Last week, embattled 90 Day Fiance couple Ashley Martson and Jay Smith were caught lying as part of a surprising scandal.
The stars of the smash hit TLC show had been leaking fake details about their relationship via a bogus account on Instagram.
Fans discovered this when Jay accidentally went live on the fake account, exposing the "leaks" as an attention-grabbing sham.
At first, Ashley seemed reluctant to address the scandal directly, perhaps hoping to hide under a rock and let it blow over.
After being relentlessly raked over the coals by fans, friends, and castmates alike, she broke down - and broke her silence.
Here, Ashley tells her side of the story, begging fans to understand and to find it in their hearts to forgive herself and Jay.
Ashley knows that she effed up
Yes, Jay was the one who goofed and revealed their secret account. But Ashley did wrong by having it in the first place, and she is risking a lot (as you'll see) and putting it all out there in the hopes that fans can accept her apology and at least respect her for coming clean.
This is how it all began
In this photo, shared by 90 Day Fiance blogger John Yates, you can see that an account that had "leaked" past photos of Ashley and Jay's, to their alleged embarrassment, was actually their own. How was this discovered? When Jay Smith accidentally went on Instagram Live from the alternate account. Whoops.
This is a layered, messy scandal. Basically, Ashley and Jay ran their own false flag account, "leaking" their own photos. And it appears that they used it to gain sympathy from fans, bloggers, and even their own castmates -- even in private conversations. It's not the worst thing that a 90 Day Fiance star has done, to be clear, but a lot of people feel shocked, hurt, and betrayed.
At first, Ashley only spoke about one thing
She wanted to make it clear that she really, truly has lupus - a serious illness she has been accused of fabricating and/or exaggerating.
She even shared her medical history
That is an almost alarming level of transparency, but she was trying to make a point and it worked. We already believed that she had lupus, but this quieted any doubts.
It was already pretty clear
Hospitals don't let you rent a room to cosplay as a sick person, and when last we checked, TLC doesn't send flowers to fake hospital rooms.