Dan Gasby, the husband of lifestyle guru B. Smith, has appeared on "The View" to set the record straight about his controversial romantic relationship with another woman.
"It is extremely hard to love someone and be criticized," he told the show's hosts.
Smith, a former model and restaurateur, was diagnosed with early onset Alzheimer's disease and is cared for by her husband, a former television executive. As her mental health declined, the 64-year-old Gasby began dating 53-year-old Alex Lerner.
His recent announcement of their relationship on social media led to a wave of backlash. Lerner is helping Gasby care for Smith, 69, and sometimes sleeps over at their house.
"I've gotten grief no matter what I do," he said. "I made these plans a long time ago."
The couple has been married for 26 years and wrote a book together when she received her diagnosis.
Smith told him she wanted him to go on with his life after the soul-stealing disease took hold, Gasby said. "I want you to go on," he quoted her as saying.
Her mental capacity is drastically reduced, he said. "She's a toddler," he said. Physically, she is in wonderful shape, he said, but she must be supervised around the clock to keep her from hurting herself, wandering away or turning on the stove.
It is exhausting, he said, and having Lerner around helps keep Smith occupied.
Asked if Smith would approve of his relationship with Lerner, Gasby replied, "I'm keeping my vows, to protect and care for."