Mary Cosby, who was accused of racism in Season 1 of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” makes a disparaging comment about Mexicans in the latest episode. She’s also critical of Heather Gay’s weight. And she calls Jen Shah a “thug.”
Mary also makes it clear she thinks she’s the victim and other cast members are mean.
What’s the trouble with Mary?
The Dec. 5 episode opens with the last thing we saw on the previous episode — under pressure from Meredith Marks and Heather, Lisa Barlow tells them that her friend, Cameron, mortgaged his house and gave $300,000 to Mary, her husband and their Faith Temple Pentecostal Church. There’s a flashback to one month earlier, when Cameron gave Lisa more details.
“They call church meetings together, and they’ll beat you down until they get what they want,” Cameron said. “They wrap your entire life around this single idea as though it is the difference between heaven and hell for you.” He said that’s why he mortgaged his house, and that the money he gave them went to Mary’s surgery to have her odor glands removed.
Back to the present, at the vacation home the women are sharing in Vail, Colo. Lisa tells the other women that Cameron felt “bamboozled” and “duped,” and that she “100% believe(s) everything he told me.” In a confessional, she says she feels “very protective” of both Cameron and Mary. “Just because I believe Cameron doesn’t mean I don’t care for Mary.”
Meredith angrily rejects what Lisa says. “I am not going to sit here and listen to these very questionable digs on a friend of mine,” she says defending Mary. (Cameron, who died in June, was a widely respected community leader.) Lisa points out, accurately, that Cameron is not alone — that multiple people have made similar allegations and that multiple media outlets have reported them.
Meredith somehow makes this about Jen. “Nobody listened” to her allegations against Jen, so she’s not listening to allegations against Mary. “I can’t go down this path without something concrete,” she says, despite the fact that Cameron’s allegations are quite specific.
Lisa points to Meredith’s hypocrisy: “Like — oh, it’s OK to believe that about Jen, because Jen’s a [expletive] person. But then you have everything [about Mary] in front of you, and you’re, like, ‘Let’s not acknowledge that!’”
Meredith continues to dismiss and disparage Cameron. “For me to hear, ‘Oh, some man says he has religious trauma,’ and I’m supposed to cut a friend out? No!” she says.
Whitney Rose and Heather say that, because they were blindsided by what happened with Jen, they feel they have to question what’s going on with Mary.
Lisa questions Mary
Lisa approaches Mary and asks if the stories about her being a cult leader, believing she’s God and swindling people out of their money are true. “Either you are going to take loyalty to me or what you hear,” Mary says, not actually answering the questions. “And that’s up to you. You choose.”
Mary does deny that people at her church think she’s God, calling that “silly.” And she refutes Cameron’s claims, adding, “It shouldn’t bother you that other people are saying things if you have a loyalty to me.”
Lisa asks Mary about allegations Jen made in a previous episode — that Mary is a cult leader and people fear her. “That’s why Jen is where she is, and that’s why I’m sitting where I am today,” Mary says. “She lives a lie. And to say all these lies about me and my church. Look at her now. … She messed with the wrong one.”
Lisa wonders if that means Mary had something to do with Jen’s arrest.
Whitney the conspiracy-theory queen
Whitney is super suspicious because, the previous night, she heard Mary and Lisa in Heather’s room, and there was — gasp! – laughter. She’s “really hurt” because this happened shortly after “we were all talking about how Mary can be as big of a fraud as Jen.”
Heather explains she was asleep when the other two women came into her room and Mary gave her a Louis Vuitton bag. And Lisa was talking about the allegations against Mary, according to Heather.
“Lisa dumped it all on me? That I was the only one saying that?” Whitney asks. Heather tells her that’s not true, but she adds, “Mary left my room saying she wasn’t going to be your friend and she was best friends with Lisa.”
“What a [expletive] two-faced, cold-hearted b----,” Whitney says. In a confessional, she adds, “I did not leave the Mormon church to come this far, to just revert back. To lock arms on something I don’t believe in. Like, I will not blindly follow Mary just because she is going to get mad at me.”
