For the first time since her arrest on fraud and money-laundering charges, Jen Shan meets with another “Real Housewife” — and she’s not happy that the others aren’t taking her calls.
Mary Cosby, after being accused of racist behavior, is now accusing others. And Whitney Rose is spending hundreds of thousands of dollars she didn’t tell her husband about.
Heather and Jen
Jen calls Heather Gay and asks her to lunch, and, without hesitation, Heather replies, “A hundred percent. Absolutely.” An hour later, they meet at Harbor Seafood & Steak Company in Salt Lake City. Heather gives Jen a big hug and tells her she’s “so glad you called me.”
Jen says she called as soon as she got a new phone. (Her other phone was confiscated by police.)
“This is what I asked God to show me — who are my real friends?” Jen says in a confessional. “You don’t know until you get into a situation like this, and Heather was the only one that picked up the phone without any questions asked.”
“I just — I need a friend right now,” Jen says. And Heather replies, “Hey, I am your friend.”
(Bravo) Heather Gay, left, and Jen Shah try to repair their friendship in the Sept. 19 episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Jen tells Heather what happened
Jen says that on the day of her arrest, she really did get a call from the cellphone of her husband, Sharrieff, when she was on the shuttle bus waiting to go to Colorado. It wasn’t Sharrieff on the phone, however, and she assumed at first it was a graduate assistant with the University of Utah football team. (Sharrieff is the Utes’ assistant coach.)
On the way home, a white minivan and a black SUV pulled up and pulled her off on the side of the road. “So then I’m thinking — I’m being kidnapped,” Jen says. A police officer from New York told her she was being arrested, “And I’m like, ‘Wait — for what?’”
She was taken to “a building” at the Decker Lake Youth Center. (That’s a little weird — Jen is not a youth.) They put her in a break room and handcuffed her to a chair. “And I just kept saying, ‘Where am I going? Where are you taking me? … I didn’t think I needed an attorney or anything like that because I didn’t do anything.”
She was unaware that the police were raiding her home and “they held our son at gunpoint” — 15-year-old Omar. Her nephew, Dwayne, “sees a red laser pointer on his chest, so he opens the door and they pull AR-15 guns on them.” Omar was among those who was handcuffed.
“We tell the boys, ‘You’re Black in a predominantly white community. Like, don’t move, don’t say anything, be polite,” Jen says. “And it makes me sick, because what if they would have thought that, like, Omar moved the wrong way or did something and they could have shot him or whatever?”
Heather is outraged. “To put her 15-year-old son in cuffs with a laser pointer at his chest, that seems highly unnecessary. It is over the top, unfair, aggressive. They are taking this out on the wrong people, and I’m infuriated by it.”
(Bravo) Jen Shah and Stuart Smith on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Throwing Stuart under the bus?
Heather asks if the same thing happened to Jen’s friend/co-defendant Stuart Smith and his family, and Jen says she doesn’t know — adding that when she saw him, “Stuart looked at me and was, like, ‘I’m sorry.’”
(In November, months after this episode was filmed, Stuart changed his plea to guilty and admitted he knowingly participated in fraud and money-laundering schemes.)
Jen tells Heather that she and Stuart are “not partners in any business.” In a confessional, she says, “Stuart had his own businesses he was running. He had his own things he was doing. He has nothing to do with me.”
When Heather asks Jen if she thinks Stuart knew about the fraud and money-laundering, Jen replies, “I don’t know. … I would say no, but then I’m like, ‘Am I being naive?’”
Heather isn’t buying it because, “I know how close Jen and Stuart are. … And it sounds like she’s completely trying to distance herself from him. And I do not understand why.”
Heather tells Jen that Lisa Barlow cast doubts on her innocence and Meredith Marks is convinced she’s guilty. Jen again declares she’s not. “I want a big [expletive] apology and ‘I’m a piece of [expletive]’ from them when I’m proven innocent.”
Later in the episode, Heather tells Whitney and Jennie Nguyen that she had lunch with Jen. “She is OK,” Heather says. “She’s, like, sad. She feels unfairly targeted. She feels completely innocent and confident that she will be able to defend these charges. And she’s devastated that it’s, like, so public and it’s hurting her family.”
“Do you believe her?” Jennie asks.
