Michaele Salahi (left) and Dr. Drew Pinsky
Adam Olszweski/Bravo; VH1
03/09/2011 AT 12:20 PM EST
Stars like Janice Dickinson and Dennis Rodman have appeared on VH1's Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew
to fight their addictions to alcohol and other substances, but Michaele Salahi, a star of The Real Housewives of Washington D.C.
, wanted to appear on the reality show for a different reason.
"Michaele doesn't have an addiction," her husband and Housewives costar Tareq Salahi tells PEOPLE. "She's leaning on Dr. Drew to help treat her [multiple sclerosis]
, which has been directly affected by our ordeal with the White House. What she needs is help managing her stress and her illness."
But producers of Celebrity Rehab
weren't interested in treating stress in Salahi, who was involved in a scandal at the White House
during President Obama's first State Dinner in 2009, and she has been released from the show.
Why? "The treatment program that Celebrity Rehab
documents is intended for individuals with serious substance abuse and addiction issues," VH1 said in a statement to PEOPLE. "Prior to the taping of the current season, producers were advised that Michaele Salahi met the criteria to be treated in this setting. However, professional assessments spanning from that time to the present, found that she did not meet such criteria. As a result, she is no longer participating in the program."
When asked by PEOPLE about being axed from the show, Tareq said of his wife, "She is devastated ... in worse shape now than when she went in."
With reporting by CHARLOTTE TRIGGS and CYNTHIA WANGPlease note: Comments have been suspended temporarily as we explore better ways to serve you. Your opinion is important to us; you can find current discussions at