As the saying goes: Fool me once, shame on you.
It seems that Ashley Martson was worried that after Jay Smith's fifth time cheating on her, fans would spread the shame around a little.
Yes, fifth. That we know of.
If some parts of this 90 Day Fiance couple's turbulent history has slipped your mind, never fear.
Before we share Ashley's full statement -- including the confession and the apology for lying -- below, we'll briefly recap their ups and down.
Strap in, because Ashley and Jay had their share of ups and downs -- and so many breakups and reconciliations -- before their latest split.
And once you look through their history, it's going to be hard for anyone to believe that it's truly over this time.
Ashley and Jay are over
That is no secret. But when Ashley claimed that no one had cheated and that it was "no one's fault" that they broke up -- except perhaps for hers for not "getting over" Jay's lengthy history of cheating -- it turns out that this was not the truth.
It started with a wedding
In Jamaica with friends, Ashley spotted a tall, handsome man dancing and was immediately smitten by the hottie. It was not until they were actually making wedding plans and preparing for the K-1 Visa that Ashley learned that Jay was not in his mid-20s as she had assumed, but an adult in his late teens. The two had a non-binding ceremony in Jamaica for his family's sake and then had a legally binding wedding in the US, as we saw on 90 Day Fiance.
Right after their wedding, he downloaded Tinder
Though he would later claim that he thought that the hookup app was for "making friends" (folks, they have Tinder in Jamaica), Ashley caught him video chatting with a high school girl -- albeit an 18-year-old one -- just three days after their wedding. Three days! The only good news, aside from the fact that this high school student was an adult, was that Jay had not yet boned the girl.
But she didn't break up with him
Opting to give Jay a second chance, Ashley explained at the Tell All that she felt that she had invested too much time and emotion in Jay to break up. Besides, she loved him.
They kept filming
Folks, there's a lot going on with these two, but a huge factor at work is the Sunk Cost Fallacy. You know when someone has just lost $500 gambling and figures that if they've spent this much with no reward, they should spend more in hope of gaining something for their trouble? It's not a good idea with slot machines or with romance.
Things were almost fine
Ashley was intensely jealous, nervous that Jay would cheat for real. Those fears were well-founded. Jay hooked up with a random girl he'd just met in the bathroom of a barbershop. The owner not only told Ashley about it, he showed her evidence -- the video of when he had roughed up Jay for disrespecting his place of business.
It was over
On January 11, 2019, Ashley filed to divorce Jay. She had given him a second chance and he had blown it. Or, more accurately, boned it.
Days later, Ashley was found unresponsive at home. Her chronic health problems had resulted in kidney failure and she was rushed to the hospital. Jay made a big show of rushing to be by her side.
His ploy worked
11 days after filing for divorce, Ashley withdrew the papers. Jay was quickly seen on Instagram, gloating about their reconciliation by resting his head on Ashley's bare leg.
And things were good for almost three months
During that time, Jay tended to Ashley after a second hospitalization. The two weathered a fraud scandal together after Jay went live from an Instagram account that had been posting mean things about them. The season that showed Jay's cheating hadn't aired yet, so Jay's third chance seemed to be going okay.
Until, of course, it all went sideways
Well, we don't know what positions Jay was banging his mistress in, but "sideways" is probably a good guess at least some of the time. Yes, Ashley discovered that Jay was cheating, and posted about it in April, chastising him for spending her money at the strip club while driving her car. It turned out, she discovered, that Jay had never stopped cheating -- he'd had the same side piece for weeks.
Ashley needed time to herself
After a health scare, she went on a much-needed family cruise in June of 2019. While she was gone, Jay -- who was living in a room in her hotel -- allegedly broke into her home to remove some items. When Ashley returned and discovered this, she took out a PFA order to enjoin him from approaching her or her home again.
