Ashley Darby reveals how ex Michael feels about Luke Gulbranson romance

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Ashley Darby reveals on this week’s episode of Page Six’s “Virtual Reali-Tea” podcast how her estranged husband, Michael Darby, feels about her blossoming romance with Luke Gulbranson. 

The “Real Housewives of Potomac” star, 34, says her 63-year-old ex wasn’t paying much attention to her relationship with the “Summer House” hunk, 38.

That changed, though, when a photo of the pair enjoying a date night at a Capitals hockey game in Washington, D.C., went viral on social media just weeks ago. 

“So Michael has seen Luke,” she explains, adding that the Australian businessman didn’t seem “too fond” of their potential as a couple — or the sweet snap taken at the game. 

“It’s probably not his wallpaper on his phone, for sure,” she notes. 

Ashley’s intuition told her the pic might ruffle a feather. 

“Luke and I, we did a little conference and were like, ‘Should we really take this picture?’” she recalls. “Because we’re both being a little bit private about this, you know? So he was like, ’Should we?’ And I was like, ‘Eh, why not?’ So we took the picture.”

Despite Michael’s reaction, Ashley asserts that he is “living his best life” at the moment.

“Let’s be fair, he’s an attractive man,” she says. “I know he’s a little bit older, but he’s still got his personality, his business is thriving. So Michael, even though this is a difficult time for him too — as he’s told me — he’s doing his thing, he’s floating like a butterfly.”

At the behest of Bravo honcho Andy Cohen, Ashley began exploring a connection with Gulbranson at BravoCon 2022 last month in New York City.

The “Coffee & Love” singer tells Page Six that she knew the entrepreneur was “special” when they met up at the three-day Bravo After Dark party to watch Tom Sandoval & The Most Extras play live. 

“We watched Tom perform on stage and it was so good. Both of us got really wrapped up in the music. I was, like, with somebody who I was meant to be [with] at that concert. It was a really surreal feeling,” she says of their night soundtracked by the “Vanderpump Rules” star’s cover band. 

“We just were vibing and singing together,” Ashley elaborates. “And that was when I was like, ‘OK, this is something a little more than what I thought it was going to be.’”

The mom of two — who shares sons Dean, 3, and Dylan, 1, with Michael — notes that her relationship with Gulbranson is “still fresh” after only a month of dating long-distance. (She lives in Virginia, while Gulbranson splits his time between New York City and Minnesota.)

“I do really want to get to know him first and we really are friends. Like, when I tell you we’re establishing a friendship, I’m not even exaggerating that,” she says.

Ashley also points out that it’s “nice” to be with someone who can relate to the experience of being a Bravolebrity. 

“Honestly, it’s just a little bit refreshing for me, too, to be connecting with someone who also — you know, being in this sphere — understands this life,” she says. 


The Darbys — who wed in 2014 — announced their split in April.

NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images


The Darbys — who wed in 2014 — announced their split in April.

The Washington Post via Getty Im


The Darbys — who wed in 2014 — announced their split in April.

Getty Images

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