Whoopi Goldberg defended herself on "The View" Thursday following mistreatment accusations by Virginia socialite Michaele Salahi, who appeared on the show Wednesday with her fellow "Real Housewives of Washington, D.C." Salahi had fueled the fire earlier Thursday on "Today."
On Wednesday's "The View," the castmates had argued with Salahi, going off-topic from a discussion about Salahi and her husband Tareq's controversial November appearance at a White House party without an official invitation. Goldberg, attempting to aid co-hosts Joy Behar and Sherri Shepherd, briefly came from offstage to touch Salahi on the arm and say, "Excuse me, could you get back to the White House [topic], please?" as a video clip and audio Thursday confirmed.
Goldberg, 54, said Thursday on air that she was told Salahi claimed Goldberg had hit her. "So I went up to her," Goldberg told viewers, "and I told her that she knew I didn't hit her. And yeah, you know how I said it: choice words. And I make no apology for my choice words. But then her husband got in my face, got his BlackBerry out and started taking pictures of me," she noted. "I really went off then."
In an interview with People magazine Thursday, Salahi said, "When I got offstage, I was fine, but then I began to cry" over her interview treatment. Then, "Whoopi came in and said, 'Did you -- say that I hit you?' "
Salahi told "Today" she became weepy backstage after what she felt was rough treatment during the interview. "I think I started crying because now I have someone I don't even know, I'm a guest of their show, and they're berating me."
Salahi's castmates regarded Salahi's claims dubiously, exchanging exasperated looks on "Today."
Throughout the housewives' "View" appearance, Salahi insisted she and her husband did not crash the White House party but had been invited. She hedged when Shepherd and Behar asked if the couple had had written invitations. When asked why, if the couple had legitimate invites, did they plead, at a hearing, the Fifth Amendment against self-incrimination, Salahi said her new book would give a reason.