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'RHOSLC's Meredith Marks on the Jen Shah Situation and Engaging in Season 2 Drama (Exclusive)

'RHOSLC's Meredith Marks on the Jen Shah Situation and Engaging in Season 2 Drama (Exclusive)

The ice queen is partaking. When Bravo’s The Actual Housewives of Salt Lake Metropolis returns for season 2 on Sunday evening, viewers could discover Meredith Marks — identified for turning “I’m disengaging” right into a catchphrase throughout the present’s freshman run — is now not holding again in relation to the drama.

“Season 1, I had literally no clue [what I was doing],” Meredith admits to ET over Zoom. “I had barely ever even watched Housewives. I was kind of going in deer in headlights, and at least this round, I had a little bit of an inkling of how things work and what happens. And so, I guess things are a little less surprising because it’s a bit of expect the unexpected, and that’s just part of the process. And so once you kind of get your head around that things are a lot easier.”

With that mentioned, although, Meredith provides, “There’s absolutely no way anybody could have possibly anticipated things to unfold the way that they do.”

She’s little question referencing the March arrest of forged mate Jen Shah, who’s accused by federal authorities of working a telemarking scheme that, in response to paperwork obtained by ET, focused “vulnerable, often elderly working class people.” In April, Jen pleaded not responsible to federal expenses of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and cash laundering. She faces as much as 30 years in jail if discovered responsible.

“These are very, very, serious charges in a district that has an extraordinarily high conviction rate,” Meredith notes. She did graduate regulation faculty, although she by no means practiced prison regulation. Jen has maintained that she is harmless and has even poked enjoyable at her ongoing authorized entanglement, making jokes concerning the ensemble she wore the day she acquired arrested on an Instagram Reside this week.

“I would be taking them very seriously,” Meredith says of the fees. “I know she pokes fun at things here and there, like the Kim Kardashian comment [about joining her legal team], or whatever. I can’t, for the life of me, imagine that she’s not taking them seriously. I think maybe that’s her coping mechanism. I don’t know. …  Her way of dealing with it may just be making light of it.”

Jen’s arrest performs out within the first jiffy of the season 2 premiere, a two-month flash-forward that sees a few of the RHOSLC forged — Jen, Heather Homosexual, Whitney Rose, Lisa Barlow and new co-star Jennie Nguyen — boarding a celebration bus within the parking zone of Heather’s spa, Magnificence Lab + Laser. The footage isn’t what would sometimes make it to air on The Actual Housewives, because the manufacturing crew is seen, filmed establishing gear by mounted cameras. Those self same cameras captured Jen receiving a mysterious cellphone name, on the finish of which she introduced she wanted to depart. Moments later, a SWAT workforce arrives trying to find her. Quickly after, the forged reads information alerts about her arrest and expenses.

Jen Shah Looks Into The Camera On The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City, Just Before Her Arrest

Meredith was not there for the bus second, which has added to the mythos, if you’ll, that she was in some way concerned within the investigation into Jen’s enterprise dealings, which dates again to 2012. For the file, she was at a memorial for her late father, who died on the primary day of manufacturing for season 2. She deliberate to (and later did) meet her co-stars in Vail, Colorado, the place they had been headed on the occasion bus for one in every of their forged journeys. 

In sneak peeks on the season, flashes of conversations add to this, with Heather asking Jen, “How did the Feds know that you were at Beauty Lab?,” Whitney proclaiming, “It looks like you may have had something to do with the fact that Jen was indicted,” and this producer’s question: “What do you know that you’re not saying right now?” to which Meredith merely presents, “Um.”

“Projecting and deflecting,” Meredith says of the narrative that she was in some way concerned within the case in opposition to Jen. She denies having any involvement, together with allegedly tipping off the FBI. She’s fast to level out she solely met Jen in 2019, seven years after the investigation started. “You do the math.” 

“Jen can be a very intimidating person,” she says, “and I think a lot of the women are very intimidated, and it’s easy to deflect and project.”

