The ladies of The Real Housewives of Potomac have shared some of the most challenging moments of their lives with viewers over the past four seasons. And Sunday night's episode was definitely one of the most heartbreaking.
In the episode, we got to see the conclusion of Ashley Darby's trip to Georgia to visit her father, who left her mother when she was a baby, in the hopes of getting the chance to meet and speak with him for the first time. Ashley knocked on her father's door with her mother and her aunt by her side. When they told Ashley's father that his daughter was there to see him and she said hello to him, he shut the door in her face and declined to come out of his house to speak with her.
Ashley opened up about her lifelong desire to meet her father during The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 4 After Show, which you can view, above. "I have been waiting to see my dad's face for over 30 years. I mean, I can't even tell you the scenarios that have played out in my head. The way that I envisioned it would ever happen that I would meet my dad, I always thought that he would come and surprise me and one day knock on the door and I'd open it and there he was," she said. "So I had all these hopes and all these really strong desires to meet my dad."
She also shared just how devastating it was to finally come face-to-face with her dad. "So when it actually happened where I really saw my dad for the first time, it was almost like an out-of-body experience because it felt like it was almost too good to be true. The fact that we were actually looking at each other and we had locked eyes and I saw that he was a real person in the flesh, every question and every fantasy I had ever had about having any sort of relationship with my dad almost played out right then and there," she explained. "And then when he closed the door on me, it hurt quite a bit. Sorry, I don't want to cry, but it really did hurt me. It really affirmed to myself that I'm a strong woman because I really didn't know how I was gonna react if he didn't reciprocate in wanting to have a relationship with me. And I surprised myself. I came out much stronger. So it sucked, it hurt, but I grew a little bit more."
Still, Ashley said that she believes her father has been a good dad to the two young sons he is now raising. "He's not a monster, I don't think. He does have two young kids, so he obviously has a paternal instinct to some degree; he just didn't have it with me," she shared. "Now that rejection that he doesn't want it with me really hurts, but at the same time, maybe there really is just something about him. If he's able to give it to these two young, beautiful young boys, if he can give it to them, he has the ability. It's just something about us. At least they're getting the love from him that I didn't get to have."
One good thing that came out of this difficult experience for Ashley was that it brought her and her mother closer together. "The fact that my mom was able to take that trip with me and put her own issues aside that she had had with my dad really meant a lot to me because I can only imagine how my mom feels," she said. "She was married to him. He left her with a baby, and yet my mom was strong enough and mature enough to still take that journey with me and to be supportive and to really put me first. She put all of her own feelings aside and was able to just be present and with me for that moment."
When Ashley appeared on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen on Sunday night, she shared that she has not had any sort of communication with her father since her visit. "That's the most challenging thing I had done ever in a long time. For my dad to look me in the eye and then just close the door in my face was so heartbreaking for me," she told Andy Cohen. "30 years just culminated in five seconds, essentially. So it was really rough. It's really hard for me to watch it back, too."
Ashley opens up more about the RHOP moment, below.
The Daily Dish is your source for all things Bravo, from behind-the-scenes scoop to breaking news, exclusive interviews, photos, original videos, and, oh, so much more. Subscribe to The Daily Dish podcast, join our Facebook group, and follow us on Instagram for the latest news hot off the presses. Sign up to become a Bravo Insider and be the first to get exclusive extras.