“I hope and pray she’s innocent,” Heather says, not actually answering the question. “For her, for her family and for all of us, because, like, I wouldn’t wish this on any family.”
(Photo courtesy of Bravo) Sharrieff and Jen Shah on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Sharrieff believes Jen
Jen brings Sharrieff his favorite food — a big box of chicken and sides from Popeye’s. “How was the scrimmage?” Jen asks. (The Utes are holding spring workouts.) Sharrieff replies: “Oh baby, it was good. People got better. But we need a lot of work. A lot.”
Jen says she reached out to the other Housewives and Heather was the only one who responded. “I’m at the lowest point of my life, but I have told you from day nne, I am innocent. I did not do any of those things.”
“OK, baby,” Sharrieff says. “I believe you.” He doesn’t flinch when Jen says the retainer for the lawyers is $1.5 million.
Jen says she’s hurt that she hasn’t heard from any members of Sharrieff’s family. “We have helped your family for years,” Jen says. In a confessional, she says, “I can count the people that are here for me on one hand, and it’s been very eye-opening and sad to see what’s happened.”
Jen breaks down in tears as she contemplates not seeing her older son graduate from medical school or her younger son graduate from high school if she’s sent to prison. “Do you know how [expletive] scared I am? Where the [expletive] is everybody?”
Sharrieff points out that people didn’t know how to contact her after her phone was confiscated. And he gets emotional: “I’m telling you as your husband, as I sit here, just because you have not heard from them, I promise you, people hurt and love you. … I’m sorry, but I’m telling you, my family, my mother, my father, my brothers, my sister love you. This is a lot of pain, and we’ll get through it.”
Jen says she doesn’t want to “keep putting this hurt and pain” on her husband and sons. Sharrieff replies, “We’re stronger than you think. My faith will not falter, and I will not leave you, period.”
(Bravo) Robert Cosby Sr. and Mary Cosby on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Are all Utahns racists?
Mary is mad at everybody for daring to ask questions about all the rumors/reports that her church is a cult and that she demands her followers donate big bucks. “They started, like, accusing me. ‘What if we can’t trust Mary?’” Mary says to her husband.
“Can’t trust you for what?” Robert Sr. asks.
“They put me in there with Jen,” Mary says. “I’m, like, ‘OK, is this a brown girl thing?”
“Yeah, I know what it means,” Robert Sr. says. “It’s a Utah thing.”
Remember, Mary was accused of (and acknowledged) racist behavior in Season 1. And in last week’s episode, she disparaged Mexicans.
Mary admits she’s a hoarder
Mary has hundreds of thousands of dollars (maybe more) of designer clothes in her home, but it’s all unbelievably unorganized. She’s so desperate she calls a professional organizer.
“I think I have a challenge,” Mary says. The organizer seems to struggle to keep her face calm when she sees the mess. “I know I’m a hoarder, right?” Mary says.
Despite her enormous wardrobe, Mary “can’t believe these girls talking about me” on the trip to Vail. “I mean, all these things that I have, it’s not because I take people’s money.”
“That’s disrespect. That’s not friendship. I actually feel a little hurt,” Mary says.
And then things get weird (again) with Mary. She says that she hasn’t spoken with her mother in 20 years, and there’s no bond between them. Instead, “I bonded with things in my closet. I like pretty things, I guess.”
And she tells the organizer, “I always say — the more things I have, the bigger my heart is.” Which seems … um … at odds with the Bible she professes to believe in.
(Bravo) Justin and Whitney Rose at the Season 1 reunion of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Whitney doesn’t understand money
Whitney and her husband, Justin, sort of fight over money in front of their 11-year-old daughter, Bobbi. Whitney is spending a fortune to rebrand her beauty products line from Iris + Beau to Wild Rose Beauty.
“Like, it’s not a hobby, right?” Justin says, sounding unsure of that.
“Do you think it’s a hobby?” Whitney asks. “Do you believe in me, Justin?”
He says he does. He also points out that they’ve sunk “half of our savings” into her company, “and I’m figuring out how we’re going to get that money back. You have to be accountable.”
In a confessional, Whitney says “everything is riding on a successful launch of Wild Rose Beauty.” She’s spent “upwards of hundred of thousands” of dollars on it, which is “my family’s entire savings, plus some.”