“She wants to isolate me, alienate me and make me feel bad. What kind of preacher of a church alienates — singles out people to make them feel less than?”
But she lays the blame on Lisa: “This is exactly how Lisa works. She ran her a little snaky, manipulative fake-ass to Mary and told Mary that we are all talking about this. … She has pinned it all on me, but I’m not taking the fall.”
Airing things out
Meredith gathers everyone to talk things out because “I don’t want there to be bad-mouthing behind people’s backs.” It’s a strange stance, given that it’s one of the pillars on which the “Real Housewives” franchise has been built. Jennie Nguyen sees hypocrisy behind Meredith’s statement and the fact that she hired a detective to dig into Jen’s life.
Whitney quickly attacks Lisa. “I was never going to say anything” about the allegations against Mary, she says. “Lisa brought Cameron into it by inviting him to her event, and Cameron told Meredith.”
Whitney blames Lisa for inviting Cameron — a board member of Foster Utah — to a fundraiser for that organization. Lisa wasn’t there when Cameron talked to Meredith about Mary, but Whitney alleges that was part of Lisa’s master plan.
“It’s clear that she’s dug up the information about Mary, and now she’s going to spread it and plant seeds and have everyone else do her dirty work,” Whitney says.
“I don’t control everything. I’m not responsible for everything,” Lisa says. “Start taking accountability for your own [expletive] actions. I’m sick of this.”
Mary says she doesn’t owe anyone an explanation and scolds everyone who’s ever talked about her when she wasn’t in the room — although Mary herself has repeatedly talked about the other women behind their backs.
Whitney points out that it was Mary who walked out on the group the previous evening, making it impossible for them to talk to her directly. “You’re exhausting,” Mary says dismissively. “See? She’s super disrespectful to me.”
Heather tells Mary she’s being “unfairly mean” to Whitney. “I don’t care,” Mary replies. And she’s still mad that Whitney talked back to her when Mary was indeed acting unfairly mean to her at a cooking class they attended. “You had been horrible to her at that event,” Heather points out.
In the midst of fighting with Mary, Whitney pivots and once again spouts conspiracy theory accusations against Lisa. She sees something nefarious in Lisa going directly to Mary to ask questions. “I believe that she saw a sever in our relationship,” Whitney says, struggling with grammar. “So she came down, swoop[ed] in to manipulate it so that she can use you against me for her gain.”
Lisa tells Whitney she’s “sick” of her accusations and “really mad right now. Stop it. I’m not some mastermind with a remote control trying to control all of you. ...Think the best of me, not the worst. Or I will start thinking the worst of you, and you won’t like it.”
While they are in Vail, Mary gives expensive gifts to everyone but Whitney. Jennie got Christian Louboutin shoes worth $1,300; Lisa got a Chanel clutch worth $2,050; Meredith got a Louis Vuitton hat worth $1,210; and Heather got a Louis Vuitton handbag worth $5,750. That’s a total of $10,310.
(And, remember, Cameron mortgaged his home and gave Mary and her husband $300,000.)
Only Whitney doesn’t get a gift. ”No, I haven’t given it to her yet. I’m not going to until I feel like it. That’s none of your business,” Mary says. Whitney says she doesn’t care about the gifts, but she is “hurt because I realized I thought we were friends and we were clearly not.”
Mary, who we’ve seen disparaging Whitney behind her back, says she’s angry because Whitney did the same. Heather tells Mary that, in the wake of Jen’s arrest, she feels they need to know if there’s any truth to the allegations against Mary.
Mary goes on the attack. “Nobody questioned Jen,” she says. “I didn’t ask for my life. I didn’t ask for my inheritance. To compare me with what’s going on with her — well, that’s evil.”
When Heather says she doesn’t really remember what happened during a blowup with Mary a week earlier because she was drinking, Mary says: “I don’t care. You’re always on some kind of wine. Somebody’s always driving you home.” Jennie is taken aback by that bit of rudeness. “Wow,” she says.