Jen Shah And Meredith Marks Face Off On Season 2 Of The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City

Issues come to a head between the 2 in a extremely anticipated second that closes out the season trailer, with Jen screaming in Meredith’s face, “I swear to God, if you had anything to do with the bulls**t charges against me…” Meredith will get up, walks away from the outside desk the group is seated at and right into a home, simply as Jen calls her “f**king fraudulent.”

“Who’s calling who a fraud?” Meredith asks, a Cheshire Cat grin on her face. “Love you baby, bye.” The jewellery designer has no recollection of constructing what’s positive to develop into an iconic quote in Housewives canon.

“I forgot that even happened,” she confesses. Even earlier than Jen’s alleged crimes got here into the image, Meredith and her embattled co-star had been at odds, feuding over the fallout from season 1. The 2 acquired into it on the reunion over Jen’s continued on-line endorsement and amplification of merciless posts harassing Meredith’s 21-year-old son, Brooks, who appeared often within the first season. 

“Jen’s continued to like tweets about me,” Brooks remarks within the season 2 first look. “She likes a tweet that says, ‘I want Jen to slap Brooks and call him a sissy b***h.'” 

All of it stems from Brooks claiming to have seen Jen’s non-public components in an early season 1 episode, throughout his first on-camera interplay with the truth star. Jen dropped by the Marks’ house for a cocktail hour with Meredith, draped herself throughout the household’s sofa and did a collection of excessive kicks whereas horizontal, after warning Brooks and his sister, Chloe, that they’d seemingly see her vagina. Jen later denied that her anatomy was seen throughout the scene, some extent she made clear on the season 1 reunion and, once more, within the season 2 trailer. Throughout a tense second with Meredith she exclaims, “I’m trying to defend my f**king vagina!”

Jen Shah Allegedly Flashed Brooks Marks On The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City'S First Season

“He saw her vagina, so did I,” Meredith declares. “So don’t lie about it. And so did your two assistants who told you to cover yourself over and over and over and over again all night long.”

“I think it was like kind of trying and surprising, to be honest,” she says of Brooks turning into a central determine in Housewives drama. “I think that’s part of why I was so upset with Jen, because I think so much of it was incited by her liking and re-tweeting things. It was like, oh, people are like, ‘This makes sense. Let’s jump on board,’ or whatever. And, in fact, she calls him a liar.”

“That really pissed me off,” Meredith continues, “because she’s publicly calling my entire family a liar. And it really was very hard on Brooks for not a long time, but for a short period of time, he was very, very upset. It was a lot to handle, a lot to go through. On top of the whole world trying to now dictate your sexuality to you when you’re on a journey to find out yourself. And as a mother, it was heartbreaking to go through that. It really was.”

Meredith teases viewers must “watch and see” if Jen presents an apology to Brooks in season 2, one thing Meredith deeply wished whereas filming.

“Jen and I came in, from my perspective, in a very negative place,” she says. “And there was a lot of things that had happened that I was just wondering why she would behave this way. Why she would like tweets that were — and retweet things that were — really just mean about my son, and try to tell him what his sexuality is when he’s on a journey to figure that out. That’s just to me… I didn’t understand any of it and it seemed terribly mean-spirited to me. So, we really started at a negative 100 and I would say maybe at one point we did get to a zero, a neutral and, things regressed back again.”

Meredith does confess to with the ability to put the drama over the harassment of Brooks to relaxation, however would not make clear if she’s happy with the result of all of it. 

Brooks Marks Talks About His Drama With Jen Shah To His Mother Meredith Marks On The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City

“It’s very hard for me to really come to a full resolution when I can’t understand it, but I can put it to rest, you know?” she shares. “And move forward. I mean, I’m not someone who likes to dwell on stuff. I like to move forward. I do believe that people strive to do better. They can do better. And that you have to have levels of forgiveness.”

“I mean, even if Jen ends up found guilty and whatever else, you pay your dues, you serve your time,” she continues. “There’s restitution, there’s this, that, and the other. It doesn’t mean that you’re forever scarred by this. We have to move forward. And things do move forward in life. Does it mean that I want to be her best friend? No. But can she make good on these things? If in fact she did do them, to some degree, of course. That’s the point. We wouldn’t be human if we didn’t try to do better.”

