B. Smith’s husband, Dan Gasby, is opening up about having relationship with another woman while caring for his wife as she battles Alzheimer’s disease.
In a recent Washington Post interview, Gasby, 64, explained his romance with Alex Lerner, 53. He first announced their relationship last December on the Facebook page he shares with Smith, 69, the former model and restaurateur, who became the second black woman to snag the cover of Mademoiselle in 1976. And he is now sharing additional details.
According to the report, Lerner and Gasby met at a bar in the Hamptons in 2017 and became fast friends. While the divorcee and mother of three “didn’t want to go out with a married man,” she said she had a realization while having breakfast with both Gasby and Smith one day.
“This is not a man cheating on his wife,” she said of Gasby, who’s been married to Smith for 26 years. “What I admire about him is that he takes care of her.”
Since her realization, Lerner, of Manhattan, has also been taking care of Smith, who was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s six years ago. She visits her frequently at her and Gasby’s East Hampton home, where she has her own room.
Although Gasby has told Smith about Lerner, he said it doesn’t seem to register. He’s also told Dana Gasby, his 32-year-old daughter from a previous marriage, and she approves.
“When he told me,” Dana Gasby said , “I was like, ‘Thank God. I'm happy.’”
Some people online, however, have not been as supportive.
“You don’t bring your mistress in the house where your WIFE lives,” one wrote online, according to the Washington Post. “She’s not dead.”
“She’s having her lifestyle funded by a black woman, and this white woman didn’t have to build a thing with you,” another said in a YouTube video.
On the other hand, a few did not disagree with his choice to pursue another relationship.
“I, personally, wouldn't want my husband to stop living. And if he took care of me full-time, I'd want him to have help. This looks REALLY bad, but there's a part of me that understands,” one woman wrote on Twitter.
Another tweeter said, “I saw my grandma having for Alzheimer’s for decades. I would want my spouse to carry on living. It seems unfair to make him stop living his life and forego any intimacy that long.”
Someone else said, “I get why it sits wrong w/people. And he’s doing himself no favors. But his marriage is effectively over. She’s gone. I say that as someone who watched someone deteriorate from the disease. If he weren’t still taking care of her thats 1 thing. But I can’t bring myself to be mad.”
On Monday, Gasby took to Facebook to respond to the critics.
“I only wish someone in your immediate family has Alzheimer’s so you can see feel and experience the pain of millions of people across this country so you can know first hand what it’s like to care 24/7/365 for someone who can no longer care for themselves,” he wrote. “I love my wife but I can’t let her take away my life!”
Read the full Washington Post article here.
Support real journalism. Support local journalism. Subscribe to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution today. See offers.
Your subscription to the Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism. AJC.com. Atlanta. News. Now.
Download the new AJC app. More local news, more breaking news and in-depth journalism.
With the largest team in the state, the AJC reports what’s really going on with your tax dollars and your elected officials. Subscribe today. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.
Your subscription to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution funds in-depth reporting and investigations that keep you informed. Thank you for supporting real journalism. Visit the AJC's Georgia Navigator for the latest in Georgia politics.