The widow of a man who was sent to sleep on the couch after a fight shocked readers when she declared she was in a relationship two months later - with her late hubby’s brother.
Now, she has revealed to MailOnline that the new relationship is just a cover to help or heartbroken kids deal with the grief of losing their dad.
Ashlee Murrell, 33, says that when she discovered that her husband, Mikey, had died she was ‘in pieces’ and his brother, Chris, was the first person to comfort her.
She told MailOnline that her three kids - four-year-old twins and a 14-year-old daughter - reacted well to having Chris around, so they decided to make like they were a couple for the children’s stability.
‘They are used to having their dad around so it is nice and so important for them to have a male figure in their lives.’ she said.
She says he slept in the spare room, and was a comforting presence in their home as they grieved.
Chris told MailOnline that they’ve been great friends for 10 years so it’s only natural to want to comfort each other in the wake of such devastating events.
I am here to support Ashlee and be a father figure for the kids but they are very clear on the fact that I am their uncle,’ he says.
Not everyone in the family agrees with the fake relationship however, Chris’s estranged wife described the situation as ‘insensitive and so wrong’ in a Facebook post.
Ashlee describes the backlash as “horrendous’, saying people have threatened to come and take her kids away, and suggesting she murdered her husband.
‘It's crazy how people can just take one thing they've read and start judging a situation they don't understand at all,’ she says.
Mikey Murrell came home to Ashlee after a long day working as a carpet cleaner. Frustrated with his long days, and feeling ignored, Mikey and Ashlee had a fight, after which she told him to sleep on the couch. She found him dead the next morning.
‘I felt so guilty. I was so angry with myself for making him sleep on the sofa. I still find it so hard to think that my last words to him were out of anger,’ she recalls.
Ashlee and Chris say they will continue to live as a family unit, with their fake relationship, for the sake of her kids.