Meredith makes no secret of the truth that her already rocky relationship with Jen very a lot knowledgeable her opinion of her co-star’s authorized woes, however does qualify that with the be aware that Jen is harmless till confirmed responsible. Meredith additionally shares that she left filming with extra solutions than questions when it got here to Jen, simply not courtesy of Jen herself. 

“I don’t really know who she is,” she admits, saying she would not assume she’s ever had an genuine second with Jen. In response to Jen’s tagline for season 2 (“The only thing I’m guilty of is being Shah-mazing”), Meredith presents fun and a curt, “I think that’s great. I hope it’s true.”

“Me and every single one of the ladies — with the exception, I think, of Jennie … I don’t think Jennie was sent any information — all of us were DM’d a lot of information that gave us a lot of history on Jen,” Meredith goes on to disclose. “And that definitely tied into a lot of my choices. That, in addition to my own personal experiences and concerns on other issues.”

The Cast Of The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City, Season 2

She admits to being stunned to see a few of their forged mates, particularly Heather and Lisa, stand by Jen so steadfastly within the wake of the arrest.

“My issues are not simply from her indictment,” she says. “That plays a role because it triggers other issues, but my issues go quite a bit deeper. Does it surprise me that [Heather and Lisa] chose to stand by her? Kind of, only because they had had other issues themselves prior to this. And so, you sort of are like, well, OK… But I can’t navigate someone else’s friendship or relationship, you know?”

Lisa’s friendship with Jen is a serious level of rivalry for Meredith firstly of the season, seeing as Lisa is her good pal of greater than a decade. She was the one girl Meredith had historical past with previous to signing up for RHOSLC.

“Our interactions were always very, very different than they are now,” Meredith says. “We’ve had a very individual friendship. And so us now having more group relationships changes the dynamic between us as well. And so it’s sort of me learning, OK, this is how Lisa handles this type of situation.”

“Lisa and I were definitely in a little bit of a rockier place, and we had some things we need to talk through and work through, which is part of friendship,” she provides. “At the end of the day, if somebody is really your true friend — truly a good friend — you are going to work through things that you don’t see eye to eye on, and you come to some kind of resolution, whatever that may be, and it’s more layers to the relationship.”

Meredith’s principal bone to choose with Lisa, a minimum of firstly of season 2, is Lisa turning a blind eye to Jen’s social media conduct in relation to Brooks. The truth that Lisa compares Meredith and Jen’s points to her personal with Heather (over whether or not they knew one another in faculty and Heather labeling Lisa “dismissive”) solely makes issues worse.

Lisa Barlow And Meredith Marks Discuss Fractures In Their Friendship On The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City

“Of course, Lisa is entitled to her opinions and her feelings — just as I am, as well — and for me, nobody has gone after Lisa’s children,” Meredith explains. “And do I think that Heather and Lisa have a messy relationship? Absolutely. Do I think that Heather and Lisa arguing whether they knew each other in college is even close to the same level of calling my whole family liars and liking negative, homophobic remarks about my son on Twitter and trying to pigeonhole him when he hasn’t figured out where he stands yet? No, I don’t. I don’t think those are even close to the same thing at all. But Lisa’s entitled to her opinion and I’ll respect her opinion on it. I just don’t agree with it.”

Meredith appears to assume Lisa merely did not know deal with the scenario between Meredith and Jen, with staying on the fence feeling like a secure house for the VIDA Tequila proprietor.

“I think Lisa wanted to comfort me without– and she does do that, and she does. She tries. Not only just try to comfort me, she tries to reconcile things between Jen and I, and she 100 percent did, but I also think that in trying to do that, in some way she had to put blinders on,” Meredith surmises. “Like, I would say, well, did you see this on Twitter? ‘No, I didn’t see it.’ Oh, I can send it to you. ‘Please don’t. I don’t want to see it.’ And so, in her mind, it was almost like, if I don’t see it, it doesn’t exist. And I think for a long time she was going down that path until she really had no choice anymore than to look at, well, wait a second. Does this exist? Or does this not exist?”

