San Francisco considers $290,000 payout for Journey wedding
SAN FRANCISCO, United States—San Francisco supervisors are considering a $290,000 payout to settle a lawsuit by the guitarist of rock band Journey over his lavish 2013 wedding to a former reality television star.
A committee of the Board of Supervisors is scheduled to take up the proposed settlement Thursday.
Neal Schon married “Real Housewives of D.C.” star Michaele Salahi in December 2013 at the Palace of Fine Arts with a reception at an adjacent building that once housed the Exploratorium science museum.
Schon said he agreed to pay the city $58,000 for the use, but was surprised to learn days before the wedding that he would have to pay $240,000 for the opulent event to go on. He reluctantly paid, likening the price hike to “extortion.”
The couple sued in federal court in February, claiming that the city unfairly jacked up the fee after learning the couple planned to broadcast the event on pay-per-view.
City Attorney Dennis Herrera initially defended the higher charge as appropriate for a commercial event. He could not be reached immediately for comment Wednesday, which is a government holiday.
In a statement this week, Michaele Schon called the city’s conduct “reprehensible” and said “hopefully, this will make the city think twice before doing this to anyone else in the future.”
Journey is a band nearly synonymous with San Francisco in some circles. Its song “Don’t Stop Believing” is the unofficial theme song of the San Francisco Giants.
Before starring in the 2010 season of “Housewives,” Salahi made headlines when she and her then-husband crashed a state dinner at the White House in 2009.