Prosecutors on Thursday dropped charges of second-degree assault and improper sexual contact against Arlington real estate developer and restaurateur Michael Darby, a cast member on Bravo’s “Real Housewives of Potomac.”
The misdemeanor charges stemmed from a Sept. 1 incident, according to records in the District Court for Montgomery County, in which Darby was accused of groping a cameraman shooting an episode of the show.
“The case was dismissed due to insufficient evidence,” said Ramon Korionoff, a spokesman for the Montgomery County State’s Attorney’s Office. “The complaining witness states there were no witnesses who actually saw the incident.”
In Maryland, people can file for criminal charges for certain kinds of offenses, as was the case here, he added, and the State’s Attorney’s Office has a process by which the complaints are reviewed to see if prosecution is warranted. In this case, the office decided not to pursue the allegations.
“The charges were dropped. They were baseless,” said Mike Rowan, Darby’s attorney. “There were a number of alleged witnesses who said it did not happen. The peace order request by the alleged victim was also denied. There was simply nothing that happened, and nothing here.”
Darby, 59, is married to cast member Ashley Darby, though the couple’s status is up in the air — they have previously said they were splitting. After Darby was charged, Bravo said it and production company Truly Original had “suspended filming” with him.
“We take all allegations seriously,” the statement read.
Production company Truly Original said in an emailed statement it had initiated an internal review after learning of the allegations. “We … took all appropriate steps to ensure the safe working environment and safe forum for communication for everyone associated with the production.”
Bravo did not immediately respond to questions about whether it would resume filming with Michael Darby now that the charges have been dropped or what the internal review had uncovered. Update: the network said it has resumed filming with him. Read the story here.
Korionoff said though there were no witnesses, the alleged victim “did inform his supervisors immediately after. He provided several contact numbers for his supervisors, however no one ever called us back. We called the complaining witness to update him, however he hasn’t returned our call.”
Dan Morse contributed to this report.