One of the ‘Real Housewives of SLC’ quits the LDS Church, which she says is all about ‘control’

And a ‘friend’ of the Housewives stirs up more trouble.

(Stuart Sykes | Bravo) "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" cast member Whitney Rose on an episode of "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen."

As various Housewives and a “friend” trade charges of lying and rumor mongering, Whitney Rose quits the LDS Church and accuses it of being all about “money and power and control.”

Whitney quits the church

Whitney has a friend come over to notarize the resignation letter she’s about to send to The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Whitney didn’t initially read the instructions on quitmormon.org and didn’t realize she needed her letter to be notarized.

“They make it so hard to leave because if they can keep you, there’s a chance that they can reactivate you,” she says, “which means you’ll start paying 10% of your income again. I think it’s all about money and power and control. They’re not trying to save the souls of Zion. They want your 10%.”

Whitney says that when she cheated on her first husband with her current husband, Justin — who was, at that time, also her boss — she told her church leaders she wanted to get divorced and leave the church. However, she said, she was told she had to meet with the stake high council and “tell them everything I had done. … They’d ask me questions about when, where, how.” And in “hindsight,” that was “highly inappropriate.”

(Fred Hayes | Bravo) Justin and Whitney Rose in "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

Whitney says she remembers “sitting in front of that council feeling not only ashamed, ... but I almost feel like I’m being preyed on. I felt manipulated. I felt icky. That’s when I knew I did not believe this.”

She says she was told she would be forgiven of all her sins if she went to the temple. “Which, based on every Mormon doctrine, everything that I’ve been taught my entire life, you should be excommunicating me on the spot.”

Whitney says that Justin was excommunicated for cheating on his first wife, “but the men get to decide what happens to me.” Men also decided what happened to Justin, but she doesn’t mention that.

“Our entire life, we’re told, because we’re women, we don’t have a choice if we want to do something. A man has to approve it,” Whitney says. “Finally, for the first time, I get to say.”

Back in the confessional, Whitney says that her “healing journey” is allowing her to “see the parallels between the abuse of power from the church and the abuse from my family member. And while they are two different things, signing this letter today is me taking back my power.”

She still provides no details about the abuse she says she suffered from an unidentified family member.

(Bravo) John and Lisa Barlow on "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."


Lisa Barlow’s husband, John, is not happy that, according to Whitney, Angie Harrington started and spread the rumor about the Jazz tickets. In a confessional, John says, “No marriage is perfect. However, there is no question in my mind that there is [not] any validity to those rumors, especially when you consider the lies Angie created as far as the whole catering debacle.”

In Season 2, Angie — who had been friends with Lisa for 20 years — alleged that Lisa had been behind caterers canceling on a fundraising event Angie was planning. Lisa said that was not true. More importantly, the caterers said Angie’s allegations were false.

Lisa calls Angie “a pathological liar.” In a confessional, Lisa says, “It doesn’t matter how solid John and I are right now. Rumors about my marriage hurt and hit hard. ... I don’t need somebody trying to break the only thing that matters to me.”

Whitney sticks to her story

Back at Whitney’s house, she says she’s “still recovering from … day-drinking all day and then the emotional wreck I became” on the Housewives’ recent trip to Arizona. She’s going to “look into therapy for PTSD and overcoming trauma” from the still unspecified abuse she says she suffered.

Whitney’s version of events in Arizona is that Lisa and Jen Shah stood up for her, “and Heather [Gay] wouldn’t.” Flashback to Whitney on the phone telling her husband, “Heather just denied ever talking [expletive] about Lisa” — which is 100% not true. It is true that Heather denies hearing Angie say that Lisa traded sex for Jazz tickets, but so far we have only Whitney’s word that Angie said that.

No, Heather was not being particularly (or even slightly) sympathetic in that moment. But the context is that Whitney got in Heather’s face and called her a liar for not backing up her story.

(Bravo) Angie Harrington and Lisa Barlow in a Season 2 episode of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

Speaking of Angie Harrington

Heather goes to visit Angie and they quickly start drinking. (Angie is a “friend” this season, but she’s not a full-time Housewife.)

Heather fills Angie in on the trip to Arizona. “The last thing I expected,” she says, “was for Whitney to come running into the kitchen, wild-eyed. Just kind of came at me and said, ‘Tell Lisa you heard Angie say that Lisa performs sexual favors for courtside seats at the Jazz.’”

