Episode recap: Jen Shah’s lawyer tells her to stop getting Botox on ‘The Real Housewives of SLC’

Jen is scared about her trial; Heather and Whitney are fighting; Lisa and Meredith might be making up.

(Randy Shropshire | Bravo) Jen Shah, Heather Gay and Sharrieff Shah in "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

War breaks out between longtime besties Heather Gay and Whitney Rose, and there might be a truce between feuding Lisa Barlow and Meredith Marks. Meanwhile, Jen Shah is starting to freak out over her impending trial on federal fraud charges in the latest episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” which aired Wednesday night.

Jen is starting to show fear

The five Housewives are still in Scottsdale, Arizona, on a trip that was intended to show support for Jen. She’s just weeks away from a scheduled trial on fraud charges that could land her in prison for decades.

(The trial was later delayed before Shah pleaded guilty in July.)

Jen says she “had a full-on an anxiety attack this morning.” She’s headed tp New York to participate in a “mock trial” to prepare for her defense’s case in real trial. The previous week, she was there for a mock trial that featured what her team believes will be the prosecution’s case, and she “walked out twice. Slammed the door. It is hard to sit there and listen to lies and you can’t talk.”

(Except, of course, they weren’t lies.)

(Randy Shropshire | Bravo) Jen Shah on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

According to Jen, her attorney told her, “I’m going to need you to not get Botox. ... Earlier, you were talking about something very emotional and you’re crying, but your face isn’t moving. I need your face to move.’”

Jen says she might testify in her own defense. “We are a month away now. That’s why this trip was important to me, because I need a little bit of, like, reprieve from that and to just, like, get away.”

She says that to calm herself down, she’ll lie down next to her 16-year-old son, Omar. In a confessional, Jen says, “It’s really hard for my boys. For Omar to think about that and to think of, like, not having his mom around. … That’s why I just tried to, like, not take anything for granted anymore and celebrate every single day.”

In a confessional, Heather says, “I think Jen is scared and I don’t think she’s ever really felt fear before, so she doesn’t know how to talk about it and she doesn’t know how to express it.”

Heather, Whitney and Lisa express some optimism about the upcoming trial. Meredith is the voice of reason.

“Watching her strength and how confident she is and everything, it makes me feel like she’s going to have a good outcome,” Lisa says. Heather wonders if Jen will be acquitted the first day of the trial, which, obviously, would never happen. And Meredith says so.

Heather wonders what to make of Jen’s co-defendants pleading guilty, and Meredith — who has a law degree — says it’s bad for Jen. She says Jen could still take a plea deal, but “the problem is, when you’re talking to the government and asking them to make a deal, they want to know what you’re giving them in return. And usually it’s for the bigger fish.”

“Is Jen the big fish?” Lisa asks. Meredith replies, “I don’t know.”

(Bravo) Jen Shah and Stuart Smith on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

Heather wonders if Stuart Smith, Jen’s former assistant/partner/co-defendant, will testify against her. Whitney speculates that Stuart “taking the plea doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s bad for Jen. That could be a good thing because he’s admitting guilt.” Meredith gently points out how naive that is. “Odds are he’s definitely not on her side,” she says.

“He was so dedicated to their friendship and so dedicated to her,” Heather says. “I mean, would you ever imagine that he had it in him to testify against her. … Imagine her having to face Stuart and have him plead guilty to things that she’s innocent of.” Which turned out to be untrue.

Meredith says, “I cannot fathom that she is taking this whole thing to trial and doesn’t have a good defense.” She points out that the conviction rate in the Southern District of New York — where Jen was going to be tried — is 98%. ”So her statistics aren’t good here. ... And I can’t imagine going through this.”

Heather and Whitney go to war

Picking up where we left off last week, the episode begins with Heather and Whitney calling each other liars. Whitney says Heather was there at a Jazz game when Angie Harrington said that Lisa was trading sexual favors for NBA tickets, and that Heather had to have heard Angie say that. Heather says she heard no such thing.

“Tonight was supposed to be hot girls in lingerie, gnawing away at hunks of meat,” Heather says in a confessional. “And then Whitney decided to unload all of these rumors about Lisa [performing oral sex] for basketball seats, and now she’s dragged me into it. And I’m a liar In lingerie without a steak to be found.”

(Photo courtesy of Fred Hayes/Bravo) Heather Gay and Whitney Rose in “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

Heather says that Whitney is “drunk and she doesn’t know what she’s say,” Heather says. And Whitney does appear to be inebriated.

At the same time, Whitney is crying to Meredith that Heather “never even took the time to ask me how I was doing” after her revelation about childhood abuse. Which she still hasn’t explained. “I’m starting to realize now that because of the abuse that I suffered as a kid, I never learned how to stand up for myself or how to set boundaries of people,” Whitney says. “And now that I am able to hold a boundary, other people struggle with it because they’re seeing me show up in a different way that they weren’t expecting.”

How that relates to spreading nasty rumors about Lisa, she does not explain. And Heather is not happy with Whitney for making herself the center of drama on a trip that’s supposed to be about lending support to Jen.

“I’m really hurt by Heather,” Whitney says in a confessional. “She’s the person who knows me the best, who I’m closest to, who I’d expect to be there for me in my darkest hour. I’m starting to realize that maybe Heather doesn’t give a [expletive] about me.”

For her part, Heather is pissed that Whitney called her a liar. “I’ve never fought with Whitney like this, ever,” she says in a confessional. “We’ve had big disagreements, but she’s never looked at me and called me a liar, ever. And that’s, like, a pretty big accusation.”

