Reveals long fight with disease on TV and in new book

White House party crasher-turned Real Housewife of D.C. Michaele Salahi has suffered from multiple sclerosis for 17 years, she revealed Wednesday.

Salahi, who plans to pose for Playboy, made the revelation on "Fox & Friends." The disclosure is also in a new book about her, "Cirque du Salahi," by Diane Dimond. Dimond appeared on the show with Salahi and her busband, Tareq Salahi.

Salahi, 44, told People magazine why she kept her diagnosis of the potentially crippling nervous system disorder quiet.

"No one wants to be seen as sickly," she said. "And I didn't want to be pitied."

"The only way I can deal with it is to smile and act like I can get through it."

MS is a chronic disease of the central nervous system which causes the immune system to attack healthy tissue. It can cause blurred vision, loss of balance, poor coordination, slurred speech, tremors, numbness, extreme fatigue, problems with memory and concentration, paralysis and blindness. According to the National Multiple Sclerosis Society, some 400,000 Americans suffer the disease.

Selected Reading: People, Fox News, National Multiple Sclerosis Society.

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