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The Daily Dish The Real Housewives of Potomac

Who Is Ashley Darby's Potential Love Interest, Vernon Davis?

The Real Housewives of Potomac cast member admitted she's "flirted" with the retired NFL player before.

By Shannon Raphael
Is Ashley Darby’s Ex Still Supporting Her Financially?

Ashley Darby's dating life is officially back in the spotlight on The Real Housewives of Potomac Season 8.

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During the cast trip to the Dominican Republic on Season 8, Episode 15, which aired on March 3, Ashley revealed that she has a bit of a connection to retired NFL player Vernon Davis.

Find out everything you need to know about Ashley and Vernon — and about his friendship with Karen Huger — by scrolling below. 

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Ashley Spills on Mia's Spilt From Gordon and Her New Boyfriend: "She’s on the Fast Track"

Karen Huger and Ashley Darby's Connection to Vernon Davis, Explained

At one of the group lunches, Karen offered an update on her recent health issues. She revealed that she was working with a trainer to help with her minor carotid artery blockage.

"I'm starting off with weight training," Karen said, and Mia Thornton went on to ask when the rest of the group would get to meet her trainer. Karen then shared that her personal trainer is retired NFL player Vernon Davis.

"Vernon is my friend, and he said, 'Well, Karen, I'm going to take you through the training," Karen explained about why she was using the former pro athlete as a trainer. 

"Is he single, because Ashley — you know," Gizelle Bryant wondered, and Ashley admitted that she already had a connection to Vernon.

"OK, so Vernon and I are friends," Ashley said. "So there's nothing that's transpired between Vernon and I, but we have flirted. The first time I met him was, actually, I was with Michael [Darby] at Fight Night like eight or nine years ago, and then I saw him at your party. So he came out and hugged me and was like, 'So good to see you.' And I was like, 'Good to see you too, boo.'"

Vernon Davis and Ashley Darby in uniform at the Monster Energy BIG3 Celebrity Game

"We just talk on Instagram a little, that's all," she added as she showed Nneka Ihim her DMs.  "That's all, it's just a little. That's all it is."

However, some of the other women weren't convinced that was "all" it is. 

"Ashley turned a whole shade of pink," Karen said in an interview on the episode. "She was blushing..."

"I don't think I've ever seen Ashley like this," Gizelle said in her own interview. "This is like a little seventh-grade crush."

Ashley Darby and Vernon Davis attend the Monster Energy BIG3 Celebrity Game Welcome Party

Who is Vernon Davis?

Before his name popped up as Karen's trainer or Ashley's potential love interest, Vernon was a tight end in the NFL. Vernon played professionally from 2006 until 2019, and he spent much of his career on the San Francisco 49ers. 

Towards the end of his playing career, Vernon was traded to the Denver Broncos (and he won a Super Bowl ring with the team in 2015). He later played for the Carolina Panthers and the Washington Commanders (under the team's old name) before his retirement. 

Following his playing career, Vernon competed on Dancing with the Stars, and he hosted several reunions for The Challenge.

Who Is Ashley Darby Dating?

During an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen in February 2024, Ashley confirmed that she is single.

"You know, I'm having a lot of fun," she told host Andy Cohen when he asked for an update on her dating life. "Yes, I'm dipping and dabbling, swimming in the pond. I have some lady friends, and I do like to kiss and tell, so."

Ashley announced her separation from husband Michael Darby in April 2022 after eight years of marriage. Following her separation, Ashley's only public romance has been with Summer House alum Luke Gulbranson. After connecting at BravoCon 2022 in October of 2022, Luke and Ashley had a whirlwind romance before parting ways in early 2023. 

Watch new episodes of The Real Housewives of Potomac on Sundays at 8/7c on Bravo. Stream episodes the next day on Peacock

Originally published Mar 3, 2024.

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