In a confessional, Heather says, “I have overlooked the fact that you are married to your step granddaddy, that you are horrible to a lot of people. Then you’re going to just pin me to the cross for needing to be loaded whenever I have to interact with you? When people start drinking when you come around, that’s because nobody wants to deal with your crazy.”
When Heather tries to ask a question, Mary shuts her down and glares at her. She’s already referred to her as “nothing.”
Whitney and Heather both attack Lisa for “completely changing” her attitude about Mary the previous evening. Neither listens when Lisa tries to tell them that the change came about because she had a talk with Mary.
Heather leaves the room, saying, “I don’t want to talk to any of you. You’re all crazy and you’re doing exactly what we said last night we weren’t going to do. … None of us is saying what we think or feel right now because we’re scared of Mary.”
“This has been the weekend from hell,” Heather says. “I almost wish the feds had arrested me ... so I could have avoided spending time with these women.”
She and Whitney decide they won’t fly back to Salt Lake City on the private jet Meredith arranged; they’ll fly commercial.
Mary said what?
Mary tells Jennie, Lisa and Meredith not to believe all the negative things said and written about her. “Because I believe in what I do,” she says tearfully. “But I was given into it and I took it on like a woman. And I was a child.”
Mary’s grandmother, Rosemary Redmon Cosby, died in 1997, leaving Mary — who was 24 years old at the time — and her now-husband (the widower of Rosemary) the church and her businesses.
“I believe in God. I believe in rescue. I believe in deliverance. I believe in love,” Mary says. And she’s incensed by any comparison between her and Jen, who is facing federal fraud and money laundering charges. “And for them to put me with someone who would criminize (sic) and manipulate somebody is horrible. I’ve never ripped anyone off. I don’t need to. I was born in money.
“And Heather, she’s doing all her yelling. Her little chubby self. First of all, that’s mean.” But, apparently, calling Heather “chubby” is a compliment.
Mary says she’s a victim. “I’ve been through this my whole life ... because people’s hated me for my life and my lifestyle.” And, she adds, it’s “not fair” to compare her to Jen. “When I think about Jen, I see a heartless — I see a thug. Like, you know, those Mexican people that make all those drugs.”
On her way out of the Vail house, Mary says, “I want my purse back” — apparently to Heather. And then she launches another rather incoherent attack, prompting Heather to say, “I’m really sorry I hurt you.”
“You’re a liar,” Mary responds. “You’re weird.”
Heather reunites with her sister
Heather goes to lunch with her younger sister, Nancy, who she’s had little contact with for the past 20 years — ever since Nancy married outside The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and moved to Colorado.
“She broke away from the Mormon church about 30 years ago and it was a huge fracture in our relationship and her relationship with our family,” Heather says. “This is the Mormon way. I’ve only spoken to my sister, Nancy, maybe a handful of times over the last 20 years.” She adds that she “was mad at her for leaving the faith. And part of that punishment is you don’t get to have your eternal family anymore. You choose differently, you live alone.”
Nancy echoed that. To her family, she was “out of sight, out of mind. You go do your rebellious heathen ways. We won’t see you in heaven. Have a nice time.”
Heather says she has “horrible guilt about the fact that I did not have a relationship with my sister for decades,” and hopes for a reconciliation. “I’m sorry that I put my faith and my Mormonism above my sister.”
Gift giving • When Mary gives Jennie the shoes, Jennie is taken surprised. In a confessional, she jokes, “Girl, if I knew you were going to bring me a pair of Christian Louboutin shoes, I would’ve talked to you, like, weeks ago.”
When Jennie tells Mary she didn’t have to buy her anything, Mary says she didn’t. “They were already boughten, baby,” Mary says. And, in a confessional, she explains, “I grabbed the shoes from my room as I was walking out the door, and I just threw them on with my luggage. When she did my makeup, I thought, ‘OK, this is lighten up my luggage.’ That’s really why she got the shoes.”
A bigger plane? • Lisa tells her husband that, while Meredith booked a private jet for the trip from Vail back to Salt Lake City, she’s disappointed. “I was hoping for a bigger plane, but who knows?”