“Not to take away from Lisa’s, ever,” she cracks to ET, referencing co-star Lisa Barlow‘s oft-quoted, off-camera, friendship-ending diatribe against one-time “BFF” Meredith “piece of s**t garbage w***e” Marks in season 2.
“I mean, this is why the show is so good,” she says, “but it was a devastating call. … It was a phone call that I hoped would go a different way.”
A preview of that call opened the season, Heather hiding out on a hotel balcony on the cast trip to Bermuda, her voice shaking as she spoke to a yet-to-be-revealed individual on the other end of the line.
“I’m trembling,” Heather whispers off-camera, as crew members, listening in on her audio feed, scramble to find and film her.
“I cannot believe it’s her,” she says. “How could she do this to us? I’m freaking the f**k out. I’m freaking the f**k out!”
Production pushes past doors, finally locking the lens on Heather, who pushes them away. That’s as far as fans have seen, sparking a series of online theories as to who Heather’s talking to, and what they’re talking about. When The Sun uncovered that Heather’s aesthetics practice, Beauty Lab + Laser, was in a legal battle with new Housewife Monica Garcia over unpaid bills for services rendered — Monica is countersuing the company for alleged “botched” work — that became the working assumption: the call was the moment Heather learned hew new “friend” was causing trouble for her business.
“The lawsuit transpired after we wrapped filming,” Heather notes, throwing a wrench in that timeline. However, she won’t go so far as to say it’s not all connected.
“Parts of that phone call, the seeds were planted,” she says, adding that the call has implications both in her personal life and within the friend circle of the show, which includes Monica, Meredith, Lisa, Whitney Rose, Angie Katsanevas and Mary Cosby. She also shares that it’s unrelated to another hyped-up moment from season previews, when she talks to Meredith about a “complete betrayal” unfolding within their group. That played out at a pirate-themed dinner on the Bermuda trip, Heather says, which she also describes as “devastating.”
“Right now, I trust Whitney, Lisa, Angie and Meredith the most, equally and forever,” Heather offers as a hint. “And the person I trust the least is Monica.”
Just before Thanksgiving, the women came together in New York City to film their cast reunion; Heather left the taping in what felt like a place of no return with Monica. Last week, she told Variety she would never film with the newcomer again; but Heather’s also long held the belief that while Housewives may speak in absolutes, they don’t necessarily live in them — meaning, there is room to change her mind.
“Right now, we’re not friends and I don’t see us becoming friends, and that’s what it would take,” she admits. “It would take accountability, and honesty, and that’s why we’re not friends right now.”
It’s a sort of unexpected place for the pair to land, at least judging by where they’re at in the timeline viewers are watching; Heather’s been Monica’s champion, working with her to make amends when she’s fought with others in the group — namely Angie and Lisa. That said, with just a handful of episodes left, Heather claims the season “hasn’t even gotten started yet.” Then, expect a “killer reunion.”
“I think the surprises are going to be many, but probably that what they anticipate we’ll be fighting about is not even on the register,” she teases. “It’s something that none of us saw coming, and that we were forced to immediately respond to. It’s just, none of us saw it coming and it was something that was devastating.”
Reunion also promises to be loud.
“I mean, I hope Lucy and Ben are good teenagers, because I have seen Andy Cohen‘s ‘mad dad scream’ and it– I mean, I straightened up in my seat,” she says, name-checking the Housewives executive producer/master of ceremonies’ two young kids.
“I saw Andy scream in a way that reminded me of me being a teenager with my own father,” she laughs. “It was thrilling on some level, if you’re into the patriarchy, but it was… yeah, Andy yelled. He was frustrated ’cause there was a lot going on.”
Heather places the blame equally across her castmates, describing the ensemble as “a cacophony of cackling hens.” There was much to discuss at the shoot, the first without an appearance from OG castmate Jen Shah (though she only called into the season 3 taping). The breakout star of the early seasons, Jen exited RHOSLC after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with a so-called telemarketing scheme, a last-minute pivot after more than a year of professing her innocence.
