'RHOP' Star Ashley Darby 'Wanted to Be Strong' Amid Husband's Sexual Assault Allegations

Real Housewives of Potomac's Ashley Darby struggled to keep a brave face amid husband Michael's sexual assault case after he was accused of groping a Bravo cameraman's butt in September. Ashley got real about the toll the legal drama took on her personally in Sunday's episode of the reality show, admitting to her therapist she was suffering largely in silence as the news made headlines.

"I knew if I got sad and I broke down, Michael would feel bad or guilty, so I wanted to be strong for him. So when I saw everybody, I put on my smiling face," she explained, adding that she didn't want people to think she didn't believe her husband's denial of the situation. (Michael's felony assault and misdemeanor improper sexual conduct charges were dismissed in court in October due to "insufficient evidence.")

"I don't want people to see me wallowing and see me sad or crying and think that I'm weak or don't believe in my husband," she added.

Later, Ashley pushed off concern over the major charges, stating, "It's not a big deal. I know the truth about Michael, and that's that."

Last week's episode of RHOP was the first to address the incident, during which Ashley admitted she had "a little breakdown."

"I get very apprehensive talking about this, because it's not my case," she told the camera. "I don't know all of the details of what happened, but it's troubling."

Her fellow Housewives didn't hesitate to weigh in either.

"I remember that cameraman and I was wondering about that man," Monique Samuels said of the incident. "How humiliating is that, to have another grown man, old enough to probably be his grandfather, grope your butt, and you have to probably go tell your supervisor?"

"Consent is everything," added Karen Huger.

"I'm just at a loss for words," Samuels continued. "This point, the only thing I can do is what I would want for me, which is for my close friends and my circle to encourage me. So I'm going to just encourage her. I really, truly feel bad for her. Whatever move she needs to make, I'm here."

Robyn Dixon said while she hoped everything "works out in their favor," prayed it was "lesson learned" for the couple.

"I do feel bad for her," Candiace Dillard likewise said. "Like, damn, this cannot be easy for her."

The Real Housewives of Potomac airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.


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