Real Housewives of Potomac has been dealing with a huge scandal that started behind the scenes and then surged to engulf the entire cast. In September 2018, Ashley Darby’s husband, Michael Darby, was charged with a misdemeanor for improper sexual contact and a felony assault charge. A cameraman, Orville Palmer, alleged that Michael grabbed his butt and even gave him a “flirtatious look.” The supposed assault happened during Monique Samuels’ Rainbow shower. The maximum sentence for the charges was 11 years in prison.
Michael was suspended from filming RHOP while the charges were investigated. A Montgomery County court dismissed the charges due to insufficient evidence on October 4. He resumed filming the reality show in early October.
Michael decided to attend Juan Dixon’s Halloween-themed birthday bash. It was uncomfortable watching Michael interact with the ladies and their spouses. Juan seemed genuinely happy to see Michael. Candiace Dillard and Karen Huber—not so much. But the big news here is the unseen video footage that aired at the end of the episode. And it is creepy enough to fit right in with this episode’s terrifying theme.
According to People, the footage doesn’t show any physical touching between Michael and a cameraman but does record what a cameraman says to Michael.
“Hey bud? You alright?” Michael asks with a giggle as he walked past a crew member.
“Please don’t do that,” the man stated.
Michael responded, “Okay.”
“Please don’t do that,” the man repeated.
“Okay,” Michael states just before he walks over to see Ashley.
More footage showed a man trying to engage Michael in conversation. “Hey Mike. Hold on. Mike, Mike, hold on. Hold on!” the man shouted.
“I didn’t touch your butt. I didn’t touch your butt!” Michael shouted back with a grin. “Come on, I’ll get a beer.” I must say that it is confusing trying to figure out who is talking, and what is happening.
In an exclusive statement to People, Michael stated, “On one hand, I was amused by the production company’s amateurish attempt to affect the viewers opinion by first showing video that clearly does not show any improper action by me and then try to couple that with another video which was taken 4 hours later by a different cameraman of a conversation with a cousin of a cast member — not the cameraman — who whenever I see him refers to a well-documented, harmless event that occurred in season one. On the other hand it shows the level people will stoop to in order to get ratings.”
“This was a serious situation where an employee of the production company tried to take advantage of my wife and I by making up a story to try to profit from it. The fact that the production company appears to endorse his actions by splicing together disconnected and unrelated events in order to also profit is really scary for people in my position,” he concluded.
In a Tweet, @bravosuperfans posted screenshots from @hankdavis27. Hank, who is Monique’s cousin, wrote (the grammar here is a little rough) “Now I can’t say if any ass was grabbed, cause [shyt] I don’t know. What I do know is my voice when I hear it…when I called him hey Mike, Mike tryna get his attention was earlier that day. After we talked he said [let] get a beer. Not the way they showed it at the end.”
Now Bravo is weighing in on Michael’s claim that the footage was edited to take advantage of him and his wife. A representative for Bravo issued a statement on Twitter @people. “Pertaining to Michael Darby’s scenes in last night’s Real Housewives of Potomac, there was no manipulation of audio or video; the footage that aired in last night’s episode depicted events exactly as they occurred.”
Of course, in an earlier incident this season, Robyn Dixon and Candiace overhead Michael saying at a party that he would perform oral sex on a man. This news was still fresh in the Potomac ladies’ minds. That nugget came out at Candiace’s menu-tasting party from hell. Seriously, does anything go well at any Housewives dinner party? Ashley was surprised but defended her husband.
This is all very confusing. And shocking. Hopefully ,we will get to the truth during the remainder of this season of RHOP. I need answers!
TELL US- WHAT DO YOU THINK HAPPENED WITH MICHAEL AND THE CAMERAMAN? DO YOU THINK THAT THE FOOTAGE WAS MANIPULATED?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]