‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ star Lisa Barlow says Jen Shah is 'fighting for her freedom' amid charges of wire fraud and money laundering
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One thing you should know about Lisa Barlow is that she loves consistency. The “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star, who returned for the Bravo hit’s second season when it premiered last week, is quick to pick up on when her co-stars are saying one thing to one person and something entirely different to another — and she’s calling it out this year.
For the latest episode of In The Know’s pop culture interview series We Should Talk, Barlow opened up about all things season two of “RHOSLC,” including why she’s standing by Jen Shah, who was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud in the middle of filming, how her friendship with Jen complicates her friendship with Meredith Marks, the accusations that Mary Cosby’s church is actually a cult and where she sees “a lot of hypocrisy” among her cast.
“ The one thing that is consistent — since I love consistency with this group — is there’s a lot of hypocrisy. I’m consistent; you know what you’re going to get from me. If I change my feeling, you’re gonna be the first to know. But I think the hypocrisy runs rampant amongst this group of women,” Barlow told In The Know. “I’m a New Yorker! I was born and raised there, and one thing that we’re good at is being direct. I’d rather someone be direct and honest with me than fake and lie. The hypocrisy is the most annoying thing. What are you? Don’t say this to me and say this to her. Be consistent. If you have that opinion, that’s great, but be consistent. Don’t lie.
“I see the good in everybody. I see the good in Heather, Whitney, Mary, Meredith, Jen, Jennie — all of ’em,” she added. “I want people to see the good in me. I often think that they think the worst of me all the time, and I have to prove myself right. That’s their own insecurities that they’re projecting onto me and I understand that.”
Listen to “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Lisa Barlow’s full episode of We Should Talk here, and keep reading for highlights from the interview:
On why she is standing by Jen Shah: “I’m a big believer in the fact that we have all been begging for social change and for innocence until proven guilty, especially over the last two years [with] what we’ve experienced as a country. I think we need to be considerate of Jen and just say that she is innocent until proven guilty. I’m not a lawyer, I’m not a juror and I’m definitely not a judge. As much as I’ve been accused of judging people, I don’t judge anybody. I hold myself super accountable for everything, but I don’t think it’s my job to judge anybody. Jen’s circumstances don’t change who I am as a person and how I’m going to treat her as a person. I’ve been very consistent in that. Is Jen always easy? No. Is Jen my friend? Yes. Does Jen deserve due process? 100%. I hope people go into this season open-minded and give her a chance to show a different side of herself and that they’re open to that and understand that she’s going through the fight of her life. We all go through our different struggles, and Jen is fighting for her freedom.”
On how her friendship Jen Shah impacts her friendship with Meredith Marks: “When we started season one, Jen and Meredith were best friends, to the point where they were going sleepovers and I wasn’t included. […] I keep getting accused of seeking out a friendship with Jen, and I understand the intention behind that, but there was no seeking out. […] When you see someone hurting, it’s not in me — I’m a sensitive person — it’s not in me to be like, ‘Oh, sucks to be you! Sorry, b****, you deserve that!’ I’m not that girl. I’m never going to be that girl. I saw Jen hurting, I listened to her. […] Watching her go through things, I felt empathy for her and compassion. There’s nothing wrong for that. I’m not going to apologize for that. On the flip side, what people need to understand is, Meredith is close friends with Whitney and Heather. How do you think that makes me feel? You all watched the reunion. I’m not mad at Meredith, I don’t have any expectations on her to change that. I truly mean it when I say, ‘Be friends with anybody you want,’ but they did things that hurt me. Heather posted awful things about me on social media, Whitney posted jabs at me. They treated me poorly. I felt like I reacted to how I was being treated — I didn’t create situations. I reacted to situations, and you can’t be mad at me for being kind to someone when you’re being kind to people that haven’t been nice to me. It goes both ways.”
On the moment authorities showed up looking for Jen Shah during filming: “I showed up that day wanting to have another conversation with Jen because […] I’m Jen’s friend, and I’m a very consistent, loyal person. For me, with Jen, I was hoping to have another conversation so that we could clear the air, but it wasn’t super heavy. It was just something that needed to be talked about. She showed up, and she had killer braids, and next thing you know, she’s leaving and Homeland Security, the NYPD shows up and the FBI. I was like, ‘What’s going on?’ Honestly, I’m looking at Heather [Gay], and for a minute, I’m like, ‘They’re here for Heather, because Heather was sitting uncomfortably.’ She’s, like, crouching down. I’m like, ‘I feel like they’re there for Heather, because she’s so uncomfortable and it’s her place of business.’ When they were like, ‘We just want to make sure Jen’s okay.’ My first reaction was, ‘What’s going on?'”
On her signature catchphrases that emerged from season one of “RHOSLC”: “When I was watching the show, I did not realize how much I say, ‘I love it.’ One of my photographers that I’ve used for years for my brand, he’s like, ‘Lisa, you say that all the time. Usually with me you say, ‘I love it. Do you love it?’ You know what’s so funny? It’s just my normal life, so I didn’t go on thinking like, ‘Oh, that was going to become something.’ It was so funny because my love of Diet Coke … Diet Coke needs to call me because I get tagged in at least 20 Diet Coke posts a day. I always have it. […] I didn’t know that I was always like, ‘Can I touch?’ I am a toucher! I didn’t realize how much tactile surfaces, how important they are to me. It was crazy. I guess a big thing with drinking, I didn’t realize that I said, ‘I’ll take water and then I’ll advance’ and how much I say that. I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. That’s funny. I didn’t realize that.'”
Watch In The Know’s full interview with Lisa Barlow below, and tune into “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” Sundays at 9 p.m. EST only on Bravo:
If you enjoyed this interview, check out In The Know’s recent interview with “Real Housewives of Potomac” star Wendy Osefo here.
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