Ashley Darby has split from husband Michael Darby after almost eight years of marriage. The Real Housewives of Potomac star, 33, confirmed she and Michael, 62, were separating after "almost 8 magical years" on Instagram, adding to Bravo's Daily Dish in a statement that she and her estranged husband "will always love and respect each other" despite the end of their relationship.
"We have decided to separate. We are aware that there will be many speculative views as to why we have made this decision," said Ashley, who welcomed sons Dean in July 2019 and Dylan last March with Michael. "People will be quick to assume that the causes were too much intrusion by reality TV into the most personal parts of our lives, age gap issues, cultural problems, or child-rearing differences. Pieces of all these may have affected our pure love for each other, but no one reason is the root cause of our mutual decision to go our separate ways."
The Bravo star noted that she and Michael are "both at very different stages in our lives" with different goals for their future. "We both want the other to achieve true happiness and fulfillment and feel that we cannot do this together," she continued, adding, "We also know that true happiness can only be achieved by continuing to work together and putting our hearts and souls into raising our two beautiful boys, Dean and Dylan. They will always feel loved and supported, for they were truly created out of love. As this is a personal matter for us, we appreciate everyone who has been a part of our journey and ask for your continued support by respecting us as we go through this emotional situation."
Ashley and Michael married in 2014, and their relationship quickly became a point of interest on RHOP after Michael was accused of grabbing the butt of Andrew Martin, Ashley's then-costar's former fiancé. Michael and Ashley both denied the accusations during the April 2016 Season 1 reunion, but groping allegations would continue to follow Michael. In September 2018, the businessman was accused of grabbing a cameraman's backside during filming, and Michael was charged with second-degree sexual assault and improper sexual contact. Charges were dropped a month later due to insufficient evidence, and Michael has maintained his innocence.