*A rep for “The View” is confirming reports that co-host Whoopi Goldberg and White House gatecrasher Michaele Salahi got into a backstage shouting match after her appearance Wednesday over accusations that Whoopi “hit” her during the segment.
Visitng the show with her “Real Housewives of DC” castmates to promote tonight’s 9 p.m. premiere on Bravo, Salahi was being grilled by hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd about the night she and her husband crashed President Barack Obama’s state dinner last fall.
The subject, however, strayed to claims that Salahi is anorexic. That’s when Whoopi Goldberg, who was not part of the segment, came from backstage and touched Salahi from behind, stating, “Excuse me, can you get back to the White House please?” [Scroll down to watch clip.]
According to “The View” spokesman Karl Nilsson, Salahi later accused Goldberg of hitting her, which prompted Whoopi to curse her out backstage.
“As the broadcast clearly shows, the accusation was completely unfounded and erroneous,” Nilsson stated. “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.”
In a statement released this morning, Salahi’s lawyer Lisa Bloom claims Salahi was “treated very poorly by the hosts of the show” and that her client never accused Whoopi of hitting her.
“Mrs. Salahi told a show producer she was upset that Whoopi Goldberg had come up behind her and grabbed her arm,” Bloom stated. “The producer went to get Ms. Goldberg, who then yelled a long series of profanities at Mrs. Salahi (yelling the word ‘f***’ or ‘f***ing’ at her dozens of times in a loud voice), accusing her of accusing Ms. Goldberg of ‘hitting’ her. Mrs. Salahi said she’d never said that, got the producer back in the room, and the producer admitted that ‘hit’ was her word, not Mrs. Salahi’s. Ms. Goldberg continued to verbally berate Mrs. Salahi, refused to apologize for her language or her on set behavior, and left the room.”
Bloom also said producers were advised not to refer to Salahi as a “party crasher” because the term is “false and defamatory.”
“Nevertheless, she was called a ‘party crasher’ at least five times on air, by my count, including by Joy Behar, Sherri Shepherd, and by the prerecorded male voice that announces the show,” Bloom stated. “Sherri Shepherd then told Mrs. Salahi on air ‘you should be in jail!,’ the applause light went on, and the audience and ‘Real Housewives’ members cheered that statement,” Bloom continued. “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.”
Below – Whoopi’s “touch” happens at about 1:55