“It was upsetting for me to see that,” Meredith divulges. “She has to explain to me why she wants to sit in this space she wants to sit in, and I have to reconcile that with where I stand, or we can’t be friends.”

“Lisa and I are different people,” she provides. “If I had the same information Lisa had at the same time, I wouldn’t have handled things in the same way, but I’m saying that based on the information I have. I don’t understand Lisa and Jen’s dynamic. I don’t know what goes on there, so I can’t really speak to it, because I’m saying this all from my own perspective.”

When requested if she and Lisa find yourself in a greater, worse or the identical place as earlier than Housewives this season, Meredith says not one of the above. As an alternative, she describes the present state of their friendship as an evolution, however does name their bond “deeper.”

Meredith Marks And Lisa Barlow On Season 1 Of The Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City

“I would say that we are just in a totally different space,” she says. “Sometimes, when things are deeper, it’s a lot more conflict. It’s a lot more to resolve. … I think we’ll see, moving along in the future, I think we will see it being much better, because I think we’ve become better communicators with each other.”

On the be aware of battle and communication, Meredith opted into much more conversations this season. 

“I am still a proponent of disengaging when things have gone past a level of being productive, and someone yelling and screaming in your face is never going to be productive,” she says, hinting at that beforehand talked about screaming match with Jen. “Certain name calling is never to be productive, so on and so forth. There are certain circumstances that you know it’s going to be a lose-lose. What is the point? And at some level, I am happy with a lot of the stuff I engaged with.”

Meredith says she was shocked to seek out her castmates “weaponized” in opposition to her, although she would not reveal who or what about; she does assume the viewers might be stunned by all of it, although. 

“There are moments where I feel I may have over engaged,” she provides. “It was a very emotional time for me. I lost my father the first day we started filming, which was really very tough for me, and so I think I was a little bit more reactionary than I normally am. I do think that my engagement in most circumstances was warranted, but there are times where I may have pushed beyond what I personally felt was appropriate.”

Within the Housewives universe, there appear to be two faculties of thought in relation to experiencing a serious loss and filming the reveals: the ladies both say they need to’ve taken the season off, or are grateful that they had the present to deal with throughout such a making an attempt time. Meredith says she falls into the latter class. 

“It was very, very difficult and it’s a lot, and of course, when I say ‘the season,’ our filming season coincides with our winter ski season, and that’s what I’m referring to when I talk about season, and that’s my busiest time of year professionally, as well,” she notes. “And so I just was in a complete total tornado trying to hold it all together, and it was difficult. It was very difficult.”

“I did not take very much time to myself at all,” she continues. “I’m a very restless soul. That’s just kind of how I’m wired to begin with. I’m not someone who sits still — that’s why I barely watch television — I have a hard time sitting still long enough. I’m very, very restless, and so for me, sitting at home and crying all day was really… it was almost spiraling me into a worse place. And so that was when I was like, you know what? I got to get myself together. I got to get out and you’ll see how that all unfolds. But I think that for me, I needed to plow forward — and maybe it was a little too much plowing — but ultimately I did take the time after, you know, the season ended to deal with mourning my loss and coming to grips with it.”

Reliving her dad’s dying is the factor Meredith is least trying ahead to reliving in season 2, however there may be additionally rather a lot to look ahead to within the new batch of episodes — it is not all infighting and federal crime allegations. Meredith is very excited for viewers to see behind the scenes of the picture shoot marketing campaign for model’s her collaboration with GLAAD. Proceeds from gross sales of her “LGBTQ Rights? I’m Engaging” merch go towards supporting the non-profit. 

“It was something I felt really good about,” Meredith beams of the charitable marketing campaign. She feels the identical method about season 2.

“It’s explosive,” she guarantees.

The Actual Housewives of Salt Lake Metropolis airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo beginning this weekend with a supersized premiere.