Angie’s jaw drops. She tells Heather she “never” said that, adding, “Let’s just say it was true — I would have never said it. I’m very guarded on what I say and do. … End of story. Done.”

Is it? Angie didn’t say the rumor isn’t true, she just said that she didn’t spread it at the Jazz game.

In a confessional, Angie says, “I don’t know Whitney to be a liar. I know Whitney to be a pot stirrer. And I know Whitney to be paranoid. It makes no sense. I hope it’s not true. But if it’s true, whoever Lisa is hooking up with must be a submissive, because that’s a lot to deal with.”

Again, Angie is insulting Lisa.

By the way, last year the caterers shared texts they exchanged with Angie proving she was lying about Lisa having told them to cancel.

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

Bad Mormon

Heather invites Angie to join her and the other Housewives on a ski outing at Snowbasin. She’s also inviting “all of my cousins” because “I feel like skiing is the perfect activity to kind of bridge that gap with my cousins, especially with the book coming out.”

That would be her book “Bad Mormon,” about leaving The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. It’s scheduled to publish on Feb. 7, 2023.

Flashback to a month earlier, when Heather tells her book agent, “I don’t want my Mormon friends to know that, like, I have had sex outside of marriage.” He replies with perhaps the episode’s truest statement: “I think they know.”

In a confessional, Heather says she’s “scared” that the book “is going to scare my cousins away. I don’t want to expose any secrets. I don’t want to hurt anyone. I just want the chance to tell my story in hopes that someone else will relate to it.”

Angie says she’ll attend, but asks, “What am I supposed to do with Whitney? I just want to believe that she’s mistaken.”

(Evan Angelastro | Bravo) "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" cast member Meredith Marks and her son, Brooks, at BravoCon 2022.

Meredith and Seth and Brooks

Meredith Marks and her husband, Seth, meet their 23-year-old son, Brooks, for lunch at Eva in Salt Lake City. Seth asks Brooks if he has “a significant other,” and Brooks replies, “I’ve actually had a boyfriend for the past two years.” But then he adds, “I’m kidding.”

Is this a “RHOSLC” coming-out moment for Brooks? That’s unclear. And, remember, Meredith pitched a fit last season when Jen liked tweets that called Brooks gay.

Seth asks Brooks to “describe your perfect boyfriend,” and Brooks turns the question back at his father. Seth chooses former Green Bay Packers quarterback Brett Favre. “Who’s that?” Brooks asks.

Brooks tells his parents to “set me up with whoever you want.” Then he quickly adds, “Actually, I take that back.” Meredith says, “I’ve got great ideas already.”

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

Jen’s trial is delayed

The episode opens with a brief look at Jen in New York, where she’s finishing up trial prep for her then-impending trial on federal fraud and money-laundering charges. Later in the episode, Jen tells her husband, University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah, that the judge has postponed her trial until July, and she’s not happy about it.

“I’m just tired of people questioning my innocence and I can’t talk about it,” she says. “So I want to go to trial. I want my innocence to be proven.”

Jen is, as we now know, lying. She changed her plea to guilty in July. She’s facing up to 30 years in prison when she’s sentenced on Nov. 28.

In a confessional, Sharrieff says, “God put this on both of us. He didn’t just give this to my wife. … Right now, I have to be present. I have to be stronger because she gets scared.”

Later in the episode, Jen tells the other Housewives about the delay. “My perspective is whenever it happens, that’s when God wants it to happen,” she says.

“And it’s going to work out amazing,” Lisa says with hope, but without all the facts, as they raise their glasses.

Whitney is more realistic. “I don’t know why we’re celebrating this,” she says in a confessional. “She doesn’t know who the witnesses are. She doesn’t know the evidence. The prosecution could be gathering key witnesses. This could be really bad for Jen.”

As it turned out to be.

(Chris Haston | Bravo) Heather Gay is one of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."

Housewives and friends at Snowbasin

Angie arrives at Heather’s ski outing, and Lisa is not pleased. She’s particularly unhappy when Angie hugs her. “This hug,” Lisa says in a confessional, “is as fake as everything else about her.”

And Lisa is not happy with Heather for inviting Angie. “How do you expect us to have a good relationship if you invite somebody that just talked badly about my family and my marriage?” Lisa asks in the confessional. “I mean, we were friends for 20 years, and [Angie] lied about me and my family and my business. That’s not a friend. I don’t even want her around me.”

