A changing dynamic. Heather Gay opened up about where she stands with Jen Shah after the latter’s conviction for wire fraud.
“I was labeled ride-or-die because I had a friend that was looking at me and telling me she was innocent,” the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star, 48, exclusively told Us Weekly ahead of the Tuesday, February 7, release of her book, Bad Mormon. “Everything changed for me when she pled guilty.”
The Beauty Lab + Laser founder added that she’s no longer standing by the marketing pro, 49, who was sentenced to six and a half years in prison last month.
“Now my focus is on the victims and her family and the collateral damage of this crime that she perpetuated and admitted to perpetuating,” Heather told Us. “And I just hope that everyone can be made whole.”
Jen maintained her innocence throughout season 3 of RHOSLC, most of which was filmed before she changed her plea to guilty in July 2022. The Utah native didn’t join her costars for the reunion, which wrapped up on Wednesday, February 1. She is scheduled to report to prison on February 17, so the chances of her appearing on future seasons of the Bravo series are slim.
“It was a really difficult season,” Heather explained to Us. “But also I was coming out of writing this book, and this book was a cathartic emotional experience for me, and I’m really, really proud of it. It’s kind of fascinating, that coincidence that the season’s ending and the book is launching. That, to me, feels like going from really unsteady ground onto something that I can stand behind every word of.”
Rumors about the future RHOSLC cast have been swirling for weeks, with Page Six reporting earlier this month that Mary Cosby will be returning as a “friend” after leaving the show following season 2. Heather, however, doesn’t have any predictions about what’s to come.
“I’ve thought a lot about it, because as you see in the book, this was me getting pulled into this … and you see me meeting all these women, and now we’re kind of all in shambles,” she told Us. “So, I don’t know what the future is as a Housewives fan. I wanna see everybody on TV forever. But I don’t know what’ll happen to Salt Lake City. It’s too soon to tell.”
For now, the esthetician is thrilled that fans will learn more about her in Bad Mormon, which covers her early upbringing in the Mormon church through her first days of filming RHOSLC.
“I hope that for anyone who’s ever been in a situation where they felt like becoming their authentic self really was going to conflict with their family’s expectations of them, that is who I hope will relate to this story,” Heather explained. “Because we want to honor our childhood, we want to honor our parents, we want to honor those traditions, but we also want to honor who we are and respect our own experience and take our lives back for ourselves and not do it out of expectations for the ones that came before. This book is my way of just reclaiming my story.”
Bad Mormon is available now.
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With reporting by Christina Garibaldi
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