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'White House party crasher has multiple sclerosis'

books Updated: Sep 15, 2010 16:21 IST

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Michaele Salahi, who gained notoriety with her husband by crashing a glitzy White House state dinner, says in a new book that she suffers from multiple sclerosis, a potentially debilitating disease that she says she has kept secret for years.

Salahi says a bad spell on the night of the White House dinner honouring India's prime minister caused the couple to leave the event early.

Billed as a tell-all book written with the couple's cooperation, Cirque Du Salahi by Diane Dimond offers little new information about the incident last November that sparked a high-profile government criminal investigation and made the couple minor celebrities.

The title plays on the name of the Montreal-based Cirque du Soleil, the "Circus of the Sun."

The Associated Press obtained a copy of the book in advance of its sale today.

Multiple sclerosis, Salahi says, explains her rail-thin physique. She rejects suggestions by others that she suffers from an eating disorder. She is described in the book as eating sugary cereal for Thanksgiving and not eating or drinking even water for long periods of a day.

Weight loss is not a typical symptom of MS, according to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

Salahi, now 44 and a central figure on Bravo's cable television reality show Real Housewives of D.C., was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis when she was 28, according to the book.

Her symptoms include tingling sensations and exhaustion, especially in stressful situations. One such spell caused the Salahis to leave early from the White House dinner that the couple continues to insist they were invited to attend.

In the book, both Salahi and her husband, Tareq, describe brief conversations with President Barack Obama that evening.