Bravotv.com: How does it feel to be able to give back to your mother?
Ashley Darby: My mom and I have gone through the ringer together - we've been evicted from our homes, collected from food banks, and even slept on my grandmother's couch. But through it all, she has been my solid rock. No matter what harebrained idea I came up with, Sheila was in the audience (sometimes with a cowbell and whistle) as my number one fan. Although I could never fully repay that selflessness, Operation Mom's Happiness has always been my ultimate goal. I've been working hard to establish myself and give back to those who continue to support me.
Now that I am in a position to lift the burden from Sheila's shoulders, the sun shines a little brighter and the flowers smell a little sweeter. No matter what happens or what anyone has to say, I have achieved one of my biggest goals - buying a home for my family - and I won't stop until we are all at the top.
AD: I was incredibly baffled by Karen's avoidance of me. Earlier in the night, I had asked Charrisse Jackson Jordan if she was comfortable with me addressing Karen during her party. She assured there was no issue and encouraged me to squash the bullsh--. From the beginning, the ladies of Potomac have preached the importance of bringing the matter to the forefront. Well, here I was trying to follow the laws of the land only to be given the hand? That's not right, Slim.
Bravotv.com: Why did you want to fix the tension between you and Karen the night of Charrisse’s party?
AD: The way things ended between Karen and me left a bad taste in my mouth. I had not come to her event with the intention of causing trouble, but when Robyn Dixon brought up the absence of Karen's family it triggered a conversation we'd had in the car. I wasn't the only person who had yet to meet Karen's daughter, so I assumed the thoughts she shared about exposure to outside influences extended to the group in general. When Karen lashed out, however, it actually hurt my feelings because I thought we'd reached a point where we could discuss issues like 'grown women.'
At the party I thought we'd finally move on! It was a happy occasion celebrating our beautiful friend Charrisse, so why not herd the elephant out of the room? There was no point in walking on egg shells around each other - I'm not Patti and she's not Aretha - so let's hash it out and keep it movin'!
Bravotv.com: Tell us about the butt grabbing incident and your confrontation with Gizelle and Robyn. What do you think about their comments implying Michael liking grabbing Andrew?
AD: It's rather tragic that homosexuality is still stigmatized in the Black community. Any touching between two men that isn't a dap or handshake is gay or 'a white thing.' That close-mindedness is what reinforces the terrible notions of masculinity and teaches young men that they can only act one way. Michael, unlike Robyn and Gizelle, is not living in a box of rigidness. He has a great sense of humor and does not overthink his actions - Michael jokingly touched Andrew's butt while he was dancing with Katie, and we all laughed. It was not a big deal at all, and should have stayed on the dance floor. The last time I checked Michael is my husband and Andrew is Katie's boyfriend - mind your business.