Ashley Darby: I had been making magic at Oz all day, shaking hands and kissing babies. When Robyn and Gizelle waltzed in, I expected they were coming to have a bevvie and loosen up for a change. Unbeknownst to me, the Green Eyed Bandits were on the warpath - and for what? It perturbs me to no end when people decide to get bold with their friends and adapt the bully mentality when it serves no purpose. Was I supposed to be scared by this? The bleach must've gotten to both of their brains because it takes more than two tall broads to scare me, and I also won't back down when someone tries to use aggression to belittle me. I guess Robyn and Gizelle only have half brains when they're apart, so they have to get together in order to form a proper thought.
Bravotv.com: Tell us about that big blow up with the two of them in your restaurant – (and the finger in your face moment).
AD: Have you ever seen such low class? I certainly haven't experienced that in the circles I run in; perhaps the GEB have only experienced chicken and waffle houses, but Michael and I have tried to create a unique and fun restaurant. It is utterly embarrassing to think I associate with people who think it's acceptable to attack me when I'm working to make a living. When it escalated to the point that Robyn was standing over me with her fingers in my face, my fight or flight response was kicking in big time. Then Gizelle just kept running off at the mouth with her daft comments. It speaks volumes for both of them that Gizelle wants to be a puppet master and Robyn allowed herself to become a marionette.
Bravotv.com: What did you think about Gizelle’s comments on your marriage?
AD: The easiest things for these women to comment on is my marriage and the complications that come with opening a business with your spouse. Robyn and Gizelle both had philandering husbands, so they can't begin to think that there are challenges in a marriage that DON'T involve sidepieces. I've chosen to be open about my relationship because Michael and I believe in transparency - marriage is not all gumdrops and lollipops, and I'd never lie about that. But when the going gets tough the tough get going, and will keep fighting for Oz and our marriage as long as we both believe in them.
Bravotv.com Tell us about attending the PAVE event andKaren Huger opening up that night on stage.
AD: I had heard of PAVE's work before, but I was curious as to what Karen's involvement would be. It was incredibly emotional to hear Karen's story and see a vulnerable side of her. Since I met her, the Grande Dame has always had a tough exterior, but we all have weather storms and triumphed on top and hearing Karen's inspirational story truly touched my soul.
Bravotv.com: What did you think of Gizelle and Robyn’s behavior at the Pave event? Were you surprised that Charrisse wouldn’t respond to you at the end of the night?
AD: There's this trait I have where I temporarily table beef in public settings (as in not a friend's cookout). Call it home training or common decency, but there is a time and place to be uncivil toward each other and an event for sexual assault victims just isn't it. If anything, I thought we'd have forgone the pettiness for a night of celebrating strength and fortitude. Charrisse of all people should've felt some type of empowerment considering her journey, but she chose to keep wallowing in her self pity, even when I tried to talk to her like a reasonable adult. Gizelle said that money can't buy class, but apparently class doesn't come with age either - she and Charrisse are proof of that.