Episode recap: One husband gets fired, another admits he’s a troll on ‘Real Housewives of SLC’

Episode recap: One husband gets fired, another admits he’s a troll on ‘Real Housewives of SLC’

One of the husbands on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” is out of a job — and, in the latest episode, he says it’s directly related to his wife’s behavior.

Meanwhile, the husband of a “friend” of the Housewives admits he’s been attacking two of them online. Another Housewife is caught in a lie, and it scuttles what seemed like a growing friendship between her and one of the other women.

Justin Rose is out of a job

Whitney Rose’s husband, Justin, has been “fired” as chief sales and marketing officer of LifeVantage, a Utah-based multilevel marketing company that sells dietary supplements. Justin tells Whitney it was because of her.

“I knew that there was rumblings and I knew that there was talk,” he says, “but the conversation itself was still a pretty big shock.” He says his boss told him “how much he appreciated the work I had done, but with Whitney being a public figure, I just didn’t see how we were going to be able to make this continue to work.”

Whitney’s spin on that is predictable. “So the fact that your wife has a career and is successful, you can no longer work here.” she says, failing to see that it may not be that she has a career, but that her career includes a TV show in which her behavior is both tempestuous and sometimes tawdry. “This has everything to do with them shaming me for what kind of woman I am.”

(Natalie Cass | Bravo) Whitney and Justin Rose on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

“There was going to be a conflict of interest,” Justin says. Whitney says, “It is normal to want to be intimate with your husband.” But most women aren’t intimate with their husbands on TV.

We are not privy to what Justin was told when he was let go. But even Whitney, who sees this as an attack on her, acknowledges that the “final straw” may have been when she and Justin stripped down, painted each other and rolled around on a canvas with Justin slapping her nearly bare bottom. “Yeah, that could be cringey,” she says, “but, like, I’m freakin proud of that. …

“I feel like this is taking me back to when I was, like, 18, being told, ‘Well, if you’re not a man, you can’t have it.’ And like, I feel like you were literally asked to suppress your wife or leave.”

In a confessional, Whitney adds, “it’s starting to bring back all of these reasons of, like, why I even wanted to leave the Mormon Church in the first place, because women are less than and women should submit to their husband.”

Whitney is clearly concerned. “I don’t make as much as Justin does. We are just barely catching our breath from taking a huge risk last year with Wild Rose Beauty.” That was when she used a huge chunk of their savings to rebrand her skincare products company. “What about our house, our lifestyle, the kids’ soccer, food, cars? Like, do I need to sell all my purses?” Whitney asks, clearly unaware of how that sounds.

Justin says he has to “choose my family first.” And he cries for the first time since the death of his father.

Later, Whitney tells Lisa Barlow that Justin “left his company.” Pressed a bit by Lisa, Whitney admits, “It was a choice that he was faced with.” Lisa already knew this because “Justin being fired is all over social media.” But Lisa does her best to be supportive. “I’m not living through it like you guys are,” she says, “but I can honestly say … some of the hardest challenges I’ve had, … a lot of blessings come from that.”

In a confessional, Whitney says she and Justin have committed to “focus on the positive. And the positive here is that my husband was released from a company that is s—.”

(Photo courtesy of Bravo) Sharrieff and Jen Shah on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

Fun and not so fun

Jen Shah and her husband, University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah, go to the Altitude Trampoline Park in West Jordan, and Jen is not thrilled. “What are we, Jungle Jims?” she asks. But it looks like she’s having a good time, and she thanks Sharrieff for bringing her there.

And then they talk about an Instagram account called “@shahexposed,” which has been going after both Jen and Lisa. (It also appears to have been deleted.)

“This is two months before I’m going to trial,” Jen says in a confessional. “I have bigger issues to worry about than some stupid @shahexposed account at this time.”

(Jen’s trial was canceled when she pleaded guilty to federal fraud charges. She’s scheduled to be sentenced on Dec. 15.)

And then she tells Sharrieff that Angie Harrington’s husband, Chris, is behind the account. (Chris Harrington is the chief revenue officer at Entrata, a software company based in Lehi.) Sharrieff is puzzled and annoyed. “Why would he do that? We’ve never done anything to his family. Never said anything to his wife. Never. We’ve never done anything to him,” he says.

Jen says she wanted to ignore the account, but “at this point, I feel like I need to find out because Angie Harrington is inserting herself into my life, my friends’ lives.”

(Bravo) Chris Harrington, Angie Harrington, Meredith Marks and Seth Marks on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

An admission of guilt

Meredith and Seth go to dinner at Provisions in Salt Lake City with Angie and Chris. “I’ve always liked Angie,” Meredith says in a confessional. “I don’t know her that well, but I’ve always had fun with her.”

