Season seven of The Real Housewives of Potomac is almost ready to hit viewers’ television screens, and judging by the trailer, it’s set to be a bumpy ride. One of the biggest storylines this season will be Ashley Darby’s divorce from husband Michael Darby, and she’s more than ready to share her side of the story with the world.
The couple, who share two sons, Dean, 3 and Dylan 1, have had their relationship mired in turmoil for years due to Michael’s marital indiscretions and rumors surrounding his sexuality. However, Ashley said that not one specific incident led to their divorce — a word Ashley refuses to use.
“It has just sort of been a long time coming,” she said. “And yes, there is something that happened, that I do share in this season, that was sort of the pivotal moment that made it come to fruition, but ultimately … it’s just been piling up, if you will.”
Ashley continued saying that neither she nor Michael uses the word “divorce.”
“Neither of us say that. We say ‘separated,’ or ‘separation.’ Neither of us say, ‘divorce.’ So, I know I have six more months — it’s actually, like, exactly six months as of a week ago, so I’m at the halfway mark and, yeah, it still feels really weird. It’s almost 10 years of my life. It is 10 years of my life that I’ve been with this person, so it’s hard.”
It’s so hard that Michael made the decision to not appear on the upcoming season of RHOP as the show had taken its toll on him and he wanted his privacy back.
“Michael has decided that that he doesn’t wanna be a part of [the show] anymore, and I respect that,” Ashley told the outlet. “It was a really difficult thing, where he didn’t have any privacy for a while there. Granted, it was from some of his own doing but, you know, he just wanted to– he says, ‘I’m 62 years old and I just wanna have my life back,’ and I respect that.”
Ashley went on to tease that many of her castmates had a lot of questions surrounding Ashley’s decision to separate, especially after it was revealed that the two bought a house together after announcing their separation. However, she realized they weren’t coming from a bad place and actually gave her a lot of advice from their own past experiences.
“I started thinking from their perspective, and they’ve all had very different circumstances and different situations. So sometimes people do project onto you what they did, or how they should’ve acted, or what they felt, and really, it’s their own journey, but yet they’re bringing in elements from their own experience into yours, so that’s what I realized they were doing. So that’s why I just let it roll off my back,” she said.
So, how is Ashley doing now? The RHOP star says she’s ready to date, embracing her new life, and rediscovering herself.
“I’m feeling so much more inspired, to just engage more,” she happily said. “I’m starting to do more yoga sessions. I’m starting to do more public speaking. I’m more active and involved in my passion, which is communicating and meeting people.”
Though Ashley’s life may be headed in a positive new direction, she’s quick to admit that things aren’t always coming up roses and situations get “rocky.”
“I wish I could say it’s all peachy keen and I’m just that b****h, you know? But I’m not,” she confessed. “It’s made me question a lot about my confidence, about how my life is gonna look, who I am, my identity… so it’s been a major shift altogether and, yeah, it’s gonna be out there for the world to see.”
Ashley hinted at what’s to come this season on RHOP, saying there are lots of “fun times” with the ladies, but also some moments she’s not looking forward to rewatching, including a moment where Mia Thornton throws a drink in Wendy Osefo’s face.
“That’s one that I don’t really want to watch again, because in the moment I didn’t like how it transpired,” she says, “and I didn’t like how what happened afterwards. So that’s a toughie for me.”
Ashley also referenced that she and Candiace Dillard-Bassett have “come a long way,” but there will be conflict, especially surrounding Candiace’s husband Chris Bassett’s alleged inappropriate behavior with other women. She admitted things get a little “dark” this season.
The Real Housewives of Potomac premieres Sunday, October 9, at 8 p.m. on Bravo.