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Life is still champagne and cherry blossoms for Ashley Darby.
“Real Housewives of Potomac” alum Monique Samuels exclusively tells Page Six that her good pal and former castmate is “doing good” as she navigates her divorce from now-estranged husband Michael Darby.
“She’s doing good. The reason why Ashley and I get along so well is because we both focus on what we want the outcome to be,” Samuels, 38, says while promoting her new OWN Network reality show, “Love & Marriage: DC.”
“We don’t sit and sulk,” she continues. “So with her, she’s going to be like, ‘OK, this is the decision I made. I’m going to keep it moving.’ And that’s what she’s doing.”
Samuels says she knew there was “some tension” in the Darbys’ marriage before Ashley, 33, decided to call it quits with the Australian businessman, who is 29 years her senior.
“Ashley is the most positive person I know. And I know one thing about her and Michael, they work well together,” the “Drag Queens” singer says. “So if they made this decision to separate, it’s because going forward, they know they’re going to be OK — whether that’s OK together or whether that’s OK co-parenting.”
Though Ashley seems to be handling her split well, Samuels tells Page Six that she and her husband, former NFL player Chris Samuels, have made a promise to “be there” for the new divorcee as she acclimates to life as a single mom.
“I just encourage her and just reiterate, ‘I know that you’re making the best decision that you know that you should make for yourself and your children. And I’m here for you. Chris and I are here for you,’” Monique says. “And she knows that.”
Last month, Ashley announced she and Michael, 62 — who share sons Dean, 2, and Dylan, 14 months — were separating after nearly “eight magical years” of marriage.
“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,” Ashley said in part in a statement. “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 pair have experienced plenty of ups and downs over the years — including cheating allegations and sexual assault charges against Michael, who was accused of groping a “RHOP” cameraman’s butt in September 2018. Though he was charged with second-degree sexual assault and improper sexual contact, the charges were later dropped.
Reflecting on the couple’s dramatic reality TV journey, Monique — who exited “Potomac” in 2020 after four consecutive seasons — says she wasn’t “shocked” by their breakup.
“I can’t really say that I’m shocked. I think even a lot of people who watched the show, it could go one way or the other, honestly,” she says. “Ashley is a person who is very dedicated to what she wants for herself and her family. I know she’s always going to make the best move.”
As for Monique, she made her own “best move” to leave “Potomac” behind and reintroduce herself to fans on “Love & Marriage: DC.”
“With this show, there’s no box. You’ll see remnants from that other show that you’ll see on this show. It’s just me being me, the same me,” she says of the Carlos King-produced series, a spin-off of “Love & Marriage: Huntsville.”
“But you’ll also see more of a full person. You’ll get to know me in a different way: as a mother, as a wife, as a businesswoman, as a person who is 100 percent on the grind,” the Mila Eve Essentials founder elaborates.
“I have so many jobs. I wear so many hats and I do it in a way that works for me and my family and my dynamic. So you get to see more of us, me and my husband especially, in action.”
The Samuels — who wed in 2012 and share kids Christopher, 9, Milani, 6, and Chase, 3 — star on “LAMDC” alongside fellow DMV area-based couples Erana and Jamie Tyler and Ashley Silva and DJ Quicksilva.
“Love & Marriage: DC” premieres Saturday, May 14, at 9 p.m. ET on OWN Network.
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