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Why ‘Real Housewives of Potomac’ star Ashley Darby embraces the hot seat

Ashley Darby
Ashley Darby

Tune into We Should Talk every Thursday, where In The Know’s Gibson Johns interviews celebrities and influencers and shares his thoughts on big cultural moments. Subscribe to We Should Talk here.

Ashley Darby has gone through the wringer during her five seasons on Bravo’s “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” but she’s grateful for the effects that those hard times have had on her as a person.

“I’ve learned a lot on this journey. I’ve learned a lot about myself and what I can tolerate and what I can’t tolerate. I’ve even become more comfortable speaking my mind, because in this group it’s sink or swim,” Darby told In The Know’s Gibson Johns on the latest episode of “We Should Talk.” “You really do have to be able to stand your ground, say what you mean and stick by it. It’s been a growth opportunity for me, and my skin has gotten really thick.”

During her time on the reality show, Darby has also become a mother, welcoming son Dean with her husband Michael back in 2019, which she said also changed her for the better. (She also recently announced that they’re currently expecting their second child.)

“Becoming a mother changed me so much more than I ever anticipated. My patience is elevated even higher,” Darby explained. “There are so many things that you realize don’t have significance.”

During ITK’s interview with the former Miss District of Columbia, Darby gave an update on where she and her husband stand after weathering another scandal this season, where she stands on the feud between her co-stars Monique Samuels and Candiace Dillard and the frustration she feels when other “Real Housewives” stars aren’t as open as she is.

Listen to Ashley Darby’s full episode of “We Should Talk” below, and keep scrolling to read highlights from the interview:

On where she stands with her husband, Michael Darby: During the current fifth season of “The Real Housewives of Potomac,” photos leaked of Michael with another woman. While Ashley told us that there are more tough times ahead, the couple ultimately gets through them.

“That was a hard time for us for a minute. It’s not as though we just magically came out of that and all of a sudden our relationship was perfect. We worked through quite a bit of stuff, and we document all of that on the show,” she said. “There’s still quite a bit of a ride left on the rollercoaster with us, but as of now, especially with quarantine, we’ve had the chance to reconnect quite a bit and learn more about each other, so we’re even closer now than we’ve ever been.”

On the scene where she confronts Michael about the photos and a producer steps in to intervene: “I really did not expect any of that to air. The conversation was already a little bit difficult because Michael and I, we kind of jumped around. I was like, ‘Man, I wonder how this is gonna transpire,'” Ashley said. “Then when James stepped in I was like, ‘Finally, I can just relax a little bit.’ I didn’t think that that was gonna be included. […] Turns out, whenever the cameras are on, it’s all fair game.”

On other casts not being as open as the “Potomac” cast: While Ashley and most of her co-stars on “RHOP” have shared nearly everything with viewers, regardless of how tough or significant the topic, women from other “Real Housewives” franchises get away with avoiding similar life moments.

“You’re really hitting a sore spot for not just me, but a lot of my cast mates, we feel this way. There’s a lot that we’re willing to share. It doesn’t make sense for us to not share certain elements of our lives, and we feel that,” Darby explained. “I don’t know how other franchises can get away with not being as transparent as us. I don’t know how some pieces of the puzzle can completely be omitted.”

On avoiding the hot seat during Monique and Candiace’s fight: Right before the two castmates’ altercation, Ashley shared with the group that she and her husband had once had a slightly open marriage. That revelation was quickly overshadowed by what transpired between Candiace and Monique.

“I had really hyped myself up to handle whatever they hurled my way, because I’ve been very vocal about opinons I have about other people’s relationships,” she laughed. “I was giving myself a little pep talk in the car, and then when that happened it was kind of like the Homer Simpson meme where I slid back into the bushes.”

On where she stands with Monique vs Candiace: “Monique is well aware that I am not okay with what she did. I don’t condone what she did, and we’ve been very clear about that,” she told ITK. “She also knows that irrespective of that action, I still support her as her friend and I still care about her and I’m sill going to have her back no matter what.”

On expecting her second child: “It feels good to finally be able to talk about it, since I talk about it so much with my family and with my friends, sometimes I slip and I would say things to people that aren’t as close to me. So, now, it’s nice, I can just… [sighs] sigh relief that I’m not going to spill any beans accidentally. It’s all out there.”

Tune into “The Real Housewives of Potomac” on Sundays at 9 p.m. EST only on Bravo.

Watch In The Know’s full interview with Ashley Darby below:

If you enjoyed this interview, check out In The Know’s recent interview with Brielle Biermann and Kim Zolciak-Biermann here.

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