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Mary Cosby Ditches ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ Reunion, and Presumably Quits the Show

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE
Heidi Gutman/Bravo

Mary Cosby, one of the stars of “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City,” did not turn up on Thursday at the taping for the Season 2 reunion, Variety has confirmed. Cosby, who is the leader of the Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, has come under fire this season for running what has been characterized by some of her fellow cast members as a cult. The reunion taped in Los Angeles.

Bravo did not immediately respond to a request for comment about Cosby’s absence, and whether she had quit or would be fired. Cosby’s publicist also did not immediately respond to Variety. A source said, however, that by not showing up to the reunion, which is required for the cast, she has sealed her fate.

In a major storyline this season — which is ongoing — Cosby has been accused of stealing money from congregants, effectively ruining their lives. The story began when “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” cast member Lisa Barlow invited her friend Cameron Williams, who was once a member of Cosby’s church, to a party, where he cast aspersions on how Cosby and her husband, Robert (who is also Cosby’s step-grandfather), run their congregation. Later, Barlow said on camera that Williams — who died in June 2021 — had told her that he’d mortgaged his house and given Cosby $300,000.

It’s been a remarkable spectacle to watch unfold, especially given that Jen Shah, Cosby’s fellow castmate, was practically arrested on camera for fraud.

Cosby’s place on the show has always been a curiosity. Her grandmother was the former leader of Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, and a prominent figure in Salt Lake City. In Season 1, Cosby revealed that her grandmother’s dying wish was that Cosby marry her husband, Robert, thereby sealing her position as the new leader of the church, which Cosby agreed to. The decision seems to have estranged Cosby from her own mother, who thought she should inherit the grandmother’s position. They have one child together, Robert Jr.

Her wealth, as befits “Real Housewives,” is ostentatiously displayed on the show — the camera frequently shows her wandering around her house looking at her designer clothes, which are on racks all over her home. She has given expensive gifts to her castmates as well, sometimes seemingly to shut them up. Cosby has occasionally charmed fans with her over-the-top persona and strange affectations, such as when she called Whitney Rose “little girl!” after Rose had run afoul of her.

But Cosby has also had to apologize for making racist remarks on the show, such as when she commented on the “slanted eyes” of new cast member Jennie Nguyen, who is Vietnamese. (Cosby said she meant it as a compliment.)  In recent weeks, Cosby has responded to viewers’ criticisms, always ending in disaster.

As soon as Shah was arrested for allegedly running a telemarketing scheme that defrauded mostly elderly victims, the casts’ conversation turned to what may or may not be happening at Cosby’s church, and with her wealth. Cosby has defended herself vociferously on the show, but apparently didn’t want to do so to Andy Cohen, the reunion’s host — nor to her fellow castmates, who’ve had months to amass more accusations.