IE 11 is not supported. For an optimal experience visit our site on another browser.

‘RHOSLC’ star Heather Gay: ‘I will never shut the door on Jen Shah’

Gay also teased what’s changed about her relationship with Lisa Barlow — and her experience on the upcoming "RHUGT" Season Three.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Season 3
Heather Gay opened up about Season 3 of "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City."Randy Shropshire / Bravo

If Heather Gay had one wish for "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" Season Three, it was to be “everything Season Two was without the SWAT team and the federal charges.”

Five "RHOSLC" OGs return for Season Three: Lisa Barlow, Gay, Meredith Marks, Whitney Rose and Jen Shah, and are joined by new friends Danna Bui-Negrete, Angie Harrington and Angie Katsanevas. Season Three premieres on Wednesday, Sep. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo, and streams next day on Peacock.

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Season 3

By the looks of the Season Three trailer, Gay will be getting her wish … but that doesn’t mean she’s coming off unscathed. With a physical altercation, a black eye and lots of yelling on the horizon, it’s safe to say "RHOSLC" will be back to captivate audiences for the third time in a row. 

TODAY caught up with Gay to hear alllll about what’s to come from SLC’s finest.

Gay was ‘hopeful’ about her relationship with Barlow during Season 3

While many housewives look forward to hashing out drama at reunions, Gay said that she’s “always traumatized post reunions,” and “can’t even watch them.” In fact, she has yet to watch the Season Two reunion!

Gay’s reunion sparring partner is Barlow, who Gay admitted she goes "really, really hard on, and I always deeply regret it.” 

After the Season Two reunion, Gay said that she and Barlow went to dinner together. Back in Salt Lake City, Barlow brought a bottle of Vida Tequila (Barlow’s tequila brand) to Gay’s business, Beauty Lab & Laser — a gesture that Gay appreciated. Gay said she felt “really, really hopeful that Lisa and I could get to a great place where we really enjoy each other.”

“I thought there was an opening because she had just dropped that hot mic on Meredith. I was like, if there’s a chance, if there’s a moment where at least she was going to need me, this is it. I saw my opportunity,” Gay explained. 

Gay’s hope didn’t last long. As Gay told TODAY, “I can tease that nothing changes (about our relationship during Season Three).”

Gay called Barlow “her foil,” and jokingly added, “she shows me that I am not an emotionally mature adult, that I have deep rooted insecurities, that I am easily triggered, and that I am easily threatened. How many human beings exist and can reveal all that?” 

Gay said the distance between her and Rose is ‘deeply painful’

“Whitney and Heather, bad weather, spin the truth, destroy,” Barlow once said about Gay and Rose … but in Season Three, it seems there’s a storm brewing between Rose and Gay. In fact, the Season Three trailer showed Gay pushing Rose out of her way during a heated confrontation.

Gay told TODAY she thought their friendship was “unbreakable and immovable,” and noted “I have never betrayed her, I never will betray her, I will never not see the best in her and want to celebrate her.”

“It is deeply painful to me that she wants to distance herself and that she doesn’t want to be a part of bad weather. I know it was a negative moniker, like it was we’re a tornado spinning the truth, but we were tornadoes together. I loved being a part of bad weather, but I also love her enough that if she wants to be on her own, that’s fine,” Gay continued. 

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Season 3
Whitney Rose, Heather Gay Jesse Grant / Bravo

When speaking with TODAY, Rose said that her relationship with Gay “absolutely impacted” her ability to get to know Barlow, whom she now calls her closest friend on the cast.

Gay’s thoughts on the new bestie-ship? “How’d that happen? When did that become part of the palette that we were painting from? I was shocked and surprised, and I’m still curious about it.”

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Season 3
Whitney Rose, Lisa Barlow -- (Photo by: Jesse Grant/Bravo)Jesse Grant / Bravo

Gay said she ‘betrayed everybody’ by writing her book

Throughout her two seasons on the show, Gay has showcased her complicated relationship with the Mormon Church, and Season Three will continue that precedent. 

In the Season Three trailer, viewers saw Gay reveal the cover to her memoir, “Bad Mormon,” where she detailed her experience with leaving the Mormon church. When asked about the book in another scene, Gay explained, “it ruined any chance I had of my family being supported.”

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Season 3
Heather Gay poses with her book cover.Randy Shropshire / Bravo

Gay told TODAY, “I didn’t realize how deeply loyal I was to the faith I no longer believed in, and moreover, to my family and friends who still deeply believed. I was trying to figure out how to tell my story honestly, and also not betray everyone I love the most.”

“Guess what happened? I couldn’t figure it out. So I betrayed everybody and wrote the book. As a result I’m really proud of it, and I stand behind every single word. I wouldn’t have taken the risk and challenged the relationships with the people I love most if it weren’t true,” Gay explained. 

Gay hopes that others will be inspired by her experience, as she stated, “my hope is that people can relate to [the challenge of] when you follow your authentic self and it betrays the people you love the most, what are you supposed to do?”

