’90 Day Fiancé’ Star Ashley Martson Discusses How Her Kidnapping, Rape, and Near-Death Experience Changed Her Daily Life

Ashley Martson has had a lot of challenging experiences that she’s overcome in her life, especially given her 90 Day Fiancé marriage and divorce to Jay Smith. However, Martson only recently decided to open up again to her fans about a traumatic experience that she underwent in her youth. 

Now, Martson is discussing how this trauma has affected her daily life since then, and gave a chilling example using an Instagram photo. Martson’s experience has left her dealing with PTSD, and the ramifications of that can mean a lot of daily difficulty. 

Ashley Martson was kidnapped and raped

When she was 19 years old, Ashley Martson worked at a bar in York City, Pennsylvania. The 90 Day Fiancé star was attacked by a man with a box cutter while walking to work around 5:30 PM. 

The attacker was 35-year-old Sean Gallagher. Martson says he held the box cutter to her throat, and demanded all of her money. When Martson made it clear to Gallagher that she wasn’t carrying any cash on her person, he instead zip-tied her hands together, and bundled her into his car, kidnapping her. 

Gallagher then took Martson to a sports field, where he raped her and repeatedly threatened her with violence. According to police, Gallagher had originally intended to let Martson go. However, he changed his mind, and told Martson, “Nah, I would rather kill you. I don’t want to go to jail.” 

Once Martson learned Gallagher was planning on murdering her, she made an incredible escape. Martson attacked Gallagher with her back, slid down a nearby embankment, chewed through her restraints, and waded across a creek. 

Gallagher was eventually brought to justice for his crimes. When she had to face him again in the courtroom, Martson told Gallagher, “How dare you make me come here and tell everyone what you did to me. You are a sick person. … I hope bad things come to you in jail, and I hope you rot in hell.” 

PTSD affects her daily life 

Since going through such a terrible trauma, Martson has had to deal with some emotional and mental health fallout. Martson recently posted an image to Instagram of a man sitting alone near her and her son in a movie theater, with his face censored. She went on to explain to her 90 Day Fiancé fans why she posted the image.

In a lengthy caption, she wrote, in part, “This is in hopes to help someone who May be going through the same thing I am. You may be thinking what is this a photo of? This was a photo I messaged to three people closest to me yesterday while I was at the movies with my son.”

She went on to explain why she took the photo. She wrote, “ I took this photo because I struggle daily with PTSD. I sent this to them because I couldn’t understand why this man was in a kid movie by himself. He came in late. I immediately thought the worst. Is he gonna hurt us? Is he gonna follow me out to my car? Why is he here alone? I sent this photo to them In case something bad happened.”

Martson then went on to explain, “Today marks the anniversary of when I was kidnapped, raped, and almost killed. My life will never be the same. I am always aware of what is going on around me and always looking at innocent people, such as this man, and think the worst. I know in this world there are so many people going through the same thing I am. You’re not alone. Just remember this. You overcame so much and you’re stronger then you will ever know.”

It’s a stark reminder of how trauma affects those around us in invisible ways that we might never have considered before. 

Martson says she’s dating someone new

Martson has also recently said she’s seeing someone new again. During an Instagram Q&A, a fan asked her if she was seeing anyone. Martson replied, “I am. Too soon to post, gotta make sure it’s right.” 

Another fan asked her if she was dating Christian Estrada, of Bachelor in Paradise infamy. The 90 Day Fiancé star said it is not Estrada. 

Martson has also made it clear that at least for now, she’s focusing on dating men in America. She described the process of dating someone internationally as “challenging.”