First and foremost, Michael Darby is a family man. In fact, his and his second wife Ashley's two children are what initially made the couple give their marriage another try. Aside from spending time with his family, Michael is also an outdoor enthusiast who enjoys skiing and kite surfing; some of the activities the couple bonded over in the early days of their relationship. Even though the Bravo reality TV show is supposed to be about the wives, on The Real Housewives of Potomac Michael Darby always seems to be making a grand entrance. According to Bravo, even his wife acknowledges this and knew that when the show started there was going to be some personality clashing. Michael Darby is originally from Melbourne, Australia, where he started his career in construction. He moved to the United States in the 1980s.
Before launching his own business, Michael Darby learned the ropes at several top companies including Akeridge where he was one of the vice presidents. Additionally, he has been part of some of the most lucrative projects in Washington DC; Columbia Center, Half Street, The Odyssey Condominium, and Franklin Square Morthing. Darby is also on the Board of the DC Building Industry Association. Like many other couples, he met his second wife while at a bar. The only difference is the two were working there. More aptly, Ashley was a bartender and Michael was a co-owner. Once the two got together he spoiled his new wife with trips and luxury vehicles. However, all that changed in 2022 when the pair announced their split. Some sources report that he was cheating. However, one of the couple's storylines is they had an open marriage. One of the questions hanging in the air is how much is Ashley going to get in the divorce. But, before we see those numbers let's take a look at how Michael Darby achieved a net worth of $20 million.
Real Housewives of the Potomac
One of the earliest things that made the couple stand out on the show was Darby's inappropriate behavior on set. According to US Weekly, during the first season of the show, there were allegations he got into an altercation with one of his co-workers. Both he and his wife denied the allegations and moved on with filming. Throughout his time on The Real House Wives of Potomac, the reality star has been rocked by scandal. In 2018, he was accused of sexual assault after one person from the construction crew said he touched her inappropriately. However, after no evidence was found he went on to film the show. Another hot button for the couple was when Ashley expected him to help her mother out financially which incidentally almost ended their marriage. Aside from the negative buzz that surrounded the couple, there were also many positives for the pair prior to the divorce announcement. Two years after their first son was born they had a second in March 2021. However, the addition was not enough to save their marriage.
Oz Washington DC
While Ashely and Michael were together, they opened a restaurant in Clarendon called Oz. Throughout the show, it was one of the things that propelled the couple's feuds. The menu concept was created by Chef Brad Feickertt who was a well-respected Australian chef before being hired by the high profile pair. The restaurant closed in 2019 when the stress of the couple's pregnancy as well as multiple other projects they were working on got to be too much. According to DC Eater, the block where the restaurant is located in Washington DC met with a string of failed projects before the Australian-themed concept. However, at the time the couple remained positive stating "we are replacing one Aussie baby with a new Aussie baby, as we prepare to welcome our little boy."
Another of Darby's companies is Monument Realty, which he started in 1998. Although many people might think only of his over-the-top antics on the show, he is extremely successful in business. In fact, he is one of the most respected names in the DC real estate market thanks to his extensive background in the construction field. Monument Realty was the first company in the Waterfront area of DC to start constructing new apartments in 2002. Additionally, it was under Darby's direction that buildings in the Dulles Toll Road area have floor plans tailored for tech businesses. According to Monument Realty, Darby has been working in DC real estate for over two decades. Some of the company's projects include the Willard Hotel and the Southern Railway Building.
Although the majority of Darby's financial dealings are in Washington DC he has property and businesses around the world. According to Otakukart, he is one of the largest landowners in Somalia, which is where a lot of his net worth is centered. Additionally, he owns 44 acres with an airport in Mogadishu which he helped build. Aside from these, he owns countless projects in Africa, Asia, and Latin America.
Zsa Zsa Gabor once said, "you never really know a man until you have divorced him." Time will tell what the end divorce settlement will be for Michael and Ashley Darby. Some sources think that number will total half of his $20 million dollar fortune. From looking at his assets there are a lot of different streams to draw. Even if it reaches the maximum number, with all of Darby's business prowess he is certain to be back up to his initial net worth within no time at all. Despite the glitz and glamour of the reality show Darby leads a much lower-key life than many might be led to believe.
Written by Allen Lee
Read more posts by Allen Lee