Almost half a year after everyone thought that they were over for good, Ashley Martson and Jay Smith broke up again.
The 90 Day Fiance couple's on-again, off-again relationship has captivated fans for about a year now, and began many months earlier.
Since that final breakup, Ashley has taken to social media to pressure Jay to please, please sign the divorce papers.
Now, Ashley has some good news to share - and she has confirmed it exclusively to The Hollywood Gossip.
But she is human after all, and understandably, the TLC star is conflicted about this bittersweet announcement.
After all, this was not the ending that she wanted ...
We don't add that exclamation mark to be insensitive, but because it's the sort of news that needs to be shouted from the rooftops. Ashley Martson and Jay Smith have ended their painful dance at long last.
First, a quick reminder
If you blinked this fall, you may have missed a huge and important part of Ashley and Jay's story
The two met in Jamaica
Jay was 19 years old at the time, but between his height and confidence, Ashley initially believed him to be in his mid-twenties and therefore much closer to her own age. By the time that she learned that she was dating a noticeably younger man, she was already head-over-heels.
They had a ceremony in Jamaica
It was not legally binding, but it allowed Jay's family to be part of the celebration before their legal wedding in the US. Despite warning from Ashley's friends who worried that Jay would (and perhaps already was) laying pipe in other venues, they tied the knot in the US.
A huge problem arose almost immediately
Just days after the the two were married, Ashley discovered that Jay had downloaded Tinder ... and was not only messaging with a girl, but was also video chatting with her. The girl in question was a very young adult -- in fact, she was still in high school. That might be age-appropriate for Jay, but it was a horrifying betrayal of their fresh marriage vows.
They tried to make it work
Continuing on 90 Day Fiance: Happily Ever After?, we saw Ashley struggle to trust Jay again after his betrayal, even though Jay did not seem to express sincere guilt or remorse and seemed to feel like Ashley was making a big deal out of nothing.
Then ... he cheated again
In an infamous moment, Jay took a girl into the barbershop bathroom. This time, when he cheated on his wife, it wasn't through a screen. Though Jay would later claim that it was "only" oral sex and therefore somehow not such a big deal, that's not the story that the unwitting "other woman," who knew nothing of Ashley, told.
Ashley kicked his butt out of the house
In a dramatic scene, and with a friend's help, she packed up his belongings in trash bags and gave him the boot. Jay seemed intent upon reconciliation ... and, in his frustration, did seem to admit on-camera to cheating.
But he refused to sign off on divorce
Ashley even tried to use the presence of cameras to strongarm Jay into giving her the clean break that she needed. Instead, he staunchly refused.
But then . . .
Ashley suffered a harrowing medical crisis in January of 2019, and Jay rushed to her side. Despite Jay throwing up enough red flags to open his own flag store, Ashley took him back. She was determined to make it work. Besides, she loved him.
For a while, things seemed good
Jay didn't just rush to Ashley's side. He also took care of her around the house after her second hospitalization, and she described his care on social media. It looked like things were improving. The two even weathered a scandal together that some felt would bring them closer together.
But you'll NEVER guess what happened
Just a few months later, Ashley discovered that Jay was cheating again. This time, he had escalated. Instead of video chatting with a teen or boning a random girl in a bathroom (and getting roughed up by his own friend over it), Jay had allegedly taken part in a months-long affair. Looking at the timeline, it seems like he never STOPPED cheating on Ashley.
This time, it was "serious"
it sounds like Jay told this girl, Kayla O'Brien, some wild tales about Ashley. As always, the "other woman" is not to blame -- the cheater is. One never knows WHAT a married man might tell his mistress, just because he's horny and determined to never be monogamous.
Ashley had to get away from it all
She went on a planned family cruise in June after partying it up in New York during Pride. It was exactly the sort of R&R that she needed.
While Ashley was away, Jay allegedly broke into her home -- decidedly no longer his -- and removed things from it. That is simply not okay and also not legal.