Jay immediately violated the order
He was forbidden from discussing the order on social media, and almost immediately announced on Instagram that the PFA was not going to deter him. So he was arrested and spent almost the entire month of July behind bars. Because he is not a citizen, he spent that time in ICE custody.
Then, his boss paid his bail
Jay's boss at the tattoo shop paid his bail -- thousands of dollars of his own money -- and recorded Jay's mistress-turned-girlfriend as she ran up to him and embraced him. They were back together ... until they broke up, at which point she expressed a theory that he was back with Ashley.
No, surely not
As much as none of us wished to believe it, Ashley did reveal in the autumn of 2019 that she and Jay had reconciled -- that she had opted to give him a fourth chance. Of course, she did not confirm this until they had already broken up.
She for some reason blamed herself
But the reason that they had broken up was because Jay was (of course) cheating again ... and one of his side pieces had claimed to be pregnant. Now, it doesn't appear that there was ever a pregnancy, but it was enough for Ashley to call it off ... yet again.
She begged for a divorce
Jay refused time and time again to sign the divorce papers. The benefits of being married to Ashley were simply too good. Plus, it left her vulnerable to reconciliation.
In late December 2019, Ashley revealed to THG that Jay had signed the divorce documents. It was great! But weeks later, she revealed the he had deliberately screwed up the dates of his signature ... rendering the documents useless. It was over, but they were still married.
CAN YOU BELIEVE???
In March of 2019, after most of us had eaten at our last restaurant for all of 2020 and gone into lockdown thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, Ashley took to TikTok, using a specific challenge that was going around at the time to reveal that she and Jay were back together.
We here at THG were just as stunned as everyone else. We all tried to make sense of it. Perhaps they were sheltering in place together? Or maybe they were just trolling fans.
No, they were really back together
Ashley had opted to give Jay an unbelievable fifth chance to work on their marriage.
They tried to explain
Ashley and Jay were inexplicably trying to make it work again, talking about their future as a couple and their plans to share their story on YouTube.
They even talked about having kids
It looked like the timing wasn't right for them, but they did tease the idea of it happening in the future. Ashley's eggs were frozen for just such an occassion.
It worked well for Jay
Ashley helped him to open up his very own tattoo shop, fulfilling his dream. Jay is passionate about tattoos and tattooing people. Especially tattooing women. This is not speculation -- he has spoken about this very hornily on camera.
Their three year anniversary came and went
Hard to believe, but yes, Ashley and Jay were married for three years -- even though a sizable chunk of that time was spent apart.
Ashley posted on Saturday, September 19 that they had broken up again ... but this time, she did not accuse Jay of cheating.
Ashley seemed to blame herself for not "letting go" of Jay's many, many wrongdoings, as if that were a failing on her part rather than a sign that she understands right and wrong and has a functioning memory.
It was over ... again
The only shocking part of this breakup -- their fourth -- was that she said that it wasn't about cheating.
Ashley addressed her fans
She says that she is cutting ties with Jay, hopefully meaning that he will not be able to worm (read: seduce) his way back into her life.
As for the financial side of things ...
She is transferring the tattoo shop to Jay. That will likely mean that she won't need to pay him as much support in the divorce, given that she has gifted him an entire business.
This past weekend, more than a month after announcing their split, Ashley has taken to TikTok to confess: "I gave it my everything. I loved him so much."
The truth is: Jay cheated
"And what did he do?" Ashley posed. "He was messaging the stripper he originally cheated on me [with] again."
It cost her a lot
"I lost 30k trying to help someone I thought was finally ready to be a real man," Ashley reveals. We have no idea why she thought this about Jay.
"I'm sorry I lied to all of you," Ashley writes. "In that moment, I was so weak. I couldn't take [the] public's opinions and deal with the trolls."
Until next time?
We fervently hope that this will be the last time that Ashley and Jay break up because we hope that their reconciliation early this year will have been their last time getting together. History, however, teaches us that it would be as foolish to rule out a reconciliation as it would be to, say, imagine that Jay will not cheat again.