Another star also opens up about being ex-communicated from the Mormon church following an illicit affair.
Yes, you did read that headline correctly. One of the stars of Bravo’s new
“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” is married to her grandfather. Sure, technically he’s her step-grandfather, but as one of her costars remarked in the premiere, “shit’s weird.”
On Wednesday night, the world was introduced to the six women sharing their opulent Utah lifestyles with viewers. Among them is Mary Cosby, a Pentecostal First Lady who has been married to her step-grandfather for 20 years.
“We were kind of, I would say, an arranged marriage,” she explained in the premiere. “It was kind of in my grandma’s will for us to marry.”
“She said if anything ever happens to me, Bobby, I want you to marry one of my girls because they’ll look out for you,” added Robert Sr., before Mary said the two are “blessed because of it.”
While they didn’t go into further detail, her Bravo bio explains that in order to inherit her family’s empire of churches, restaurants and more, she had to marry her late grandmother’s second husband. The two have been married for 21 years now and share a son.
“I don’t give a shit if it’s your biological grandpa, step grandpa, shit’s weird,” Mary’s costar Jen Shah remarked in the premiere. Added fellow co-star Heather Gay: “I love my grandpas but I would not want to be married to them. And I’m Mormon, we have a lot of latitude for a lot of weird shit.”
In her own confessional, Mary responded to criticism by saying, “They’ll get over it. Just digest it.”
Cosby isn’t the only one in the premiere with a unique living situation, as many of the women have interesting and/or complicated relationships with Mormonism. Seeing as Salt Lake City is the hub for the religion, many of them are either practicing Mormons, dabble in it or have practiced it in the past.
For Shah, she was raised Mormon but left the church after marrying her Black, Muslim husband. While she pushed for him to convert, he reminded her the church didn’t always accept Black priests or allow Black parishioners to partake in certain rituals.
“That’s when I started questioning, I cannot sign up for a religion that did not accept my husband and my kids,” she explained. “That’s the point where I was like, I’m converting to Islam.”
For Whitney Rose, she was actually ex-communicated from the church after she and her now-husband Justin had a workplace affair while they were both married to other people. After she got pregnant, they married in 2009, “in front of 50 people who didn’t want us together.”
Rose explained she was basically Mormon royalty, as her fourth great grandfather was bodyguard to LDS originators Joseph Smith and Brigham Young.
“It is a very big deal I’m no longer Mormon,” said Rose, who added most of their friends and family turned their backs on them for a decade. Despite all the judgement, criticism and pain, however, Rose said it was worth it “because my life is so full.”
The other housewife — or former housewife, as it were — who had a complicated relationship with the religion is Gay, who called herself a “purebred, pedigreed, pioneer Mormon.”
“My ancestors came across the plains as pioneers … I married a Mormon man, I had three Mormon daughters, every descendant in our line is Mormon,” she explained. She’s now “Mormon-ish,” after she got divorced — a big no no in the church.
“A good Mormon doesn’t drink, doesn’t smoke, doesn’t have sex, doesn’t swear,” she added. “I’ve tried not to drink, smoke, swear, love rap music, love Black men, love homosexuals. All the things I love and gravitate to are not in alliance with a good Mormon woman.”
One of the only fights of the premiere revolved around Gay and costar Lisa Barlow — who is “Jewish by heritage, Mormon by choice” and owns a liquor brand with her husband.
The two attended BYU together, though Lisa told Jen she didn’t really remember much about Heather from their time there. According to Jen, Lisa said she thought Heather was a “good time girl” back in the day, as she mimed flashing her breasts. That did not sit well with Heather.
“That is a complete lie and a dig, that’s Girls Gone Wild … I was a virgin when I got married,” Gay remarked. “I would have loved to have been a good time girl in college, to go back, go to a real school, go to a real sorority and be a good time girl and flash my tits to whoever wants to look at them.”
She added that it was a “deeply offensive” thing for Lisa to say because they both had to sign an honor code to go to the school in the first place.
The only other Housewife we didn’t touch on was Meredith Marks, a Jewish jewelry designer who only moved to Utah seven years ago. Her birthday party was the main event of the premiere, but she remained pretty drama-free, for now.
“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” airs Wednesdays on Bravo.