AceShowbiz - "The Real Housewives of Potomac" returned with a new episode on Sunday, July 28. At the end of the episode, it featured unseen footage which appeared to show the moment after Ashley Darby's husband Michael Darby allegedly sexual assaulted a cameraman.
In the video, Michael could be heard giggling while asked a cameraman, "Hey bud? You alright?" The man then responded, "Please don't do that." To which, Michael said, "Okay." The man later reiterated, "Please don't do that." Michael then replied, "Okay," before walking over to greet Ashley.
The episode also offered footage when a man confronted Michael. "Hey, Mike," he said. And when the star tried to walk away, the man said, "Hold on. Mike, Mike, hold on. Hold on!" Michael, however, shouted back and smiled, "I didn't touch your butt. I didn't touch your butt! Come on, I'll get a beer."
Back in September 2018, cameraman named Orville Palmer claimed that the 59-year-old had "grabbed and groped" his butt three days earlier, during cast member Monique Samuels' rainbow baby shower. In the court documents, which was obtained by TMZ, Orville added that Michael "smiled and gave me a flirtatious look" when he turned around. Orville went on adding that he then instructed Michael to stop and told a supervisor.
Following the lawsuit, Michael was charged with felony assault as well as misdemeanor improper sexual contact. However, on October 4, 2018, a Montgomery County court dismissed the charges because of insufficient evidence.
After the show aired, Ashley broke her silence on the issue. Commenting in omfgrealitytv's Instagram post of the footage, the TV star wrote, "This video shows what my husband said happened. There is nothing new or revealing. Michael accidentally made contact with the very big camera man when trying to get past him in a narrow doorway. Nothing about that interaction was salacious."
"Secondly, that audio at the end was taken out of context and the person speaking isn't even named, when it was actually a cousin of one of the cast members. He has made an ongoing joke to Michael about season 1 that was referenced in that scene," she continued defending her husband. "Please use logic - why would Michael offer to get a beer for someone supposedly working and holding the camera? Anyway, this was addressed in the real court of law by qualified prosecutors and Michael was exonerated."
As for Michael, he said in a statement to PEOPLE, "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," Michael added. "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."