Journey guitarist Neal Schon and his new love Michaele Salahi appeared on the 'Today' show this morning (Feb. 15) to tell their side of the story that found Michaele abruptly leaving her husband and former 'Housewives of D.C.' co-star Tareq Salahi last September.

It has just been revealed that Tareq is suing Michaele and Schon for 50 million dollars, claiming his estranged wife was living a "double life" for years, and that the new couple engaged in a "conspiracy to defame" him.

Schon began the interview with a good natured but probably at least a little bit nervous laugh when asked about the lawsuit, and then he and Michaele made it clear it was not them who chose to take this story public: "We didn't bring it to the public... he did, from second one."

Michaele quickly pointed out that she hasn't spoken publicly about the affair in five months, even after Tareq was on the very same 'Today' show couch referring to her as a "groupie slut."

She then ran down her side of the story: "Natalie, I left that day not with plans to be gone forever. Our relationship was very controlled by Tareq. Anyone that watched the show, or even spent 24 hours with Tareq and I, knew what I had been through. That day I reached (out), Neal and I had been friends since the '90s, and I just wanted to be with someone that would help me sort through everything in my head. I didn't return because I couldn't endure anymore of what I had been through."

Schon also denied Tareq's assertion that the two men were previously friends: "I considered her a best friend, and I had to know Tareq because she was my best friend. Did we know each other? Yes, but I wouldn't consider him a friend, and certainly not now!"

When asked if she could understand her soon-to-be former husband's pain, particularly in light of the highly romantic video released on Valentine's Day for the Journey song 'Resonate,' which features Schon and Michaele in various romantic poses, Salahi quickly turned the tables:

"Yes, I recognize his pain. But when you're in an abusive controlling relationship, there is someone that is hurting, and that (was) me. So, when there are two people, the pain should have been kept private…it's something that should have been between us. There doesn't need to be a 50 million lawsuit."

Watch Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi on the 'Today' Show


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