August 5, 2010 | by Joey DiGuglielmo
Questions linger about 'Housewives' premiere party

An alleged fundraiser/premiere party for reality show “Real Housewives of D.C.,” which debuts tonight at 9 p.m. on Bravo, has been called into question.

Magazine publisher and event planner Howard Cromwell Jr., the gay publisher of D.C.’s Most Fabulous Magazine, told the Blade last week the event, slated for tonight from 7 to 11 p.m. at EFN Lounge, a gay bar, is a benefit for Dab the AIDS Bear Project, an HIV charity. He said Bravo doesn’t endorse parties for its shows but that “they are working with me on this. We’ve been working together for the last two months on this event … We had to make sure they said it was OK so yes, Bravo never officially has a promo party for any of the series but they monitor, if you will, the legalities … We’ve been working with them with their branding and trademark and they will be at our event.”

Bravo, though, has denied involvement. In a statement to Washington Post’s Reliable Source reporters, Bravo said, “NBC Universal and Bravo have no sanctioned and are not involved in any way with the D.C.’s Most Fabulous Magazine premiere viewing party at the EFN Lounge on August 5. Any assertions otherwise are false.”

Local blogger Andrea Rogers wrote in a July 26 post of Dab the Aids Bear Project that “Guidestar.org and the IRS have no records of this organization as being a nonprofit.” Cromwell’s promotional material says a portion of the proceeds from tonight’s party will go to the Dab the AIDS Bear Project. Tickets range from $25 to $500.

Cromwell did not respond to Blade follow-up requests for comment. “Housewives” star Michaele Salahi, whom Cromwell said is a friend, is slated to be at tonight’s party.

Joey DiGuglielmo is the Features Editor for the Washington Blade.

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