The first two parts of The Real Housewives of Potomac reunion covered a lot of ground already, but the third and final part, which airs on Dec. 27 and runs a full 90 minutes, will be explosive, Ashley Darby told HollywoodLife EXCLUSIVELY while dishing on everything that’s gone down thus far. From her husband Michael‘s many indiscretions and butt grabs to Candiace Dilliard‘s “hateful” comments to whether or not the show should continue with both Monique Samuels and Candiace next season, Ashley didn’t hold back. And, honestly, that’s why we love her.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Following the first two parts of the RHOP reunion, a lot of fans have been criticizing you for not holding your husband accountable for his actions. What do you say to that?
ASHLEY DARBY: I definitely do hold my husband accountable. I would say that not everyone gets to see everything we talk about. And you have to remember that my marriage goes every single day, 365 days a year. So, while yes, you’re seeing snippets of it, you have to remember that ultimately, you know, my marriage is an ever-steady presence in my life. So not everything is going to be on the television.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Why do you think you and Michael have stayed together after all the drama that’s unfolded? And do you fear that another indiscretion might happen in the future?
ASHLEY DARBY: Well, Michael and I have stayed together because our relationship has always been really complex. We have many factors that have influenced our relationship from the beginning: our race, our age difference, our political views, which are now more aligned. But previously, we were on so many different sides of the playing field, so we are used to having that sort of scrutiny. And the way that we just keep going is we talk about it, and really, everything that happens is a learning lesson for us. And while yes, everyone has seen that we’ve had our share of challenges, we really have recovered from them. And we work really, really hard. Michael and I make sure we have good communication because ultimately there will be these challenges. It’s just the way it is. I’ve had them with my family. I have them with my friends, have with my husband, and so we just keep working through them and we talk about it, and I’m not worried about an indiscretion now because I do trust him. We’ve been working on rebuilding our trust together. And if Michael did decide that he didn’t want to be in this family, then that would be a choice that he made. And I would have to accept it and move on. So I can’t keep living in fear about what could happen. I have to acknowledge what is happening, how he has shown me how committed he is to our family and work from there.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Is it because your trust in him that you no longer feel the need for a post-nuptial agreement?
ASHLEY DARBY: Yes, the post-nuptial agreement honestly is not really necessary, considering the fact that our pre-nuptial agreement is now null and void. So really, it was just a piece of paper that ultimately — what would I have asked for? We have a shared interest in our family, he is a stellar dad, and our children are his first priority. So I don’t really have that fear anymore. The post-nuptial agreement really was just more so if I felt like we weren’t on the same page and we weren’t getting to a better place. But we have made so much progress, I promise you.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: How did you feel when Candiace made strong accusations about your husband during the reunion? She insisted he had sex with the woman he had a sleepover with.
ASHLEY DARBY: I don’t know if I could care any less about anything that comes from Candiace’s mouth. Honestly, um, she is a person who — it’s very apparent in her social media behavior, and in the interviews that she does, that she’s just a really hateful person. And I’m not going to let myself get caught up in her narrative. She’s so consumed with what I have going on in my life. But she and her husband need to address whatever issues they have in their lives and the shortcomings or whatever they have in their marriage. Because I assure you, none of us are perfect, so I don’t listen to her.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: RHOP alum Katie Ross also said she had a sexual encounter with someone in the cast, but you swore it wasn’t you when it was brought up during the reunion. Do you know who it was?
ASHLEY DARBY: So it’s really interesting because everyone swore that it was me. I would tell you at this point if it was me, and I was just getting slammed with all of that. But if I had done it, I would admit it, first of all, but based on the context clues shared, there are some theories as to who it could be. The lady obviously lives in Potomac and she has a garage. So it’s something you have to kind of deduce based on those descriptions.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Do you know who it is or who she claims it is?
ASHLEY DARBY: I know who it allegedly is — I’ve talked to my other cast mates, and we’ve kind of put our heads together.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Were you privy to the rumor your cast mates were allegedly trying to spread about Monique and her trainer?
ASHLEY DARBY: So I didn’t fully understand the degree of what was happening. Now all of us had heard about this because her friend had reached out to every single one of us, and she had said something really gross. I mean, like, horrible things. And at the time, I didn’t know where they were coming from. No one fully told me the extent of what Gigi was claiming. So it wasn’t until Monique and I became closer. That’s when Monique was like, ‘Ashley. I’m just going to tell you what this woman is trying to do to me.’ And so that’s when I found out everything. So for a while there, I was in the dark. I didn’t know all of the things that Gigi had done to try to build up this case against Monique. I didn’t know that.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: The cast seems very divided right now when it comes to the feud between Monique and Candiace. Do you think the show can continue with both of them in the cast, and should it?
ASHLEY DARBY: I think that’s a really good question. And I asked myself that, too, but one of the beautiful things about being on Housewives and that I do appreciate, is we don’t really get the opportunity to run away from each other. And that’s a good thing. So, like in your real life, you know, if you don’t like someone, even if you’re in similar social circles, you can avoid them at all costs. But now, if you don’t like someone, you still have to talk to them. You and you have to hash it out. And I think that that is a huge benefit of being a part of this show. So, Monique and Candiace, they can… I do believe that they can work it out. I think anything is absolutely possible. If I could get to a place of decency with Candiace after what she did to me, I definitely have hope that she and Monique could find some way to bury the hatchet.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Why do you think Robyn, Gizelle and Wendy are ‘Team Candiace’ and doing what they can to discount Monique’s recollection of the fight?
ASHLEY DARBY: I think that the ladies felt that Monique went too far. And yes, that is true. But where I think things get a little bit murky is some of their previously held ideas about Monique are now affecting their opinions now, because as I said, if everyone was able to move forward with Candiace after she tried to instigate a fight with me and they weren’t, you know, they’re like, ‘Oh, Ashley, it’s over. You have to get over it.’ So if I — if I’m being told that that’s the stance I need to take, then I think that there should be a little bit more understanding about Monique and realizing that this really is an issue between these two women. And they need to, you know, like let them work it out.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: And how’s your pregnancy going? Have you picked a baby name yet?
ASHLEY DARBY: I’m seven months pregnant. And yes, so we do have a name. The baby’s name will begin with a ‘D’. I’m a fan of alliteration. It’s been a really great pregnancy. I have to say, I definitely went through a lot with Dean, really postpartum, so now that I’m in the thick of my third trimester, where everything really culminates, running after a one year old who is incredibly active and independent makes it so that I don’t really have time to think about what’s happening. You know, I really only have time at the end of the night, so I actually make a point now just to rub and hold my belly because I’m so engrossed in what’s happening with Dean, I just forget about this baby sometimes, you know? I also have a lot of precautions that I’m going to take after doing some more research about postpartum depression so that I can avoid having those same feelings that I had with my first pregnancy.
HOLLYWOODLIFE: Anything you can tease about the third and final part of the reunion?
ASHLEY DARBY: The final part is just crazy. I personally had to pick my jaw up a few times. It’s a good one.
Want more? Catch the third and final, 90-minute part of The Real Housewives of Potomac reunion on Dec. 27 at 9pm on Bravo.