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‘RHOP’ star Ashley Darby and husband Michael split

The "Real Housewives of Potomac" star announced that she and her husband "decided to separate."
Michael Darby and Ashley Darby attend "Real Housewives Of Potomac" premiere party on April 28, 2019 in Washington, DC.
Michael Darby and Ashley Darby attend "Real Housewives Of Potomac" premiere party on April 28, 2019 in Washington, DC.Brian Stukes / Getty Images

Ashley Darby and her husband, Michael Darby, have split.

The “Real Housewives of Potomac” star announced the news on her Instagram on Tuesday, writing, “It’s been almost 8 magical years.” She also directed her followers to Bravo’s website, where she shared her official statement on their separation.

“Almost eight years ago, when Michael and I said ‘I do,’ we anticipated sharing every single day together from that moment forward. Unfortunately, that is not our current reality. We have decided to separate,” the 33-year-old reality star began. “We are aware that there will be many speculative views as to why we have made this decision.”

Ashley noted that “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,” she continued. “We are now both at very different stages in our lives and have different goals for our futures. We both want the other to achieve true happiness and fulfillment and feel that we cannot do this together.”

Ashley added that while their romantic bond “is broken,” they will “always love and respect each other.” The pair share 2-year-old son Dean and 1-year-old son Dylan.

She wrote that they know that “true happiness can only be achieved by continuing to work together” and “putting our hearts and souls” into raising their beautiful boys.

She expressed that her sons will always feel loved and supported. And while this is a personal matter for the two, Ashley wrote that they “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 met Michael when she was 22, attending college and bartending in Georgetown. Despite their 29-year gap, Ashley revealed to Bravo in 2016 that it was “love at first sight.” Too shy to make a move, she first asked him about a marketing internship at his company. Months later, she asked him out for drinks. The two got engaged within a year.

“RHOP” fans first met the pair in 2016 during Season One. Over they years, they have witnessed Ashley and Michael's ups and downs, from struggles with their restaurant to infidelity rumors.

“It hasn’t been easy to get here, but we both been committed to doing it,” Ashley said during “The Real Housewives of Potomac After Show — Season 6.” “We’ve had to forgive each other for a lot of stuff, and forgiveness is so hard. But especially in a marriage, it’s incredibly necessary.”