Ashley took out a protective order
After presenting evidence to the court, she was granted a PFA -- a Protection From Abuse -- order that required Jay to stay away from her, to stay away from her home, and to not discuss the order on social media.
Jay just couldn't help himself
Just like the urge to cheat, the urge to address the PFA on social media proved to be too much to resist for Jay, who posted about it to his Stories. Well, law enforcement saw that.
That did not work out well for Jay
Jay was arrested and, because he is not a US citizen, he spent almost all of July in ICE custody. He was not a happy camper, folks.
That lasted for a few weeks
Jay's boss eventually took pity on him and provided his bail money himself, which was spectacularly generous of him. Kayla was delighted to be reunited with Jay. The two partied and seemed happy. All the while, Jay and Ashley were still (legally) married.
Suddenly ...it was over
In the middle of September, Jay and Kayla broke up. Almost immediately afterwards, he and Ashley showed up to the same event (both being 90 Day Fiance stars, this was bound to happen). Kayla publicly expressed concern that they might get back together. Remember, from Kayla's perspective, Ashley was a negative influence upon Jay ... somehow.
And he DID get back with Ashley
Unbelievably, Ashley and Jay not only reconciled, but kept it secret for WEEKS. That is, until the middle of October, when they very publicly broke up after ... and folks, you're never going to believe this ... Jay cheated AGAIN. This time, his side piece was claiming that she was pregnant. When Jay "proved" that there was no pregnancy, just regular cheating, he seemed to hope that this would once again be enough for Ashley. Fortunately, this time, it was not.
Cut to one month later
In the middle of November, Jay took to Instagram to boast about his paycheck, as seen here in a screenshot taken by the vigilant and talented 90 Day Fiance blogger John Yates.
Ashley replied to the image, making her frustrations public
"I’d give him two of those to sign the damn divorce papers," Ashley exclaimed in the comments. "It’s time to just sign and move on!"
It's finally happening!
On Thursday, November 21, Ashley revealed exclusively to The Hollywood Gossip that Jay Smith has signed the divorce papers.
But that is not all ...
"I feel like a failure," Ashley Martson wrote in her Instagram Story in a post that she deleted two minutes later. "I tried all I could."
She couldn't save her marriage
"It was broken beyond repair," Ashley admits mournfully.
Don't be fooled by social media, she warns
"My last post may sound like I'm happy," Ashley admits, referring to a happy beach photo of her kids (from the back, of course; she is a good mother and vigilant about their privacy). "Which I am to put this chapter behind me."
She's struggling to accept that this is how things ended
"But it's a hard pill to swallow," Ashley understandably laments. After all, she has poured a lot of time and resources and energy into trying to make this work. Even getting Jay's signature feels bittersweet at best.
This drama has impacted her sense of identity
"I didn't think I would be married [and] divorced at such a young age," Ashley expresses. Like so many of us, she did not rush into marriage right away, hoping to find the right person. There was a time when she thought that the right person for her was Jay.
She's happy for fan support, but ...
"I appreciate everyone's support through this Journey," Ashley writes to her fans. She announces: "My page will no longer represent my marriage or the show from this point forward."
She needs closure
"I just want it all behind me," Ashley explains.
But seriously, thanks
"Thanks to everyone who supported me and reached out to me during this Mess with kind words," Ashley writes.
Fan kindness did not go unnoticed
"It truly means a lot!" Ashley admits. Sometimes, the gentle words of strangers can make all of the difference.
Here is her full message
"I'm grateful [for] the love," Ashley Martson's now-deleted Instagram message concludes. That was clearly a heartfelt and soul-baring post.
On the positive side
Ashley is now free to live her life. And one day, we hope that she will find love again. To be clear, our aspiration is that she finds love with someone who will adhere to being monogamous once they agree to it. To be even clearer, we do not mean with Jay Smith. Just because you have wasted time with a man does not mean that you are a failure, or that you owe him even a second more of your time.