Journey's lead guitarist and his reality TV-star wife are suing the city of San Francisco, claiming the city "extorted" them over their wedding at the Palace of Fine arts.
Neal Schon and Michaele Salahi say the rental fee for the picturesque location had over quadrupled less than week before the 2013 wedding, from $58,000 to $240,000. The new fees included a "premium reservation fee" and a "park regeneration fee" which ballooned the cost of their wedding. "What the city did was inexcusable," their attorney Rebecca Coll told SFGate.
Schon and Salahi first came into the public eye as a couple when her ex-husband sued her for sleeping with Schon... we guess? The Salahis were infamous as the couple that somehow crashed a White House party.
The wedding at the Palace of Fine Arts was turned into a $15 pay-per-view event, which is why the city says they jacked up the prices on the c-list couple. "The event evolved from small and secret to a live commercial broadcast, and the city’s fees evolved accordingly," said a spokesman with the city attorney's office. The couple say the fees were unfair given the fact that the producers of Dawn Of The Planet Of The Apes only had to pay $2,000 in fees. They also allege that they were forbidden from using the Palace as a backdrop for photos and that their free speech rights were violated when they were not allowed to turn an old Exploratorium room into a "Sexy" room for a reception.
Despite this lawsuit, San Francisco will remain proud to keep Journey as one of their musical ambassadors, says the city attorney's spokesman. "We wish the couple well. Nothing is diminished in San Francisco’s affection for Journey."