WASHINGTON — As White House officials fended off new questions about how a fame-seeking couple finessed their way into the president’s glittering state dinner last week, the aspiring reality-TV stars themselves began trying to sell their story for hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Television industry executives said on Saturday that Michaele and Tareq Salahi had postponed plans for an interview Monday on CNN’s “Larry King Live” and were seeking top-dollar bids for their first television interview.
The Salahis, who embarrassed the Secret Service by passing through its security screens as if invisible and then posed for the cameras with President Obama and many of his bona fide guests at a party honoring India’s prime minister, remained out of sight on Saturday and their spokeswoman did not return calls. The Secret Service would not comment or say whether investigators have interviewed the pair.
For years, the Salahis have publicized their own flashy adventures in the social and sporting scenes of Washington and its outlying horse country, and left behind a record of lawsuits and unpaid bills, many from the bankruptcy of the family vineyard after extended litigation between Mr. Salahi and his parents.
Even the upscale salon where Mrs. Salahi, with TV cameras in tow, was prepared for the big event had never been paid for its previous services in 2002, when the couple were married, the salon’s operators said in interviews.