salahi's appearance on The View on Wednesday, Whoopi lightly touched Ms. Salahi to get her attention and said to her 'Excuse me, can you get back to the White House, please,' meaning could Ms. Salahi return to the original subject of the conversation. After the show, Ms. Salahi and her husband accused Whoopi of hitting Ms. Salahi. As the broadcast clearly shows, the accusation was completely unfounded and erroneous. After the show and after being told she was being accused of hitting Ms. Salahi, Whoopi proceeded to defend herself verbally from this baseless claim in a heated exchange with the Salahis."

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Salahi -- who will appear on Bravo's The Real Housewives of DC, which premieres Thursday -- also claims that the audience was encouraged to clap when Shepherd said, "You should be in jail!"

"The U.S. Attorney, after a laborious eight-month review of the evidence, has not seen fit to charge her with a crime to date. But Sherri Shepherd, who apparently has not reviewed any of the evidence, sees fit to tell a guest on her show that she should be in jail. This is outrageous and defamatory," says Bloom.

Bloom says Salahi dissolved into tears backstage following her appearance. After telling a producer she was upset that Goldberg grabbed her arm, the producer arranged a meeting with Goldberg "who then yelled a long series of profanities at Mrs. Salahi... Ms. Goldberg continued to verbally berate Mrs. Salahi, refused to apologize for her language or her on set behavior, and left the room," according to the lawyer.

"Mrs. Salahi's overall experience on The View was degrading and demeaning," says Bloom.

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