Justin asks Whitney if she knows how much money she’s spent on the rebrand. She shrugs her shoulders and says, “No, I don’t have an exact number.”
Justin asks how much more they’re going to have to invest. Whitney says she’s applied for a million-dollar line of credit, “and if I get approved, then nothing.” If not, they’ll “have to come up with” another $250,000 as a deposit. “And you’ll have to cosign,” Whitney tells her husband.
Bobbi looks worried and upset. Justin does, too. He’s just learning all of this. As tensions rise between Justin and Whitney, she realizes that Bobbi shouldn’t be a witness to what’s happening and finally sends her out of the room.
Justin tells Whitney that, because he’s 18 years older than she is, he stresses not only about leaving money to his children “but I want to make sure you’re OK, too. And if something were to happen right now, like, we’d be in trouble.”
“I’m really bad with money,” Whitney says. Justin nods in agreement.
Later in the episode, Whitney hosts a photo shoot for Wild Rose Beauty. She and her “brand ambassadors” are the models.
Heather and Jennie are invited, and Heather says she’s “so proud” of Whitney. “I have to hand it to her and I’m glad she’s putting her name on it because if anything is going to make her stand out from the pack, it will be Whitney and her face.”
Whitney says she’s spent “a lot of money” on the rebrand — $20,000 on the photo shoot alone. She asks for everyone there to “give a big, like, woot” to her team “for pulling this off.”
Jennie is not impressed. “Watching them taking photos and this white background with a bouquet of flowers and a dog — I don’t see any product. There’s nothing about Wild Rose,” she says. “I don’t know who organized it. But girl, you’ve got to fire that bitch.”
(Fred Hayes/Bravo) Meredith Marks and Lisa Barlow on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
Lisa and Meredith don’t seem like friends
After horseback riding, Lisa complains that Whitney and Heather have it out for her, which is clearly true. Meredith is unsympathetic. She’s only worried about Mary: “What bothers me the most, though, is that everyone sitting in that room couldn’t have peace and quiet long enough to let the one person who had really, truly been attacked [Mary] speak up for herself.”
(Again, Lisa has repeatedly been really, truly attacked by Whitney and Heather.)
Meredith presses Lisa to accept part of the blame, and Lisa vehemently disagrees. “It is 100% not. And that’s upsetting to me and offensive.”
“I’m saying it’s all of us, including me,” Meredith said. “I don’t know what you’re getting upset about.” Then Meredith gets upset insisting she’s had Lisa’s back with Whitney and Heather. (If that happened, we didn’t see it.)
They’re clearly ticked off at each other. Are they still friends?
Whitney wants support from Lisa?
“I am so sick of fighting with Lisa,” Whitney tells Heather and Jennie — which is surprising, given that we’ve seen her repeatedly pick fights with Lisa. And Whitney again spins her conspiracy theory that Lisa invited Cameron to a fundraiser knowing he would cast aspersions on Mary to Meredith. (It’s still a ludicrous assertion.)
And then Whitney drops a bombshell — she got Cameron’s phone number, called him and talked to him for three hours. “And based on my conversation with Cameron, if Lisa knew one-tenth what I knew, and if one-tenth of that was true, Mary is bigger, badder than we ever realized,” she says.
Whitney won’t, however, tell Heather and Jennie what Cameron said. “I feel like this is Lisa’s thing,” Whitney says. “Lisa started this. She planted it.” Whitney says she’s going to go to Lisa because she’s not going to take on Mary alone. “I need all of you. I need Lisa. I need Jen. I need Meredith to have the conversation.”
Jennie asks Whitney why she’s scared of Mary. “She tears me apart,” Whitney says. “Think about it. Mary — she’s used to her congregation following and obeying. They believe she is God. Whether she admits that or not, they do. Mary is not used to people standing up to her.”
She adds that she’s been friends with Mary and her family “for a long time, and if I’m going to walk away from a friendship, I need to know facts.”
Wow! The west side?
Perhaps the most surprising thing that happens in the episode is when Jennie takes her daughter to Cafe Thao Mi in Taylorsville for a tasting. She wants to introduce the other Housewives to Vietnamese culture and dishes, to “just let them know that Vietnamese are different than Chinese and different than other Asian cultures.”
The Housewives haven’t spent a lot of time anywhere near Redwood Road.