Schon: ‘Affair Has Been Like A Fairytale’

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September 20, 2011 | 6:00pm EST

Journey guitarist Neal Schon has spoken out about his “fairytale” affair with the woman who once gatecrashed a White House party, insisting he’s been lusting after her for 15 years.
Michaele Salahi left the winery home she shared with husband Tareq in Virginia last week, and when she failed to return, he contacted the police and reported her as a missing person.

He told authorities that he feared Michaele had been abducted because she left without taking her belongings – but it subsequently emerged that she had run off to Nashville, Tennessee to see Schon and attend Journey’s concert with Foreigner. They have since taken their affair on the road as Journey and Foreigner continue to tour the U.S.

Tareq filed for divorce last week and now the lovers have given their first interview as a couple to

In the candid chat, Schon and Michaele reveal they began dating in the late 1990s, but the blonde, who suffers from multiple sclerosis, decided to marry Tareq because she thought life on a winery would be less stressful than living with a rock star.

She and Schon struggled to shake off their attraction to one another and reconnected on and off over the years – until they decided to give the relationship another go.

Michaele says, “I didn’t want to hurt anyone, but I realised I was hurting myself… I was going crazy. Because when you want to be with someone that bad, you start to go crazy. He (Schon) sent someone to come get me. I got on a plane by myself and I just went. I just walked away from everything (with Tareq).”

Schon, who left his wife of two months, Ava Fabian, insists he is happier than ever – and he can’t wait to move past the drama surrounding their affair.

He says, “It’s like a fairytale. It is, it really is. I’m very happy, very happy after waiting for her for 15 years.”