Ashley and Michael Darby deal with a lot of drama on Bravo, but the off-screen drama they dealt with wasn’t expected this season!
Life couldn’t be better right now for The Real Housewives Of Potomac star Ashley Darby, 31, and husband Michael Darby, 73, after welcoming their new son, Dean Darby, on July 7 after struggling to get pregnant. Unfortunately, they’ve also needed to deal with legal issues. During filming of the show last fall, Michael was accused of grabbing and groping a cameraman who was an employee of the show. The charges have since been dropped. Ashley has been biting her tongue about the incident, but promised fans will hear from her very soon.
“So, the way that everything else did play out in the legal system and beyond that is very different in contrary to what is being said on the show,” Ashley told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY. “And I wish I could talk about it with you – it’s Michael’s thing to talk about – but certainly it’s not what was said in the court case and the charges that were brought against Michael and nothing about what’s actually being shown on the show. That’s very different so Michael will be addressing that at the reunion.”
On an episode of the hit show that aired on July 28, 2019, audio and footage was shown which Bravo claimed was a part of the alleged incident which was filmed at co-star Monique Samuels‘, 35, baby shower back in September 2018. However, Ashley has a different story than what was aired, which is really hard for her. In the footage, you can hear what sounds like Michael saying “Hey bud. You alright?” as he smiles and laughs. Then, you hear what appears to be the cameraman, Orville Palmer, say, “Please don’t do that!” to which Michael responds, “Okay.” Later in the episode, we see footage from three hours later, where a man confronts Michael and says, “Hey Mike,” as Michael walked away. “Hold on. Mike, Mike, hold on. Hold on!” “I didn’t touch your butt. I didn’t touch your butt!” Michael shouted back, smiling. “Come on, I’ll get a beer.” Orville filed court documents in Montgomery County claiming that Michael “grabbed and groped” him as well as a restraining order against Michael who ended up being charged with felony assault as well as misdemeanor improper sexual contact. All chargers were dropped due to insufficient evidence.
Ashley and Michael, however, have a completely different story to tell and feel a bit frustrated by how everything has gone down. “Where things get more murky for me is the way that the production is choosing to put this show together in order to make a show,” Ashley said. “They’re misrepresenting what was said and what was done and that is really challenging because, I’m very truthful on the show and things are usually portrayed in the way that they do happen for Michael but, with this incident there are liberties that are being taken with footage and the way that they’re editing some things. For example, the audio that spoke to me so salacious at the end of the episode, that’s actually Monique’s cousin Hank, talking to Michael and he calls him Mike. And it’s an ongoing thing that Hank always teases Michael about season one, when Michael was playing with Andrew. So, the way that production decided to take that incident, that audio that was sampled five hours later was quite shocking to me, to make it look like it was all connected to that incident when it wasn’t.”
The Darbys have been a staple on the show since the series first debuted in January 2016, so this has been extra hard for them as they consider production to be extremely close to their hearts. “And that’s part of being on the show, is we spend so much time with camera crew and with the producers and it was so shocking the way all of that played out,” Ashley admitted. “He actually quit immediately, after the alleged incident happened. And after the case was dismissed he went directly to TMZ…so it was really heartbreaking because he was member of the production team and he was in our home and spent so much time with just me. It was heartbreaking.”