Decked out in a set that was part Bermuda Triangle and part Utah snow storm, the cast of “The Real Housewives Salt Lake City” — Heather Gay, Lisa Barlow, Meredith Marks, Whitney Rose and Angie Katsanevas — convened to take stock of the show’s fourth season, and to face off with the newly minted reality TV supervillain Monica Garcia.
For the first time since the big-beach reveal in the Jan. 2 finale, the women were reunited for the hotly anticipated three-part reunion. In that masterful final episode, Heather Gay collected the original “RHOSLC” four together on the Bermuda shore to inform them all that Monica Garcia was not their friend, but rather, a key co-conspirator behind the Instagram and Twitter accounts Reality Von Tease.
According to Monica, after she was confronted and exposed in the finale, this online account had a singular narrative: to expose their former co-star Jen Shah for her toxic behavior as a boss (and human being). But along the way, Jen’s fellow Housewives became “collateral damage,” as Monica put it, to this cyber mission. “[Reality Von Tease] was dedicated to annihilating and exposing Jen Shah, but it quickly expanded to troll all of us,” Heather revealed in her confessional. “Me, Whitney, Meredith, Lisa. These were character assassinations.”
Now, contractually obligated to face each other in New York City with moderator and executive producer Andy Cohen, the women broke down exactly what went down in the DMs. Here are the biggest reveals from Part 1 of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s” reunion episodes.
The first topic of discussion, Lisa Barlow’s missing $60,000 ring. The diamond band vanished while on she was in airport’s bathroom at the beginning of a cast holiday in Palm Springs. Lisa was bereft over the loss of this sentimental accessory, which she explained at the reunion was a gift from her husband after a harrowing experience with her younger son when he still a newborn. During the Palm Springs episode, Monica took umbrage with Lisa’s obsession — she kept referring to its price tag — labeling her out of touch and elitist. The aftermath of this altercation, paired with the revelation that Monica is an online troll, has caused a lot of chatter accusing Monica of swiping the ring in question (an accusation she vehemently denied).
“Where do you think the rumors started that you took the ring?” Cohen asked. Monica was specific: “I thought Lisa and Heather.” After denying that they were the origin of this theory, Monica continued, “Let me ask you this, why didn’t you go online when you saw all the rumors and say, ‘I do not think Monica stole that.’”
“I don’t think I need to do that,” Lisa said. “I don’t think it’s my job to do this.”
“And maybe that’s not what we thought,” Heather followed. “I didn’t say it out loud,” she continued.
The conversation devolved from there, with Monica getting specific, “Let me make this very clear because this is very damaging, it’s easy, it’s stereotypical, it’s tired,” she said. “I did not steal your ring. You’re saying I would steal it because I have less than you, so I’m going to steal it?”
Monica insisted that the timing didn’t add up, and she didn’t even enter the bathroom until 30 minutes after Lisa lost the object in the first place.
Monica’s Relationship With Jen Shah
Cohen then asked the self-appointed Gossip Girl of Salt Lake City to explain her relationship with the currently incarcerated Jen Shah. “We were friends first, and then I was working for her, and then enemies I guess,” Monica said.
Monica described her job as helping Jen with “her life” running errands, making sure she didn’t miss meetings and more. She said she felt more like a friend than an employee, which makes sense because Monica then revealed that she wasn’t getting paid.
“So you were taking time away from your kids for a job that didn’t pay?” Cohen asked. Monica insisted that she did all of these things because they were “friends first.” The rest of the cast (and Cohen) were confused by this. Heather pushed harder, asking whether Monica took the job in order to try and get on the show: Monica said no. In response Heather played an audio file, presumably of Monica, that she had cued up and ready to go for the reunion.
“Fucking Kim Kardashian was an fucking assistant,” the voice said. “And look at that bitch now. I can fully admit that the whole reason why I was an assistant and putting up with that shit was as a stepping stone, as a learning experience.”
Cohen pressed further, “Were you being her assistant to get on the show?”
“I [didn’t] think I would ever get on the show,” Monica said. “But why wouldn’t I try to get on the show?”
“I don’t think you were her friend helping her,” Heather reiterated. “I think you had an agenda.” To which Monica doubled down stating she didn’t even know Jen was on the show when they first became friends.
Monica Reached Out to the FBI Herself
There was confusion about how Monica got involved with Jen’s case, which she’s claimed she did, serving as a witness. Monica said that she was the one who reached out to the federal investigators, after Jen was arrested during the show’s second season.
“I think that I did the right thing, and I think that everyone here probably should have done the right thing too,” Monica said. The reunion set was near-silent after this quote.
Re-Living Her Affair Online Hurt Monica
Several fans had questions for Monica about how open and honest she’d been on the show about her affair with her former brother-in-law, an act that ended her marriage. Re-living the whole experience after discussing it during the season was painful for her, she said. “I’m constantly being called a whore online,” she said. “My comments are nasty, it’s wild.”
After everything that Reality Von Tease has put the “RHOSLC” cast through, Monica complaining about online trolls was too rich of an irony for some of her fellow — at least for now — castmates.
“It hits different when the internet comes after you, and the trolls come after you with nasty things,” Whitney said. “I too admitted that I too had an affair, been called every name in the book. You think you’re over it and then you get on a show and instagram takes over and trolls come in, it’s hard.”
“The comments really hurt,” Heather said looking at Monica.