As B. Smith’s health deteriorates from Alzheimer’s disease, her husband of 26 years says his new girlfriend often spends time at his family home, and she even helps care for Smith.
“If This Is Us and Modern Family came together, it would be us,” Dan Gasby told The Washington Post in an article published Jan. 28.
Gasby, a former television executive, has been married to Barbara Elaine Smith since 1992. He serves as her business partner and helps oversee the former model, author, television host and lifestyle guru’s multi-million dollar empire.
The two are shown together above, and he often shares pictures on Instagram of Smith and his girlfriend appearing friendly.
Smith, 69, was a pioneering fashion model who graced the covers of 15 magazines, according to her website.
After she retired from modeling, she opened three restaurants and published best-selling cookbooks. She also hosted the nationally syndicated show, B. Smith With Style, and made frequent appearances on the Today show. As her brand
expanded, she became known as “The Black Martha Stewart.”
The lifestyle expert was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s in 2013. She went public with the diagnosis in her book, Before I Forget, to help raise awareness about the disease.
When Smith wandered away in New York City for a day before someone recognized her and brought her home, Gasby was seen as a devoted husband and caretaker.
But that image was shattered in December, when he posted a picture on Facebook of himself smiling as he sat next to a woman with long blond hair.
Gasby, 64, has continued to raise eyebrows with social media posts that show him with his East Hampton socialite girlfriend, Alexandra “Alex” Lerner. He has also angered Smith’s fans with photos that make it appear his wife and his girlfriend are friends.
German-born Lerner told The Post she and Gasby ran in the same circles and met by chance. She added that she respects him for staying with his ailing wife.
“What I admire about him,” she said, “is that he takes care of her.”
Gasby’s 32-year-old daughter Dana Gasby, who Smith helped raise, has moved back home to care for her stepmother.
Lerner, 53, frequently makes the drive from her Manhattan home to the Smith-Gasby residence in East Hampton, New York, and has a room in the house. She said she helps care for Smith, when she is there.
“If I can be compassionate to her,” Lerner said, “if I can do anything for her, it makes me feel good. If it is giving her something to drink, or making her something to eat — she loves to eat — I feel good.”
Gasby said he’s told Smith that Lerner is his girlfriend, but she doesn’t really understand because of memory loss.
What’s her name?” Gasby asked his wife, gesturing at Lerner while The Post reporter visited the family. Smith did not respond.
Still, Gasby says online critics who have blasted him are only upset because the new woman in his life is white.
“I have been married to a black woman for 26 years,” he said. “I have a PhD in black love.”