Part of the attraction seems to be that Meredith is still on the outs with Lisa, and Lisa can’t stand Angie, a former friend. “Really, but for Lisa, I would have probably already been friends with Angie. … I’m not worrying about Lisa Barlow anymore. She clearly doesn’t worry about me, so I’m not worrying about her.”

And, although we know Angie lied once about Lisa and stands accused of lying a second time, Angie says in a confessional that she and Meredith are “a little trauma bonded. I think we’ve both been on the receiving end of Lisa Barlow’s wrath.” Angie repeats her assertion that she never said Lisa traded sexual favors for “a loan or Jazz tickets.” She sort of says Whitney is lying about that. “Whitney and I have, in private, discussed rumors. I think we interpret things a little bit differently.”

Angie does seem to enjoy playing with semantics and never owning up to anything.

And Chris is put out that, according to him, the last time he saw John Barlow, John said, “‘Get the [expletive] away from me!’ I don’t know what happened.”

Really? It doesn’t occur to Chris that John is upset about the lies Angie and Chris told about Lisa getting a caterer to cancel on their fundraiser?

And then Angie asks, “Do you think it could have been fueled by what happened on Instagram?” She explains, “Chris got really frustrated because he felt like I was being attacked in the media.” And Chris adds, without proof, “A lot of it felt like it was coming from Lisa.” He then confirms that he is behind the @shahexposed Instagram account, chuckling as he calls it “a very immature moment” for “a 52-year-old man. Please judge me later, but I created a fake account. There’s no manual to defending your wife on social media.”

A 52-year-old man needs a manual to recognize inappropriate behavior?

Seth calls Chris’ behavior “understandable.” Yes, these two men in their 50s justify using an Instagram account to launch truly nasty attacks.

Meredith lodges mild objections. “Yes, I do think it’s, you know, not great that you made this account and whatever else, but I have been sent certain things that tells me that Lisa has been doing the same thing.” She offers no proof.

Chris says it “embarrassing, but, you know, I own it. … I did it.”

The Harringtons are coming off as awful people, but then the “Real Housewives” franchise does love awful people.

(Charles Sykes |Bravo) Heather Gay on “Watch What Happens Live.”

Heather wants to sing

Heather goes to the Alliance Theater at Trolley Square, space she’s renting out for her choir. Really.

She misses the ward choir in which she sang when she was an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. “I just feel like my spiritual community side is lacking,” she says. “I’m missing sitting with my family, singing and feeling, you know, the presence of God in my life.”

In a confessional, Heather tells viewers, “Choir to Mormons is community, it’s worship, it’s music, and it’s service. But I can form my own choir and sing with people who feel the same as me. And that feels empowering. It feels like I’m taking a little piece of my life back.”

Heather; her business partner, Dre; and her friend/choir director Cory make plans for choir auditions, and then rehearsals. “Easter is around the corner, and what is Easter without a hymn?” Heather asks.

“I’ll have him and him and him,” Cory says.

(Rick Egan | The Salt Lake Tribune) Beauty Lab + Laser, owned by Heather Gay, one of the “Real Housewives of SLC,” has frequently been featured on the show. Tuesday, Sept. 20, 2022.

Heather at work

Heather still sounds sort of surprised that her business, Beauty Lab + Laser, is doing so well. “Because when I was growing up, being successful meant having great kids, being a great wife, being a great mother, and business was what you did if you couldn’t do the other things.”

Heather and Dre tell their employees that there’s been (another) delay in opening their second location, so hours will be extended at the one Beauty Lab that’s currently operating. “Botox waits for no man,” Heather says.

The best-case scenario is that the second location will open at the end of summer, she says. (That didn’t happen. It’s scheduled to open in Riverton later this month.) “If I don’t build a second location, my business model will crumble,” she says. And, she tells Drea, she’s “overwhelmed. Why did I hope or want for anything other than just my sad existence?” she adds with a laugh. “So many good things have happened, but now I’m scared that we’re going to lose it all.”

Her chief stress is that she still hasn’t finished writing her book, “Bad Mormon.” In a flashback to a video chat with her book agent, he tells her, “You have missed every deadline. I’m having to apologize to you every day at a point where [the publisher] may just want to pull the plug.”

Heather tells Drea that she wanted to write the book “so bad, and I put all my heart and soul into it. And now that it’s really, like, around the corner, I feel paralyzed.”

In a confessional, Heather says she’ll finish part of the book and then have “a crisis of conscience” and feel like she has to take things out so as not to hurt or anger family members or friends. “I backtrack and try to soften it. And then when I read it softened it feels like I’m being fake. And so then I go back to the drawing board. It’s hard to be your own advocate and a traitor [to the LDS Church] at the same time.”

