Ashley Martson, Jay Smith BUSTED Faking "Leaks" For Publicity; 90 Day Fiance Stars Respond [UPDATED]

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90 Day Fiance stars Ashley Martson and Jay Smith have been through so much.

Now, they're in the center of a huge scandal that's earning them scorn from fans, friends, and castmates alike.

And they have no one to blame but themselves.

Jay made a simple mistake with his phone, and we're not referring to his cheating scandal from last year.

His error revealed that he and Ashley were the architects behind some alleged "leaks" of their personal photos.

Even other 90 Day Fiance stars are shocked and are saying that they'll no longer have anything to do with them.

Wow.

Update: below, see Ashley's response to the scandal

1. From divorcing to inseparable

From divorcing to inseparable
Ashley and Jay were spotted out and about getting coffee together on Thursday, February 7, in New York City.

2. This is huge for them

This is huge for them
The couple struggled after Ashley caught Jay cheating on her on FaceTime and using Tinder ... immediately after their wedding.

3. Then, in January, Ashley filed for divorce

Then, in January, Ashley filed for divorce
She filed on January 11 -- the exact same day that Colt Johnson filed to divorce Larissa Lima. Coincidence?

4. She took it back, though

She took it back, though
Just days after making headlines for the divorce filing, and just eight days after filing for divorce, Ashley withdrew her request for divorce. For better or for worse, she wanted to work things out with Jay.

5. Jay was quick to brag about their reconciliation

Jay was quick to brag about their reconciliation
He took to Instagram and, though he did not show Ashley's face, it was immediately clear that those were Ashley's legs. And butt.

6. Now, fans and castmates alike are pissed at the couple

Now, fans and castmates alike are pissed at the couple
What happened to make everyone so pissed off?

7. Photos of the couple were leaking

Photos of the couple were leaking
You may remember that Jay had to frantically explain that the leaked "wedding" photos were from a non-binding ceremony that they had in Jamaica before Jay ever set foot in the US.

8. One account in particular was leaking the pics

One account in particular was leaking the pics
The images were "leaked" from an Instagram account called callingyououtfraud2

9. Jay effed up

Jay effed up
As this pair of screenshots captured by 90 Day Fiance blogger John Yates illustrates, Jay accidentlally went live on Instagram on the very page that had been "leaking" his and Ashley's photos. Going Live on Instagram is embarrassing enough when it's on your main account. This blunder was catastrophic.

10. In other words ...

In other words ...
Jay and Ashley had orchestrated their own leaks for added publicity, to stir public interest in them as a couple and possibly to circumvent their NDA with 90 Day Fiance.

11. Other 90 Day Fiance stars weighed in

Other 90 Day Fiance stars weighed in
David Toborowsky has been more active than some 90 Day Fiance alums on social media, and he was as flummoxed as the rest of us.

12. Jon Walters had a very simple remark

Jon Walters had a very simple remark
We should note, in fairness, that the C-word does not have anything close to the same "punch" or stigma in most English-speaking countries. In the UK or Australia (Jon is British), the C-word is sometimes used almost like punctuation and is considered barely offensive.

13. Paola was floored

Paola was floored
Paola Mayfield, who just gave birth to her first child on January 1, felt bamboozled. She had been defending Jay and Ashley, and now she's not sure what to believe about them.

14. Tarik called them out

Tarik called them out
Tarik and Hazel know firsthand what it's like to have details about their lives leak. He was not amused to learn that some couples would CHOOSE to have things "leak" just for drama.

15. Paola and David piggybacked on each other's criticisms

Paola and David piggybacked on each other's criticisms
Paola admits that she feels betrayed by them and David seconds that, saying that he'll no longer support Ashley and Jay.

16. Most serious of all is Steven's comment

Most serious of all is Steven's comment
Steven admits his own mistakes, but says that Ashley and Jay should not be exploiting fans like this -- and even says that TLC should never air their footage for Happily Ever After (it's been an open secret that they filmed for that).

