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BravoTV.com: What did you think about the rest of the press conference and those hashtags?
Ashley Darby: I have to give Gizelle Bryant points for cleverness, but I was actually more impressed with Karen Huger's response - or lack thereof. She kept her composure in a calm manner that I really didn't expect given how she flies off the handle at various times. As far as the rest of the press-with-no-press conference, it left us just as confused as when we came into the room. I was more concerned with getting something besides dried peanuts because I was getting hangry in that hot room.
BravoTV.com: You and Michael discussed giving your mom an ultimatum — end her relationship or get cut off financially. How difficult was it to come to that decision?
AD: Realizing that I need to establish financial boundaries with my mom is one of the hardest things I've ever had to do. It's always been my dream to buy my mom a house so that she can spend her own money leisurely, as she took many L's to provide for me. But that idyllic situation never happened, especially once she made her life choice to be in a relationship that I (and my family) do not find healthy.
During the course of our separation, I realized how hard Michael works day in and day out. His hard work and my mother's negligent partner do not cancel each other out - relationship math doesn't work that way. It didn't make much sense to me that I was alone and unhappy because of lacking the strength to say no. Their decisions had affected me for much of my childhood, and their influence was also infiltrating my adulthood.
While I will never 'cut my mom off,' we have the capability to have a relationship embracing our pure love, free of financial implications. The reality is my mom is strong and resilient - she wants to regain her own financial independence as well.
BravoTV.com: Do you feel like you will be able to mend your relationship with Robyn Dixon?
AD: Looking back at that interaction between Robyn and me, I feel shameful for how I approached the situation. It wasn't appropriate for me to bring up their past issues in that manner. For that, I deeply apologize.
My relationship with Robyn is complicated. When you get close to her, you realize how caring and helpful Robyn can be - she's very loyal. With that being said, after seeing the pain my mom endured through the years, I see things differently than other people when it comes to rebounding from heartache. I respect where their relationship is now, it just bothers me how many tears they've both shed to get here.
I lashed out at Robyn because I feel as though she doesn't always take responsibility for what she says to other people. Screaming in my face, then threatening to drag me and put me in a headlock is way below the belt - it's an ankle shot. Either way, we have many interests in common, like loving to laugh. I'm optimistic that as we grow independently, we can also begin to understand the other's point of view and begin to form a friendship. Diamonds form from lumps of coal.
BravoTV.com: What do you think of Robyn’s reaction to that meme?
AD: Different things affect people differently. If Robyn felt offended by the meme I respect that. I don't think the issue is just a meme on the internet. There must be other things bothering Robyn that were cooking under the surface, and the meme made her volcano erupt.
BravoTV.com: What was your reaction to Michael offering to help the Hugers at Monique Samuels’ party?
AD: Michael is a very knowledgeable businessman. He has a great deal of experience in resolving issues (legally), so I know that he was coming from a good place. Karen should've been happy Michael cared enough to offer financial advice since she says everyone else gangs up on her. One can never say the right thing to meet the "Grand Dame's" standards - damned if you do, damned if you don't.