MICHELLE OBAMA cast an ugly shadow over her husband’s second inau­guration when she flew into a jealous rage over a sexy Hollywood star.

Sources in Washington, D.C., re­vealed exclusively to The ENQUIRER that the first lady, 49, exploded at Barack behind closed doors over “Scandal” beauty Kerry Washington.

Michelle is said to be so insecure about the president’s appeal to Kerry and other beauties she got a new hairstyle that takes years off her appearance and, coincidentally, closely re­sembles the 35-year-old actress’ look.

“Michelle’s jealous rage put a damper on the inauguration, but at least the meltdown took place behind closed doors,” a White House source told The ENQUIRER. “The public only saw her smiling and supporting him. But, believe me, it was one of their ugliest fights ever.

“Michelle got it in her mind that Barack was finagling to have Kerry added to more committees so they could spend time together.”

Last April, The ENQUIRER revealed that Michelle banned the single actress from the White House, fearing she would get too close to the president after he appointed her to his arts and humanities committee.

What’s more, Barack chose Kerry to speak at last summer’s Democratic National Convention.

“Kerry may have no idea how smitten Barack is with her, but Michelle clear­ly has the claws out,” said the White House source.

“Michelle ripped into Barack, telling him, ‘Stay away from that woman!’ And she was furious when she found out Kerry had been invited to the inauguration.”

Inflaming mat­ters even more, Kerry tweeted her ex­citement to the world: “On board. Buckled in. DC bound…Inauguration 2013. CANNOT WAIT!!!!!”

But the First Lady wasn’t about to take the challenge lying down and fired back by unveiling her new look just before the presidential inaugura­tion on Jan. 21.

“She knew that the eyes of the world would be on her and the president,” said the source. “She wanted to look sensational for the big day and out­shine Kerry, the woman she sees as her competitor. It’s no coincidence that Mi­chelle started wearing her new hairdo just four days after Kerry debuted the same look on the red carpet at the Golden Globes.”

Confided a political insider: “Mi­chelle is going to fight for her man and do whatever it takes, even if that means changing her looks.”

Ironically, on her ABC drama “Scan­dal,” Kerry plays crisis management boss Olivia Pope, who is having a steamy affair with the fictional presi­dent . “That fact is not lost on Michelle,” said the insider. “She has been unhappy for some time over her husband’s flirt­ing with Kerry, and she’s had some furious fights with Barack over it. No one except maybe Michelle believes there is anything more than innocent flirtations between the president and Kerry but her worst nightmare would be finding out he’s cheated on her.”

The Obamas’ 20-year marriage has been fragile for years, as we revealed in our Nov. 12. issue. Insiders disclosed that Michelle met with divorce lawyers on three occasions and once even had them draw up papers.

Back when Obama was first cam­paigning for the presidency in 2008, The ENQUIRER revealed how Mi­chelle grilled her husband to make sure he didn’t have any extramarital skel­etons in his closet.

Michelle also turned a jealous eye on political activist and former “Desperate Housewives” star Eva Longoria as well as Hollywood hottie Scar­lett Johansson – fearing that he also was flirting with the Hollywood stars. And in November, the first lady became enraged when pictures appeared of the president openly flirt­ing with Thailand’s pretty prime minister Yingluck Shinawatra during an Asian tour. But the woman Michelle worries about most is Kerry, so she leaped at the idea when her pals encouraged her to go for a more youthful look.

“Michelle is delighted at the way people are talking about the bangs, and women are already going into salons asking for ‘The Michelle,’” noted the source. “She’s being told she looks 20 years younger.”

The appealing new hairstyle also helps erase some of the 14-year age dif­ference between Michelle and Kerry, said ENQUIRER Fashion Editor Susan Baker. “The bangs cover the first lady’s high forehead and give her a much more youthful look,” she explained.

Meanwhile, Michelle’s friends think she’s gone overboard with her concern about Kerry. They insist that Barack is a doting husband who wouldn’t do anything to risk his rela­tionship with his wife and their two daughters.

“But he is known to have a wander­ing eye,” said the source. “Michelle plans to make certain he doesn’t act on it by looking as young and beautiful as possible.”