‘Cruel Summer’ Star: Derek Exposing Ashley’s Secret Is A ‘Big Test’ For Ashley & Kate

Derek Turner's got some explaining to do. HL spoke EXCLUSIVELY with Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut about Derek's bombshell betrayal on 'Cruel Summer' and what's next for Ashley.

Cruel Summer fans shared a collective gasp when Derek turned on Ashley’s computer after their night together and saw the chats between Ashley and Kate. Instead of leaving it alone, Derek printed out the secret chats and took them straight to Jeanette, who learned Kate went to Martin Harris’ house willingly at one point. These chats could play a pivotal role in Jeanette’s case against Kate.

HollywoodLife got EXCLUSIVE scoop from Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut about what this twist means for Ashley’s relationships with both Derek and Kate. Ashlei admitted that a “level of trust” has been “broken” between Derek and Ashley. She’s not even sure they can come back from this. Ashlei also teased how the Wallis family will be impacted by this latest development.

Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut stars as Ashley on ‘Cruel Summer.’ (Freeform)

How does that moment of betrayal on Derek’s part with Ashley impact the case going forward? 
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I can’t speak on the future of the findings that he takes back to Jeanette, but I can say for Ashley when she does find this out it’s definitely heartbreaking because they just had this intimate moment. This has been built up from the beginning. It was kind of teased in episode 4. He’s supposed to just go on her computer and do his own thing, but he ends up finding the chats and snooping if you will. So that level of trust is broken. Ashley obviously didn’t expect this.

What can you tease about the fallout between Ashley and Kate after this? 
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I can say what Ashley has been working towards with reuniting with Kate and then trying to rebuild that trust and try to make amends, this will be a big test for these two sisters.

Kate’s going to eventually find out it’s Ashley who’s been chatting with her. But you can’t hate Ashley for what she tried to do…
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: You can’t hate her because she does genuinely have good intentions. Now, the way they come across or how things are presented, I feel like that’s kind of out of control, but her intentions are definitely pure.

Do you think Kate and Ashley could come back from this?
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I think anybody can come back from anything, so I’m going to say yes.

What about Derek? 
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Wow, okay… Well, I think that’s a little bit different. That’s going to take a little bit of extra extraness because they were friends of friends, and then to have this trust be broken, I’m not sure. Also, we have to think about the fact that these families are rivals with Derek and Ashley being the kind of the connection of the two. Being broken in the middle or being split, it’s really hard. It’d be really hard to come back from this, but again, I’m an optimist. But there will definitely be drama.

Derek betrayed Ashley to save Jeanette on ‘Cruel Summer.’ (Freeform)

Will we see a confrontation between Ashley and Derek after this?
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: Oh, I’m sure you guys will.

How will this impact the family? Ashley and Joy already don’t have the best relationship. 
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I think Ashley has a line when they’re watching the movie and Kate’s confiding in both Mallory and Ashley about how her mom wants to do this interview. Ashley says something along the lines of she’s not who we thought she was, and I think that kind of speaks to Ashley’s initial relationship with Joy, meaning that Ashley did initially try to have a relationship with Joy, but it just never happened and wasn’t like a reciprocal thing. With Rod, especially being my biological dad, but him also seeing Kate as his own daughter regardless of blood, and he mentioned that in the episode, I think you can see that we all kind of want to come together as a collective as a family unit, but there are different elements that hinder us from our objective.

Does the family come together for the trial?
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I feel like we’re going to have to, right? This is national news. You can’t come across to the media broken. Otherwise, you’ll get eaten alive. I think we’ll really get a chance to see how the Wallises hold under pressure.

In the episodes to come, does Ashley question whether or not Kate’s telling the truth?
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I don’t think she does. I don’t think she does question who’s telling the truth, just because based on the fact that she knows everything that’s going on. I don’t think she really has to battle with who to believe because she does know the facts if that makes sense.

What can you say about how this first season wraps up?
Ashlei Sharpe Chestnut: I can actually say I don’t know how it’s actually going to end. But I can say for Ashley’s character, I think you guys will get a chance to explore her personal life, but you also will get a chance to see more of her family dynamics.

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