'RHOP' Cast Interrogates Ashley Over Support of Monique in Her Legal Battle With Candiace (Exclusive)
By Brice Sander
Grab a big glass of poncha and get ready to settle in for this Sunday's The Real Housewives of Potomac, 'cause it's gonna be good. Of course, by good, we mean dramatic -- and ET has your exclusive first look! The ladies are still in Portugal for their all-cast trip (minus Monique Samuels), but a fun night takes a sharp left when the group’s conversation turns to Monique and her legal battle with Candiace Dillard. At this point in time, the co-stars had filed charges against one another in regard to their October 2019 physical altercation at a Maryland winery.
"I want you to hear this from me, versus, like, seeing it, so… Monique did ask me to write a statement," Ashley Darby confesses to Candiace. "I did it because I am worried about what could happen to her."
"Hmm," Candiace purrs. "You're... worried about what could happen to her?"
Wendy Osefo asks if the statement is a character statement or a witness statement, as the other ladies point out that Ashley wasn't actually present for the incident that led to this legal battle (she was in the bathroom when it went down). Gizelle Bryant then mouths to Robyn Dixon, "That was your question."
"Monique's attorney said that I should write just what was seen publicly," Ashley explains. "So, I wrote about what happened at your house, at the reunion and then, how we had back and forths on social media."
"So basically, the statement was to assassinate Candiace's character?" Wendy asks.
"It's not about an assassination," Ashley responds, as Wendy cuts her off to add, "That's what it was."
"They’re trying to weaken Candiace's case," Wendy suggests, "saying that Candiace has a temperament that will result in someone being physical with her."
Watch the tense conversation for yourself here:
"The fact that she even asked you when you weren’t even there is questionable," Gizelle tells Ashley. "But she knew you would do it, based off of y’all’s relationship."
"Because she’s my friend?" Ashley asks, seemingly to get some clarity from Gizelle. But then Candiace jumps in and tells Ashley, "[Monique] has talked cash money s**t about you to me, her and her husband."
"But what I care about is action, and what Monique acted and what she did…" Ashley offers back, getting cut off by Candiace, who says Ashley cares about "strategery."
"She's playing the dog f**k out of you," Candiace tells Ashley, who brushes off the dig.
"However you all may view that, my statement doesn’t have as much weight," Ashley tells the group, Candiace jumping in once again to ask, "So why do it?"
"My goal is to lessen what could happen to Monique and not harm you," Ashley says, as Monique was potentially facing serious jail time.
"But Ashley, you also said you wrote this statement kind of as revenge toward Candiace," Robyn points out, with Gizelle adding, "You said, now you're even," eliciting an "Ooh, damn!" from Wendy.
Charges against both women were eventually dropped, and viewers will see that part of the story play out in the last few episodes of RHOP season 5, which leads up to an explosive fight between Candiace, Ashley and their husbands at Robyn's engagement party.
"There isn't a whole lot I have to say about Ashley," Candiace told ET in October. "She's not a person I have any interest in having a relationship with. I don't find her to be genuine. I don't find her to be someone who has a soul. She's just, she moves in a particular way that does not work for me. And I really have nothing to say about her. I wish her well, I suppose."
All this will be unpacked at the reunion, which the women shot this week, in-person… with Candiace and Monqiue coming face to face for the first time since their altercation.
"It's a lot of prayer and, you know, medication -- the flower kind, if that's possible," Candiace said of how she was preparing for the sit-down special. "It's not going to be easy. It's not going to be easy for me at all. I think the only reason that I'm even OK doing it is because there is a part of me that wants to, I think, laugh and be entertained by whatever version of this ordeal she will bring with her and just finally put it to bed."