(Nicole Weinagart | Bravo) Heather Gay and Lisa Barlow on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” reunion.

Lisa vs. Heather — again

This requires some background. At the Season 2 finale, Heather went after Lisa for many things — including, according to Heather, that Lisa sent her a message hoping her father would be feeling better soon. That message, Heather said, came after her father had died.

But that was not true. Lisa tweeted out a screen capture of her message alongside Heather’s father’s obituary, proving she sent her message two days before his death.

Perhaps Lisa should have sent that privately to Heather and allowed her to walk back her accusation. In a conversation with Whitney, Lisa admits, “I should have picked up the phone and called her, but the intention wasn’t to hurt her back. The intention was to clear my name,” Lisa says.

And perhaps Heather should have apologized to Lisa for a nasty attack that turned out to be unfounded. But Heather doesn’t do that. She says, “Lisa tweeted my dad’s obituary as a way to, like, prove how great of a friend she is, because she texted me when we brought my dad home from the hospital to die.” (Heather does not acknowledge that Lisa may have had no way of knowing that.) “She went back, looked at her texts, and realized that her text was sent before my dad died and that she was right and she wanted to be vindicated.”

Heather says Lisa decided to “weaponize that to hurt me and to prove that she’s always right.” And, according to Heather, Lisa’s tweet defending herself “ruined any chance I had of my family being supportive of me being public about our story in this book.” (The reasoning there is muddled.)

The context Heather is missing is that she came across as REALLY nasty and Lisa looked REALLY bad in that reunion episode for an attack that was false. Heather does not acknowledge that, to all appearances, Lisa actually was trying to be a supportive friend. And she does not seem to realize that she comes across as trying to shift the blame for damage her false accusation caused to Lisa.

(Jesse Grant | Bravo) Whitney Rose and Lisa Barlow on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

Lisa tells Whitney that, following that Season 2 reunion episode, a lot of hate came her way — and a lot of it was based on Heather’s false statement. “I have every right to defend myself,” Lisa says. Whitney agrees, but says retweeting the obit was “going below the belt.” And Lisa acknowledges that she went about it “the wrong way.”

Lisa hasn’t told Heather any of this. And Heather says, “Lisa Barlow only cares about Lisa Barlow,” adding that she wishes she hadn’t invited Lisa to audition for her choir. “I hope that her being right in this moment is worth it to her because I feel like she’s lost me forever.”

But Lisa is still planning to audition. “She might kick me out, but I’m still going,” she says with a laugh.

Heather visits Jen

Jen tells Heather about the @shahexposed Instagram page that Chris started. Heather says, “That’s a big [expletive] deal.” And she looks shocked.

Jen says that when she brought this up with Angie, Angie denied it. But “the next thing you know, I’m getting a phone call from Chris Harrington,” who admitted he created the account and apologized.

Jen says she asked Chris why he named it @shahexposed. “Why me? What did I do?” According to Jen, Chris told her, “‘Well, it was available, so I took the name.”

In a confessional, Jen says, “This is not just some troll online that I don’t know. … And to know that they were on the other side doing something to try to harm me and my family — I have a really hard time with it.” And she tells Heather, “This was super hurtful to me. … I feel like when it comes to Angie, you need to also be a little bit more aware of what’s going on.”

Heather calls Chris’ actions “indefensible. And at the same time, I have really developed a strong friendship with Chris and Angie, and I feel devastated. I do not want to be in the middle of a battle between” Angie and Jen.

(Bravo) Heather Gay, left, and Jen Shah on “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”

And the auditions begin …

Heather and her friends arrive at the auditions, and Jen is completely unimpressed.

“I was expecting ‘American Idol,’ OK?” she says. “There’s five people, and four of them are related to Heather.” (She’s exaggerating. There are at least 10 auditioners.)

Whitney and Angie show up in matching outfits to perform a song-and-dance routine. Which is, yes, weird. And Jen is REALLY not happy to see Angie there.

Touche, Jack and Lisa

Lisa and John are still trying to convince their 17-year-old son, Jack, that he should go to college. Lisa argues that college is about more than just the classes. “It was about figuring out how to live on my own. Like, I didn’t grow up with a mom that cooked. I didn’t ever learn how to cook.”

“I didn’t grow up with a mom that cooked,” Jack accurately interjects.

Lisa lets it roll off her. And, when the discussion is ending, she asks Jack if he wants “to go grab some food. Because you know I’m not going to make it for you.”

The next episode of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” airs Wednesday, Nov. 9, on Bravo — 7 p.m. on Dish and DirecTV; 10 p.m. on Comcast. Previous episodes can be streamed via Peacock or on demand.

Editor’s note • This story is available to Salt Lake Tribune subscribers only. Thank you for supporting local journalism.

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