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Monique Samuels Denies Having A Drinking Problem After Car Accident; Calls Ashley Darby A ‘Liar’ And Says “I Don’t See Myself Ever Being Close With Her Again!”

Monique Samuels is shutting down accusations that she has a drinking problem after her Real Housewives of Potomac co-star Ashley Darby claimed she had four drinks before crashing her car. If you recall, Samuels revealed on the Bravo hit reality series that she fell asleep at the wheel blocks away from her home and woke up just in time to swerve her car into a ditch to avoid a head-on collision with a tree.

“I do not have a drinking problem, was not drunk that day, and would never get behind the wheel if I was intoxicated,” she told PEOPLE. “If I had been drunk, and I really did have a problem with drinking, I would say, ‘Yeah, I have a problem, I made a mistake,’ ” Samuels says. “But people are wanting me to own something that really isn’t my issue. It takes away from people who are actually fighting for their lives, dealing with alcohol addiction.”

On the day of the accident, Monique recalls getting up at 4 a.m. that morning to tackle the beginning of a packed day. “I was really over-extending myself,” she explains. “I was just moving into my house. I’m on the board of a charity called Adoptions Together. I didn’t have a nanny for my two young kids. I’m managing five rental properties and all of their financials. Plus, starting my business, Not For Lazy Moms. And I had just had a miscarriage weeks earlier. All while filming a reality show. I was exhausted!”

After shooting a scene with Darby in which they went shopping for swimsuits before their first cast trip, the two went out to lunch. There, Samuels says she had “two drinks over the course of a meal.”

“I ordered three drinks, but one was a Moscow Melon, and I took a sip and didn’t like it, so I sent back for a martini,” she told PEOPLE. “I’m a very slow drinker. We were outside, and then went into the bar, and I brought that same drink with me and finished it there.”

Once the meal was done, Samuels and Darby separated — and Samuels spent “another hour or so” shopping while “drinking from a bottle of water.”

“I’m telling you, I didn’t even feel tipsy,” she says. “It wasn’t a matter of, ‘Are you okay, because you’re appearing like you’re drunk.’ If I was, Ashley wouldn’t have let me drive home. She would have called me a car and wouldn’t have left me leave. It was so casual and not even an issue. It was just a normal day.”

About five minutes from her home, Samuels started to feel tired. “It was as if they day just hit me,” she says. “I felt myself start of doze off. I said, ‘Wow — If that happens again, I got to pull over.’ But I rolled down the windows and turned the music up to try to keep myself awake.”

The next thing Samuels knew, she hit something and opened her eyes to see her car heading straight for a tree. “I slammed my breaks, turned the wheel, and said, ‘Whoa, I can’t believe I fell asleep,’ ” Samuels explains.

Her car had racked up $40,000 in damages. Samuels was also diagnosed with whiplash and a mild concussion.

But nothing was more painful than the “lies” that she says Darby spread. “It’s crazy,” Samuels told PEOPLE. “We were close friends. She more than anyone knew the things I was dealing with in my life. And she told me that she never said out her mouth, ‘I had four drinks.’ So to see it on the show the other night for the first time? I was crushed.”

“I was like, ‘Why am I doing this again?’ This is not what I signed up for,” Samuels adds. “Even with everything they’re trying to do for me, to tear a person’s character down? I would never do that to them. It’s just shady. There’s a different between wanting the show to be entertaining and tearing a person apart. That’s just evil. I never try to do anything malicious to Ashley. So for her to make this up? It’s just eye-opening.”

Does Samuels ever see herself being friends with Darby again? “I can accept her apology but I don’t see myself ever being close with her again,” Samuels says. “Why would I? She literally came around looking for things. That’s not a friend.”

Photo Credit: Bravo