17. Wow ...

Wow ...
Steven Frend was, unlike these others, a castmate to Ashley and Jay. (He was also hospitalized with a scary spinal injury this week, so we're glad that he's feeling up to using social media and we hope that he's taking it easy)

18. What did Jay allegedly DO?

What did Jay allegedly DO?
Most alarming of all, Steven makes a vague reference to Jay -- is he suggesting that Ashley accused Jay of domestic violence in front of her children? He doesn't SAY those words, but ... if that's what Steven is implying, that's more serious than anything else. We hope that we're misunderstanding Steven's implications, here.

19. And to think ...

And to think ...
Once upon a time, Colt and Larissa were easily the most controversial couple in this photo. Now, that's probably still true, but the margin just got a whole lot slimmer. Fans don't like being deceived.

20. The fallout from fans was immediate

The fallout from fans was immediate
When this leaked, fans voiced their complaints. Both Ashley and Jay deactivated their main Instagram accounts

21. Ashley's is back up, though

Ashley's is back up, though
Maybe she's confident that this will blow over (she's probably right). Or maybe this is about business, and she has contractual obligations to keep her product endorsements up on her page. Jay's page, as of early Friday afternoon, remains down for the count.

22. They had already been through so much

They had already been through so much
As we mentioned, Ashley caught Jay cheating on her with some girl. While it wasn't physical -- yet -- he was FaceTiming a girl after downloading Tinder. That, folks, is cheating.

23. But Ashley ultimately decided to stick with him

But Ashley ultimately decided to stick with him
At the Tell All special, she explained that she didn't want to just divorce him or see him deported back to Jamaica. Two months later, on January 11, she reconsidered. Eight days later, she reconcidered again and withdrew her divorce filing.

24. Ashley also has lupus

Ashley also has lupus
In January, she was found unresponsive at home and rushed to the hospital. She had gone into kidney failure. Contrary to what some trolls have claimed, she really does have lupus.

25. Still, let's keep things in perspective

Still, let's keep things in perspective
A lot of people feel that Ashley and Jay pulled the wool over their eyes. And it looks like they did.

26. Is it the worst thing?

Is it the worst thing?
No. It's not even the worst thing on 90 Day Fiance. A few of the stars on this franchise have been accused of some truly heinous things. Faking leaks is a betrayal of fans and friends alike, but ... we've seen worse.

27. There's only one thing we can say for sure

There's only one thing we can say for sure
The fallout from this will be intense for a while. And some people -- fans, friends, and castmates alike -- will never look at or trust Ashley and Jay as they once did. That's so sad.

28. Update: Ashley breaks her silence

Update: Ashley breaks her silence
Ashley took to Instagram on Friday afternoon to issue a response to the countless allegations against her

29. First, she wants to make one thing clear

First, she wants to make one thing clear
She really, really does have lupus. That was never reasonably in doubt but, just to be sure, she is showing her actual medical history on Instagram. Also, we all saw her in the hospital -- they don't let you come in and just pose in bed for the drama. And TLC sent her a bouquet, which is not something that networks generally do if you're not really sick.

30. As for the fraud scandal ...

As for the fraud scandal ...
In addition to affirming that she (sadly) has lupus, Ashley writes: "Reality TV is a maze. I wish I could tell you all exactly what’s happening, but the contract is strict." The implication here is that Ashley's NDA prevents her from directly addressing the fraud scandal.

31. Does that mean TLC knew about this?

Does that mean TLC knew about this?
Not necessarily. It may be that TLC told Ashley that she could discuss her personal health until the cows come home, but her NDA might cover anything that could be described as a "scandal." This would absolutely qualify.

32. Why do they want her to keep quiet about it?

Why do they want her to keep quiet about it?
Long story short? So that people have to tune in to 90 Day Fiance -- most likely, to the Happily Ever After? Tell All special, to get long-awaited answers. You KNOW that Shaun Robinson is going to be talking about this.

33. Will we have to wait until then?

Will we have to wait until then?
While we're sure that TLC was thrilled that Colt and Larissa's nightmarish breakup fight won't be the only hot topic at the Tell All, its air date is months away. We cannot imagine that we won't have more information to report before then. Do you know how hard it is to keep a secret in the reality television business? When we know more, you'll know more.

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