USA TODAY sat down with Ruth Drew of the Alzheimer’s Association to discuss family conflicts due to caring for a relative with dementia.
While restaurateur and lifestyle guru B. Smith battles with Alzheimer’s disease, her husband is dating, and fans are not happy about it.
Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, opened up about his relationship with Alex Lerner as he serves as a caregiver for his wife. He spoke about the relationships in a profile published in The Washington Post on Monday.
Gasby has been married to Smith since 1992. Smith revealed her diagnosis of early-onset Alzheimer’s disease in 2014, saying that in the years before she was diagnosed she noticed she was repeating herself and forgetting things.
Gasby, 64, first revealed his romance with Lerner, 53, on the Facebook page he shares with Smith back in December, according to the Washington Post.
“If ‘This is Us,’ and ‘Modern Family’ came together, it would be us,” Gasby said of their current situation.
Gasby and Lerner met in summer 2017, and struck up a conversation. “We were friends,” Lerner, said to The Post, adding that Lerner had met Smith previously at charity events. “I didn’t want to go out with a married man.”
Lerner has a room in the house Gasby and Smith share, and shared that she has begun to take care of Smith. “This is not a man cheating on his wife,” Lerner said in the profile. “What I admire about him is that he takes care of her.”
Gasby said in the profile that his critics are racist and angry at him because Lerner is a white woman.
“I have been married to a black woman for 26 years,” he said. “I have a PhD in black love.”
Smith, 69, came to fame as a model, becoming one of the first black women to grace the cover of Mademoiselle. She later entered the food space, becoming a restaurateur and opening multiple eponymous restaurants in New York and Washington, D.C., while also launching her own home collection and magazine, along with having a regular “Today” show gig.
Fans of Smith are not having it, taking to social media to air their feelings about the situation.
“B. Smith’s husband is trash. Point blank,” one Twitter user wrote. “Married is still married.”
Another fan called the situation “foul.”
“I don’t have a problem with B. Smith’s husband having a girlfriend,” one fan said. “I have a problem with his girlfriend living in house. I wonder is this was something B agreed he could do before her mind went away.”
Another Twitter user invoked a gif of Soulja Boy to express their feelings about the situation.
Another fan empathized with the situation, tweeting: “This looks REALLY bad, but there’s a part of me that understands.”
Following the publication of the profile, Gasby took to the couple’s shared Facebook page and addressed his critics.
“I love my wife but I can’t let her take away my life!” he wrote in the post on Monday. “5-10 years from now when many of you who will have an almost predestined meeting with Alzheimer’s because of genetics, obesity, and a myriad of inflammatory diseases, you’ll be wishing for someone to share moments with and ease the pain of loneliness and despair.”
Fans took to the comments of Gasby’s Facebook post.
“You have the nerve to flaunt this woman, your girlfriend, the one you refer to as your life partner,” one commenter wrote. “You are both disrespectful.”
Another wrote: “Please someone get B. Smith adequate legal guardianship and remove him and the mistress from that house and her banks accounts.”
One fan replied: “If you were truly at peace with your decision, would other’s opinions bother you so much?”
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