Whitney wants to call Angie for verification, although Angie can’t verify what Heather did or didn’t hear. Whitney doesn’t understand that, but she’s drunk.

Whitney gets up and gets very close to Heather, waving her arm in Heather’s face. Heather grabs Whitney’s arm and shoves her aside, trying to exit the room. “You just lost me for [expletive] ever,” Heather says.

Whitney is too drunk to understand, telling Heather that she “did not lose me forever.” Heather tries to clarify: “No, you lost me, bitch.”

(Fred Hayes/Bravo) Whitney Rose and Heather Gay on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

Heather vs. Whitney, Round 2

After Jen heads off to New York, the four remaining Housewives go out to dinner. And Whitney wants to keep the fight with Heather going. “Just because Heather wants to sweep this under the rug does not mean that last night is over,” Whitney says. “We’re going there. I know that I am not lying, and I know that she hurt me deeply.”

Whitney seems to have forgotten that she called Heather a liar first. And let’s be clear here. Whitney is calling Heather a liar because Heather says she has no memory of hearing Angie make horrible allegations about Lisa. Whitney is apparently oblivious to the fact that she’s sitting next to Lisa while she brings up those allegations. “You weren’t there for me ... in a tough moment when I needed you,” she tells Heather.

“I’m unclear on what was the tough moment that you needed me.” Heather says. “To corroborate a story that you’d heard?”

Heather agrees that she and Whitney have often talked about Lisa, but never about Lisa performing sexual favors for Jazz tickets. She, too, doesn’t seem to realize Lisa is right there. “Can we stop saying that? That’s really upsetting to me,” Lisa says, breaking into tears.

Whitney tells Heather she needs to realize “where my pain is coming from, is because the one person that was safe to me — you — that is where my pain is. Abuse. Being taken advantage of. Not having a voice. Poor timing. Poor delivery. Because I have something to say, but no one [expletive] listens to me. And I need you in that moment to just validate that I was speaking the truth.” This is, verbatim, what Whitney said.

That’s a lot of confusing words. (Whitney has been drinking, but she doesn’t appear drunk.) She repeats that Heather hurt her deeply. Heather says Whitney hurt her, too, “so we’re even.”

“Well, I’m cleansing a lot of family out of my life right now,” Whitney threatens. (The two are distant cousins.)

“The trip got derailed, and it wasn’t me that derailed it,” Heather says. Whitney shoots back, “You pushed me into the wall and called me a liar.”

That’s not exactly true. Again, Whitney got in Heather’s face and waved her arm at her. Heather pushed past Whitney, pushing her arm out of the way, and Whitney was so unsteady on her feet that she stumbled toward the wall.

Heather is basically right about Whitney and her behavior, but she’s also missing that Whitney has been saying she is struggling with her childhood abuse. Which she still has not explained.

“At this point, I think Heather is completely unaware of how insensitive she’s being to Whitney,” Lisa says in a confessional. “She’s going through a lot. You should be asking her how she’s feeling and how she’s doing. instead of saying she’s making the trip all about her.”

“You are up a river with no paddle. Stop,” Heather tells Whitney. She says she just wants to have a fun dinner, and Whitney agrees. Except she really doesn’t. In a confessional, Whitney says, “This conversation is unproductive. It’s not going anywhere. And what I’m processing personally is more important than worrying about Heather and I. It’s just too much for me to take on right now.”

(Bravo) Whitney Rose and her father, Steve Lesh.

Whitney visits her siblings

Whitney goes by herself to visit her older half-siblings, Curtis and Kelly. They share the same father, who married Whitney’s mother after divorcing Curtis and Kelly’s mother.

Whitney, who only saw Curtis and Kelly “a handful of times throughout my childhood” is “just so grateful that they’re willing to show up for me now,” while she’s on “this massive healing journey. I just have this huge, gaping wound that I need to close,” and she feels like her half-siblings “are the missing link. ... I realize I was being manipulated and used and abused.”

Whitney says that while their “traumas are all different, we share the same feeling of being let down by this person that we all knew and we should’ve been able to trust.”

There’s only one person they share — their mutual father — but nothing is made clear about who did what to whom. Maybe it’s a legal issue for Bravo, but Whitney’s story remains totally vague.

Curtis tells Whitney, “there’s a lot of good that came from that relationship” — with their abuser? — “and you have to remember that. And I think every time you find that gratitude, at least in my life, it gets me out in front of the negative.”

Kelly says it will “never make sense. There’s never going to be a moment where you’re, like, ‘OK, I am free and successful. I’ve got it. Everything is good.’ No. Because it’s not your wound to heal. And it may never happen.”

“I just needed to see you both and hear you say that it’s OK that I let it go,” Whitney says. And they tell her to “move on.”

(Fred Hayes/Bravo) Meredith Marks and Lisa Barlow on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

A thaw in the icy Meredith-Lisa relationship?

Meredith remains angry at Lisa for her Season 2 rant. In a confessional, Lisa says she still feels “awkward” around her former BFF. “I feel like I’m getting to a better place with Meredith,” Lisa says, “but I still don’t know what her role was in all of these rumors” that have been spread about her.

However, “After having a burrito and some Kit Kats, I realized [the trip to Arizona] needs to be about Jen. So I’m going to put all this petty [expletive] aside for a little bit and we’ll figure out everything later. Right now, I need to be here for Jen.”

After Jen leaves for New York, the other four Housewives are very emotional. Surprisingly, Lisa and Meredith give each other a big hug. In a confessional, Meredith says, “With everything Jen has going on and her trial looming over her head, it gives perspective on letting things go. I mean, nothing is bigger than what she has going on right now within this group.”

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