Just days after uncovering the police report that revealed a terrifying night of events that led to David Norton‘s 2007 arrest, In Touch has learned exclusively that Ashley Doherty — the woman producers chose to marry David on A&E’s controversial show Married at First Sight — didn’t know about his violent past because the show never told her.
“[Ashley] feels duped,” her mother, Mary Harnois, tells In Touch exclusively. “I blame the show. She feels like she was let down in a big way because they told her they do background checks. So when someone tells you that, you’re like, ‘Okay, well at least they won’t have a criminal past.’”
According to records, a written request for David’s court case was submitted by DLS Background Services, Inc. on June 4, 2015 — three days before Ashley married David. The records weren’t sent until June 29. Still, A&E never told Ashley about David’s violent past.
“We were very surprised,” Mary explains of learning that producers knew David pleaded guilty to a misdemeanor charge of disorderly conduct in 2008 and was forced to take anger management classes.
Mary says Ashley — who asked David for a divorce on the Feb. 23, 2016, episode, taped six weeks after their wedding — recalled several red flags early on in their union.
“One thing I remember my daughter telling me from almost the beginning, when they’d started to live together, was, ‘He’s a door-slammer,'” she recalls. “And a couple of times, she said he got in her face. But of course they’re not going to show that on camera because they portrayed him as Mr. Wonderful.”
According to the 2007 police report, David smashed his then-girlfriend’s cell phone while demanding to know where she’d slept the night before. Then he followed her from room to room, shouting and finally grabbing her before she pushed him away. The documents also revealed that police witnessed David throw her to the ground as she tried to run out of the apartment they shared.
“In hindsight, I’m thinking, ‘Oh my God, this was a recipe for disaster,’” Mary adds. “Yes, this was a social experiment, but it was also a marriage, and when you go into that, you expect full disclosure. She didn’t get that. And that is the show’s fault.”
For more on Married at First Sight stars Ashley and David, pick up the latest issue of In Touch, on newsstands now!