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Ashley: Where's Rihanna When You Need Her?
Ashley Darby shares her thoughts on that umbrella moment and explains why she apologized to Monique Samuels.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about the rest of this clash on the street and how you were feeling when it ended.
Ashley Darby: The whole ordeal was difficult for me, because I don't know how it escalated so quickly. I have always possessed the ability to resolve issues with my words, so I don't know how we got to threatening people with umbrellas. Where's Rihanna when you need her? The tension between Robyn and Monique is deeper rooted than what happened at the Scent Event. In my opinion, this confirms Robyn’s feeling that Monique is disingenuous and puts up fronts for the people. At the same time, Monique has some resentment toward both Robyn and Gizelle, leaving her on edge and ready to act at a moment's notice. When it ended, I felt a little defeated because nothing was really resolved. If anything, there was more dissension. No amount of chanting "om" could bring the zen back that night!
Bravotv.com: What do you think about Monique breaking down after that clash about thinking she met real friends? Did you realize she was so hurt?
My heart hurt when Monique got upset, because contrary to what anyone thinks, I genuinely care about her well-being (as I do with virtually all of these women). Personally, I only have one definition of friends, and that is people who care about you and confront issues that may be harmful to your health. Even though Robyn and Monique have had problems, I know that Robyn would be there to give Monique words of support during a tough time. Even when we weren't on good terms, Robyn gave me advice during my separation from Michael. Truth be told, there is a sense of unity in this group if one is open to receiving it.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about this sit down with Monique – what were you thinking going into it? Was the charity event awkward?
First and foremost, the charity event was a great cause and whatever folly we were dealing with paled in comparison to helping Hurricane Harvey victims. Kudos to Monique and Charrisse for putting that together. Going into the lunch, I was prepared to make amends with Monique. Even though she can't hear me or anyone else in this situation, I don't want to keep squabbling about it. If she is unable to acknowledge that the alcohol may have affected her ability to drive safely, there's nothing else I can do.
Bravotv.com: Why did you decide to apologize?
Continuing to argue with Monique about how many drinks we had, and her ability to drive proved to be futile. My intention was not to damage her reputation by any means, and the fact that she automatically took it to that extreme tells me that there really is something deeper going on. I don't want to keep kicking her while she is down and make her feel worse. So while I stand by my statement that we both learned a lesson about drinking at lunch, it doesn't behoove me to maintain this argument. The reality is if I'd known Monique would perceive the situation this way, I never would have brought it up with our friends.
Bravotv.com: What do you think about Monique saying “fool me twice shame on you”? Where are you at today?
I'm not surprised Monique feels that way about me. We obviously don't view friendship the same and that is unfortunate. I've maintained decade plus friendships, and I know that ups and downs are an inherent part of any relationship. If she is going to maintain that mindset about me, there's nothing I can do to change that. Honestly, my interactions with people have grown since knowing these ladies. I have learned a great deal about moving forward with people after conflict. I didn't think that was possible until I met Robyn, Gizelle, Charrisse, and even Karen. As for today, I have no ill feelings toward Monique and am optimistic that we can get to a better place - we actually have fun together. Our relationship isn't where it used to be, but I think there's still room for growth. The fact still remains that I will urge transparency and authenticity from all of my friends, which may not be something Monique is willing to commit.