Ashley Darby is no stranger to lingering questions regarding her marriage. The RHOP star is constantly up against rumors about her husband’s infidelity and sexuality, which she always defends. Despite such, Ashley admits in a new interview that because of the difficulties of marriage, she can empathize with Jada Pinkett Smith’s relationship with August Alsina during her marriage to Will Smith.
Michael and Ashley Darby’s marriage on ‘RHOP’
Ashley and Michael met at a D.C. restaurant and lounge where Ashley worked as a bartender and Michael as co-owner. Ashley spotted Michael on the security monitor and became immediately drawn to him. Their relationship began shortly after.
The couple have a 29-year age difference between them, with Michael being the older partner. Their age difference has affected their relationship, especially in business. The two co-owned a Virginia restaurant, Oz, and separated due to constant arguing.
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The bonafide yin to my yang. ♥️ Thank you for joining us this season! While I had little care or concern for the petty BS, I will always be grateful for being on this journey. See you tonight at 8pm on @bravotv! Much love and light 💜 Hair: @infamousmstish Makeup: @tamaradelbridge_mua Custom Gown: @sharihenry #rhop #ashleydarby #michaeldarby #deansparents
After six months of living apart, the couple reconciled and welcomed their son in the summer of 2019. Unfortunately, rumors about Michael’s infidelity is a major storyline on the show. Some even accuse the Darby’s of putting on a facade.
Ashley’s co-stars believe Michael is part of the LGBTQ community as there have been rumors about him being with men. During season 4, a show producer accused Michael of sexual assault, alleging Michael groped him. The charges were eventually dropped and Michael maintains he’s innocent.
Why Ashley Darby can relate to Jada Pinkett Smith’s entanglement with August Alsina
In a new interview with Entertainment Tonight, Ashley addresses constantly having to defend her marriage against rumors of infidelity and an open marriage between her and Michael. She’s also still dealing with backlash and questions surrounding Michael’s sexuality. Ashley refers to her marriage as “unconventional,” which is why she says she can relate to Pinkett Smith’s romance with Alsina.
“I related to that a little more than I’d liked to – I was like, ‘Man Jada, I’m with you girl, I get it,’” she admits. “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 a marriage is or should be.”
This season, Michael comes up against rumors that he spent an evening with exotic dancers. Despite the gossip, Ashley says her relationship with Michael is intact.
“I love my husband, he’s a great father, he’s a great husband and my relationship is going to withstand – it’s strong enough to withstand a lot,” she says. “I’m sure there will be some very strong reactions to what they see what happens but ultimately the only person who really lays next to Michael at night and has to have these discussions is me.”
Google currently lists Michael as Ashley’s ex-husband, which she says is incorrect and no indication that she and Michael are divorcing.
RHOP airs every Sunday on Bravo at 9 pm EST.
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