She’s now months into serving a nearly six-year-long sentence at a federal prison in Texas, where disgraced Theranos founder Elizabeth Holmes is also an inmate. One recent report claimed Jen has branded herself “Jen Fonda” behind bars, and is Elizabeth’s personal fitness guru.
“That it is exactly on par with what I would expect and want for ‘Jen Fonda’ in prison, you know what I mean?” Heather reacts. “Like, she is a force, and I think the world recognized that, and I think I am glad she is making good use of her time — and I am glad that she is there doing it. My abs are fine. I am going to just stay fat and happy.”
There were rumors that Jen, who was not a part of season 4, would be video-calling into the reunion. Andy was quick to shut those down in the days following the taping, but it wouldn’t be unwarranted. Jen’s shadow still looms over the show, in part because Monica was once a member of the “Shah Squad,” Jen’s team of assistants. That connection led Heather to see some comparisons between the two.
“I think everyone is their own person, but definitely alarm bells going off,” Heather says. “I still am trying to navigate forming friendships and not falling all in, and losing myself in the process, and so that is probably why there is a lot of ups and downs with us, because she does have that type of personality that I fall fast for, and that I generally get burned by.”
Heather felt burned by Jen by the end of their time together, and Jen’s exit from the series — and therefore the friend group — put some things into perspective for her.
“I recognized, when everything kind of went up in smoke with Jen and all of the mess, that this could go away,” she shares. “I think everyone realized how much we really do enjoy each other, and how much of a great opportunity this has been for us to be friends, and I think that we stopped taking each other for granted and we came into this season as a team and wanting to just kind of like start fresh — fresh starts, fresh power, I mean that was genuine and it really it worked.”
Many have dubbed this year Heather’s “comeback” or “redemption” season, after she fell out of favor with the fandom in season 3, thanks in part to her loyalty to Jen. Her inability — or maybe refusal — to explain a black eye that materialized overnight on a cast trip to San Diego didn’t help, with viewers and co-stars alike assuming Jen was responsible for the injury. Heather promises its origins are finally explained by season’s end.
“It’s pretty similar to how my life has been, you know?” she reflects. “I am kind of a pick-myself-up-by-my-bootstraps girl. … I do feel like it’s– I am back to who I was when I first started Housewives.”
Well, that’s not entirely true, but in a positive way. She’s now bonded to these women more than she ever was before, including Lisa, her season 1 rival. Well, make that seasons 1 through 3 rival.
“Lisa and I, [season 4] was a total reset for our friendship and I can’t explain it,” she muses. “It was me recognizing how I have not been a friend to her, you know, the whole time; for three years, I’ve been looking at it like, she’s mean to me, you know? I’m gonna just keep my guard up, and I never looked at how I have been a s**tty friend to her, and so that type of accountability on my end, I think, shifted the way I saw her and saw her motivations, and it made me wanna make amends and be a good friend to her.”
Season 4 also saw Heather reconnect with Whitney, her one-time bestie (and cousin) with whom she fell out over the course of season 3 and a season of The Real Housewives Ultimate Girls Trip. Whitney found friendship with Lisa while she and Heather were at odds, creating a bit of an odd dynamic for the trio this time around.
“I always regret fighting with Whitney, and I always regret when Lisa is the topic,” Heather laments. “We talk about her enough, you know? Let’s take her off the menu; but yeah, I recognize now that I need to tread more softly and just be respectful of all of it. I didn’t believe her friendship with Whitney would last and it has, so, you know, I’m learning and growing and — hopefully — evolving.”
On an episode of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen last week, Whitney predicted Heather and Lisa’s friendship wouldn’t last.
“I mean, based on history and based on our personalities, that’s probably, you know, Vegas odds,” Heather says, “but I don’t know what’s in the future for me and Lisa.”
“Right now, I wanna be her friend,” she adds. “I wanna be a loyal friend to her, and I want Lisa to feel like somebody has her back, and I think throughout the seasons past, she’s really been a solo rider; and I think loyalty is something she values, and I think she deserves loyalty in return.”
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs Tuesdays at 8 p.m. ET/PT on Bravo.