Another aspect of her journey Gay will share? Learning to prioritize herself. Gay said, “I’m at the bottom of the list normally, but I’m starting to feel myself a little bit. I’m working my way up on the self care list.”

“This is a new thing for me, and the book is kind of the first step,” Gay continued.

Gay said she ‘will never shut the door on Jen Shah’

Much of Season Two focused on the fallout from the criminal charges filed against Jen Shah, as the ladies’ sprinter van was surrounded by government agents looking for Shah as they were preparing to go on a cast trip … in the parking lot of Gay’s business, Beauty Lab + Laser.

In March 2021, Shah was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering for her alleged role in a nationwide scheme, and immediately proclaimed her innocence. In July 2022, Shah pleaded guilty, and her sentencing is set for Nov. 28, 2022. 

Throughout Season Two, Gay supported Shah, even when most of the other women were questioning Shah’s innocence. 

Gay told TODAY, “that’s what a good friend does. Even if every cell in my body was like, ‘something’s not right.’ That’s not what you do when your friend is in trouble.”

“I wasn’t supporting Jen and her innocence as much as I was just supporting Jen in her journey. ... If I’m going to be Jen’s friend when she’s up and Queen and MVP, I’m going to be her friend when she’s down, pleading guilty and facing sentencing. I will never shut the door on Jen Shah” Gay continued.

Gay misses Mary M. Cosby on ‘RHOSLC’

Season Two saw the departure of Mary M. Cosby, as Cosby didn’t show up to the reunion taping, a contractual obligation for housewives. 

Although Gay said that Cosby was “really hard” on her, Gay revealed, “I miss Mary, and I wish she showed up for the reunion.”

Gay explained, “We knew she didn’t give a s--- about any of us. When it came down to it, she wasn’t worried about hurting feelings, she was going to tell it like it is. As abrupt and abrasive as that can feel when you’re getting hit with it, I miss it, I do.”

“I look back on the episodes with the little scenes where she has her moments. She’s such a unique character that I want to see what’s going on in her life. I never knew her before the show, and I’m sad that I’ve lost touch with her after it,” Gay added.

Even though the pair had “major conflict,” Gay joked, “it’s kind of fun to not be liked by Mary.”

Gay said ‘RHUGT 3’ was ‘hard’

In July 2022, TODAY confirmed the cast of the third season of "The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip," which Gay is a part of!

"RHUGT 3" will also star Rose, Porsha Williams (alum of “The Real Housewives of Atlanta”), Gizelle Bryant (“The Real Housewives of Potomac”), Candiace Dilliard Bassett (“The Real Housewives of Potomac”), Alexia Echevarria (“The Real Housewives of Miami”), Marysol Patton (“The Real Housewives of Miami”) and Leah McSweeney (alum of “The Real Housewives of New York City”). The group converged on Thailand this summer, which Gay said was “magical.”

For Gay, "RHUGT 3" was "hard," as she noted that “there are hard things about being on the other side of the world and also being thrown into a dynamic with seven powerful alpha women.”

Even though there were challenges, Gay said she “had a good time,” and teased that “it’s going to blow other girls trips away because we’re in Thailand, and we came to play.” 

Gay said she bonded with Echevarria and Patton, and called them her “ride or dies.” She added that she also spent time with Bryant, and “clung to Porsha like a puppy dog.”

“Porsha was just a force to be reckoned with. So fun, so funny, so smart, so insightful. She just gets it,” Gay explained. 

Who she was most nervous to meet? Dilliard Bassett, as she said, “I thought that Candiace would hate me. I just thought she was just going to read me and leave me on the side of the Thailand road, but we got along great.”

“One of the first nights she performed for us and she is a true talent. I was mesmerized by Candiace,” Gay continued.

Gay left the experience feeling “grateful to be there,” as she had never expected to be in the position after her divorce five years ago.

Gay said, “when I got divorced, I was devastated. I had no future, and now I’m in Thailand with some of the most successful, beautiful, talented women I could imagine, from all over America.”

“I was just in my tiny little corner in my tiny little world, thinking that I was a loser and had nothing to live for, so anything that happened in Thailand, even if they dumped me and gave me swirlies and froze my bra and put my hand in warm water so I wet the bed, it doesn’t matter because it is a million times better than what I thought I would be doing,” Gay explained.

Gay answered rapid-fire questions about ‘RHOSLC’ Season 3

Gay spilled even more tea about what’s to come by answering a few rapid-fire questions.

On who’s most likely to talk about the cast to their face: Shah

On who’s the most likely to talk about the cast behind their back: Rose

On who causes the most drama this season: Rose

On who Rose had the most fun with: Shah

On who brings the most receipts: Marks

On who spills the most tea: “I abstain,” Gay said.

On who surprised Gay the most: Rose

On who throws the best events: Shah or Harrington

On who is the best team player: Gay. “I mean, sorry, folks. It’s me. I am a team player out the gate. I will play topless so you can have my jersey. That’s how much of a team player I am!” Gay explained.