Ashley Darby said she relates to Jada Pinkett Smith and sigh when the topic was addressed. “You know, I related to that a little more than I’d like to admit,” the Real Housewives of Potomac star said while recalling Red Table Talk on which Jada and Will Smith discussed their relationship.
“I was like, man, Jada. I’m with you girl,” she continues. “I get it. I mean, marriage is just so hard — and it’s really hard being a public figure and having difficulties, and it’s even more difficult when you decide to talk about them and say some things that aren’t necessarily fitting the mold of what people think marriage is or should be.”
View this post on Instagram
The end of an era ♥️ thank you to all of our wonderful neighbors who made living in Breakwater Beach such a fun experience, and helping to create the best memories with Dean this summer. We are so blessed to have been able to spend this time as a family in the beautiful city of Bethany Beach, and now we are closing this chapter. Our community will always hold a special place in our hearts 💕 #RHOP #nextchapter
The Real Housewives of Potomac has kept Ashley’s marriage with Michael under the spotlight for over five years. The age difference between the couple has been controversial for a long time. Season 5 seemed to be following the same path as Ashley’s co-star, Candiace Dillard Bassett received a message with new allegations against Michael.
“Obviously, Candiace and I have had our share of differences in the past, so I wasn’t really keen on believing her from the beginning, because Candiace has said a lot of things that weren’t true,” Ashley explained what happens in the Sunday’s episode. “I took it with a grain of salt… and then it unfolds and boy, does it unfold,” she adds. “I mean, there’s, like, layers upon layers upon layers of it.”
“I’m truthful and I know that can be a hard thing to believe, and that people want to think that we make up things and there are all these facades around our relationship, but I really am truthful,” she says. “So if there’s something that needs to be talked about, if there’s a hurdle that we actually do need to overcome or an issue we have to address, we’re going to address it.”
“It’s not as though I’ve said those things in the past to be facetious, or to just, like, you know, create this false illusion about my marriage,” she adds, referencing the way the couple has handled marital speed bumps in the past. “No, if there was an issue then, I would’ve talked about it. When we were having issues with the restaurant [we owned], I was upfront and talked about it. When I was having issues with my mom and how my family dynamic was working, we talked about it, and this is not going to be any different. So, the things that were false, yes, I said those were false. The things that are true, I will talk about them, and if they’re true, they’re true.”
“I’m not a conventional person and I just don’t think it’s gonna come as a shock to anybody,” she teases. “Michael and I are an unconventional couple in many ways.” However, Ashley is not sure why Google marked Michael as her ex-husband while they are together.
View this post on Instagram
Becoming a mother to this beautiful human has been the most rewarding and humbling experience I could’ve ever imagined. Never could I be truly prepared for this journey and all it entails, or how much I would change in the process! My sensitivity and compassion runs deeper than the sea, for human life is just so beautiful. I am in even more awe of women and our ability to care so far beyond our own beings. During this Black Breastfeeding Week, I honor you my sisters and the commitment you make (or have made) for your children. History hasn’t been kind to black mothers, and the present is still not fair. I love you, I see you, I support you wholeheartedly ♥️ #blackbreastfeedingweek #allthelove
“I love my husband,” she declares. “He’s a great husband, and my relationship is going to withstand. It’s strong enough to withstand a lot. It’s really going to be up to us to what we think is something we can overcome. I’m not going to let the media, or the public, or the opinions of others affect what I do and how I approach my marriage. Everyone’s going to have an opinion. I’m sure there’ll be some very strong reactions to what they see and what happens, but ultimately the only person who really lays next to Michael at night and has to have these discussions is me. So, that’s that.”
This season is different than others because this time the couple shares their first baby together and trying for a second baby. “Everything that we do now affects the baby, so I make sure that we have real discussions that address things right then,” she said.
“People say that becoming parents can really change your relationship dynamic. I never thought that would be me, but it was me,” she said.
“The women really rallied together to help me feel more comfortable and that is one of the most reassuring things about being in this group,” she continued. “For them to come together and put their differences aside — which we know there are many — to put all those aside and be there for me, it really reminded me that I do belong in this group.”
“Talk about a revelation,” she adds. “I never thought that Karen [Huger] and I would have bonded the way that we did, or even that Robyn [Dixon] and I would be as close as we are. But yes, this journey has not only been mine. I’ve had quite a few passengers with me and they’ve been really supportive.”
“I had no idea that anyone of the ladies would have such a strong and vocal and very aggressive opinion about me bringing Dean,” Ashley confesses. “I thought it was gonna be a great trip, but then when Wendy lost her top, I was flabbergasted.”
“I do accept the apology,” she adds. “What I hope that people in general learn is that we just have to be more supportive of each other, rather than that be the first impulse and the first reaction; to just be more considerate of what another person is going through and I hope Wendy learned her lesson, too.”
Ashley admitted that she was privately dealing with many emotions including depression and anxiety.
“I didn’t really anticipate that this would be a journey that I would go down, that I would even begin to have those types of thoughts, so it was a challenge for me to even acknowledge that I was even experiencing it,” Ashley Darby shares. “But with the help of a counselor and talking to somebody who can help me come to terms with what I’m feeling, and to help me see a different perspective, I was really able to see a brighter side and I’m so thankful that I have access, that I can financially afford therapy and that I am just so privileged because so many women don’t have that opportunity and a lot of women, unfortunately, do succumb to postpartum depression and it’s a really serious problem.”
“I hope that I can just be a voice for it and encourage anyone who is experiencing it to get help, and if they can’t afford help, then hopefully there are some resources for them,” Ashley Darby said. “That was just one of the many traumas and I can say that I’m recovered. I’m exercising again, I’m feeling good, Dean sleeps through the night. So my body is just like, she’s on the up and up.” she updated her health status.
“I almost ran out of the bathroom with my pants at my ankles!” she admits. “The way that the room was shaking, I thought someone was attacking us. So, I’m first like, ‘Oh my gosh. I gotta get out.’ And then, when I came out I saw, you know, a melee. I don’t really know what I saw. Still, I really don’t.”
“I don’t think it’s about taking sides as much as it’s about seeing what happened and just really trying to understand that these women were friends, and just looking at the situation in that way rather than looking at it as if it was a boxing match or as like a fight,” Ashley Darby disclosed. “This isn’t UFC. We just had a disagreement that escalated and got out of hand. That’s how I want people to see it. Not so much as being like, you know — it’s not Tyson vs. Holyfield. It’s two women who just… it got out of hand.”
“I initially thought — and I still don’t have any clarification — that Candiace was an active provoker in this argument, so I wanted to be there for Monique because she has been such a supportive person to me,” Ashley Darby said. “She was really supportive when all those things were going on with Michael and the ladies were making jokes about it. The one person who was calling me, texting me, checking on me was Monique, and I wanted to be able to reciprocate that to her because she was obviously going through a difficult time. That’s not like her.”
“She and I have gotten into arguments and it’s never gotten physical,” Ashley adds. “So I knew that it was something more that was going on with Monique.”
Ashley said she is excited to see how her fans react to the changes they will experience in upcoming episodes. “Our group continues to change and continues to evolve,” Ashley Darby notes. “Nothing is stagnant. Nothing just stays the way it is. We all continue to grow and evolve. And sometimes for the best and, you know, sometimes for the worst. But either way, we’re always in motion.”
The Real Housewives of Potomac’s previous seasons are currently streaming on Peacock Premium. For more updates, keep watching this space.