Told that Lisa is mad about Angie being there, Heather says that’s “totally fair” and apologizes — but adds that when she put together the guest list, “I didn’t even think about you.” In a confessional, Lisa says, “The fact that Heather didn’t even take my feelings into consideration might be worse than the guest list.”

Angie vs. Whitney

Angie approaches Whitney, and Whitney relates her version of what happened at the Jazz game. “Maybe Heather doesn’t remember,” she says, because there was “a lot” of drinking. It seemingly does not occur to Whitney that perhaps her memories are faulty because she was drinking.

Angie says she does not recall saying anything bad about Lisa, “but I think it’s pretty clear I would own it if I remembered it. I just don’t.”

Not surprisingly, Whitney calls her a liar. “I expect this of Angie,” she says in a confessional. “This is what liars do to cover their asses.”

Angie vs. Lisa

Angie tries to get Lisa to talk to her, but Lisa is unwilling. “To be honest, I’m not really interested [in] more lies,” Lisa says. Angie replies, “Tell me what the lies are, Lisa.”

This is totally disingenuous. She knows what Lisa believes the lies are. But Angie keeps pushing, and Lisa keeps telling her she’s not interested. She eventually turns her back on Angie and walks away.

In a confessional, Lisa says, “It doesn’t matter that we knew each other for 20 years. It’s, like, stab you in the back, kiss you on the cheek. And sometimes it’s both at the same time. The damage has been done.”

To be fair, Lisa has every reason to believe Angie spread lies about her and the catering controversy. As for the sex-for-Jazz tickets brouhaha, she has only Whitney’s word for that. And neither Whitney nor Angie has been a particularly reliable source of information.

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

Whitney vs. Heather

Whitney pulls Heather aside, and says that their fight was “about details.” Heather agrees that the two of them have been talking about Lisa “forever,” but once again denies that she heard “those specific rumors, and I felt like you came charging up … looking for me to corroborate. And, girl, if I could, I wouldn’t even flinch.”

“I wasn’t asking you to corroborate. I was just asking you to have my back,” Whitney says.

This is completely false. Whitney absolutely asked Heather to corroborate her story — we saw that in the previous episode. Maybe Whitney isn’t lying. She may not remember what she did because she’d had a lot to drink. But her story is false.

“We’re going to have to agree to disagree on that detail,” Whitney says, and Heather agrees — to Whitney’s face. In a confessional, Heather says, “‘Agree to disagree’ to me just means I will let you go on this crazy-ass journey, and I will be waiting for you when you come back. Because there’s no disagreement. She’s just wrong.”

And then Whitney throws more therapy-speak at Heather. “You took my pain and weaponized it against me. ... You kind of turned it on me that I made the trip about myself,” she says. Whitney is oblivious to the fact that she did exactly that. And she’s been doing that since Season 1.

Heather apologizes and says she believes she and Whitney can “weather this storm.” But, in a confessional, Whitney says, she doesn’t believe Heather’s apology is sincere, adding, “I have been there for Heather countless times. But in this moment, all I hear is — Heather doesn’t care about me.”

Well, there’s nothing “Real Housewives” likes more than cast members who create drama.

Odds and ends

Lisa video chats with her brother. “Growing up, Brian was constantly playing pranks on me and messing with me,” Lisa says in a confessional. “Freshman year of high school, my brother and his friends thought it would be funny to duct tape me to the post in the middle of our school foyer, and, literally, like, no one would help me.”

Lisa cries as she recounts conversations with one of her sisters, who’s going through a difficult divorce. Another of her sisters is also getting divorced, and the other two already are divorced. Lisa says it’s “hard to watch them all go through it because, like, you want to fix everything.”

• At Snowbasin, Heather and Meredith clearly know how to ski, and Whitney clearly knows how to snowboard. Lisa and Jen remain on the bunny hill. Jen is steady on her skis, Lisa — not so much.

“I’m not really, like, an outdoor, mountain girl,” Lisa says. “My version of outdoors is, like, sitting on a beach with a cabana with … food service, beverage service. Maybe someone that would, like, come and bring me new towels every hour.”

Jen is clearly not excited about the skiing. “Am I athletic? Yes. Am I a skier? No,” she says in a confessional “Me and the bunny hill today — we’re going to be best friends.”

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