Michael Darby of Real Housewives of Potomac has been suspended from shooting the show after an internal investigation led to the charges of misdemeanor and felony assault. A complaint was filed by a cameraman, who said that Darby groped his butt while they were shooting the Bravo show.
TMZ says that Truly Original, the production company behind Real Housewives of Potomac, launched an investigation after cameraman Orville Palmer claimed that Darby groped him and then gave him a “flirtatious look.” Darby has been suspended from all filming on the show, yet wife Ashley is still participating.
Bravo has released a statement to say they won’t tolerate this behavior.
“Bravo has comprehensive policies and guidelines relating to the safety of cast and crew. We take all allegations seriously and then proceed accordingly with our producing partners.”
For their part, Truly Original says that it immediately took Palmer’s complaint seriously.
“[We] took all appropriate steps to ensure the safe working environment… for everyone associated with the production.”
The local NBC affiliate in Washington, D.C., says that court records indicate that the cameraman also filed for a restraining order after he says that Darby goosed him at L2 Lounge in Georgetown.
Back in Season 1 of RHOP, Michael Darby claimed he was just joking when he grabbed the bottom of a housewife’s boyfriend. At that time, cast member Gizelle Bryant questioned whether Ashley’s husband was heterosexual.
Darby said he “playfully touched Andrew’s [Martin] butt,” and the recipient wasn’t offended.
“He responded as expected with a laugh and we continued to dance with our lovely ladies.”
Orville Palmer immediately reported the encounter with Michael Darby to his direct supervisor.
“The cameraman — Orville Palmer — claims after the grope he turned around and Darby gave him ‘a flirtatious look.’ Orville says he instructed Darby to stop and then told his supervisor.”
Darby’s wife, Ashley, has continued to defend him against rumors that he is interested in men. She says that she doesn’t understand why Karen Huger continues spreading these tales against her husband, and she threw some shade back in response.
“That internet rumor was a fabricated story made up by someone who has never met my husband and chose a random white man to pretend to be Michael. On the other hand, there have been many sightings of Karen doing her thang around Potomac with this fellow. But like I said — if Karen and Ray have an arrangement, more power to them!” Ashley said.