Ash Armand Went From Reality Television Star to Being Charged With Murder — What Happened?

"I don’t know if you’ve ever done mushrooms before,” said Armand, “but I was no longer in this reality."

Jennifer Tisdale - Author

Jun. 3 2024, Published 8:24 p.m. ET

Ash Armand from 'Gigolos'
Source: Getty Images

In January 2019, Ash Armand was a guest on The Morning Dinner podcast where he was more or less shooting the s--t. It had been three years since the actor, whose real name is Akshaya Kubiak, had starred in the Showtime reality series Gigolos and if his IMDB page is to be believed, he hadn't done much in the entertainment world since.

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In the interview he's relaxed and confident as he talks about getting back into reading and what he does for a living, which is working as a professional escort. While discussing his job, Armand is thoughtful and emotionally intelligent. He's not dismissive or judgmental of the women who have hired him.

A little over a year later, he would be charged with murder. How did that happen and where is Ash Armand now? Here's what we know.

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Where is Ash Armand now?

According to the Nevada Department of Corrections, Armand is incarcerated at the Southern Desert Correctional Center in Las Vegas, Nev. He entered the facility in July 2020 after he was arrested and charged with murder. The Las Vegas Review-Journal reported that Armand pleaded guilty to felony counts of voluntary manslaughter and mayhem in September 2021 and was sentenced to eight to 20 years in prison.

Before his sentencing, Armand's mother wrote a letter to the court describing her son as someone who "grew up immersed in the healing traditions, and philosophies of the East and West," per Refinery29. He and his brother were raised by two nomadic parents with wandering spirits who saw no problem with bringing them anywhere from Maine to Japan. His parents were teachers and frequently introduced their children to an "international crowd of scientists, poets and intellectuals, artists, and academics of every stripe."

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When abuse darkened his doorstep, it wasn't at the hands of his mother or father. On an episode of Gigolos, Armand said he was "hit by my godfather and other people, and I was quite harshly physically punished." Although this was not at the hands of either parent, his father told Refinery29 that he was aware of the situation. Did this lead Armand to a violent night that ended in death, or was something more sinister at work? And who did he kill?

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Herleen Dulai was trying to figure out her life when she met Ash Armand.

Herleen Dulai graduated from Temple University with a bachelor’s in biological sciences then moved to Las Vegas in 2017 to pursue her post-baccalaureate degree. The sometimes-model joined the A.C.E. Fitness gym soon after relocating and immediately fell in love with working out. Before long, she was feeling better physically and mentally and had become a personal trainer herself. Then she took what she learned to social media where she posted inspirational videos about her fitness journey.

Sadly, her passion began to wane. Around the same time, Armand reached out to her via Instagram (although a friend of his claims Dulai contacted him first). This was around May or June of 2020. Regardless, the two began spending time together. Within a few weeks, the two of them grew strangely close. Armand presented himself as a spiritual guy, a healer of sorts. This showed in his drug use as well, which ranged from marijuana and MDMA to cocaine. This only got worse as he made more money on the show.

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That money was all but gone by the time he met Dulai, which many theorize is why he spent time with a woman who normally wasn't his type while he was in a relationship with someone else. On July 15, 2020, Dulai went to Armand's house to watch his dog while he traveled out of state to visit his ex-girlfriend and their son. While there before he left, the two of them took mushrooms and put on the movie Avatar. What happened next is entirely based on what Armand told authorities.

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Armand called 9-1-1 on July 16 and told the operator there was some sort of struggle and that he had "temporarily lost his mind." He also said, "I don’t know if you’ve ever done mushrooms before, but I was no longer in this reality. I was in trans-different realities. And then I saw the person next to me." That person was of course Dulai and she was dead. The dispatcher coached Armand on how to perform CPR, even as the paramedics arrived. It was too late.

Armand claimed that Dulai attacked him but the crime scene told a different story. Her face was bruised and swollen. There were bloody handprints on two candles by her body as well as a black shirt and ceramic statue "splattered with blood." This did not look like an accident. It was later determined that the cause of death was blunt force trauma with strangulation as a contributing factor.

Later, when Dulai's sister spoke at Armand's bail hearing, she painted a picture of a gentle person who filled every room with kindness. Her friend Amy Elliot said, "I don't think I ever will meet someone with the biggest amount of love in their heart as Herleen. When you do have such a loving heart that makes you instantaneously vulnerable." That, she feared, is partly to blame for what happened.

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