It was one of the most insane moments of The Real Housewives franchise’s history. In January 2024, during the season 4 finale of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Lisa Barlow and her castmates discovered that newbie Monica Garcia was behind the account Reality Von Tease.
For reference, the Instagram account routinely dished dirt about the cast’s personal lives for the world to see.
The reveal, which occurred during Monica’s birthday celebration in Bermuda, resulted in her being put on “pause” by Bravo. However, Lisa thinks the pause should be a full stop.
While promoting her partnership with Clorox, Lisa exclusively spoke to Distractify and told us she thinks Monica leaving RHOSLC for good would be the best move. The “Queen of Sundance” also revealed she wasn’t surprised about how Monica’s story played out, as she noticed a few “red flags” from her early on.
Lisa Barlow asked Monica Garcia if she was recording her before the ‘RHOSLC’ Season 4 finale.
Although they began RHOSLC Season 4 as friends, Lisa and Monica had multiple issues leading up to the Reality Von Tease debacle. Monica threw shade at Lisa’s age, telling Lisa to “fix your face.” Lisa fired back when she told her, “No one wants to be her mother, clearly,” during a screaming match on the show.
Lisa tells us that, despite their harsh comments about one another, Monica said more “derogatory” statements that never made it to air, stating producers gave her a “nice edit.” She also said that, aside from her “sophomoric” way of sparring, Lisa said one of Monica’s early “red flags” was Monica’s desire to meet up with Lisa’s former co-star, Jen Shah — who was sentenced to 6 ½ years for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing— even though Monica told Lisa she hated Jen.
“The first time we talked on the phone, I asked her if she was recording me,” Lisa recalled. “And it's just a hard situation when you're already in a fishbowl, and everybody's watching everything you're doing, and everything's up for subjective thought. To have to worry about someone recording your conversations or driving by your house, or you know, not giving you a break. We never got a break, and we never got to move on as a cast. From everything we dealt with like everything going on in Jen Shah's life and the departure of Jen Shah.”
Lisa shared Monica could’ve stayed on ‘RHOSLC’ if she hadn’t “led with deceit.”
Monica said in Bermuda and maintained that she and others created Reality Von Tease to take Jen down. To her, the other ladies, including Lisa, were “collateral damage.”
Lisa shared with us that even if Monica didn’t intend to hurt the rest of the group, she did. She said that if Monica had told the cast about her gossip Instagram account and showed her authentic self, she and the group possibly would’ve shown her more grace.
“It was kind of hard because I'm like you lead with deceit,” Lisa said of Monica. “Like you pretend to be an open book. You are like, ‘Oh, I'm gonna tell the world what I want them to know what I think they're gonna find out anyway,’ but she kept the real stuff to herself.”
She added: “Like when we were at the reunion, I said to Andy, ‘if she really wanted to be our friend and really wanted to be a part of this, she would have led the running of this account.’ And that could have been a whole other way to it.”
Alas, Monica didn’t lead with telling them about Reality Von Tease and only fessed up to operating the account after Heather Gay exposed her in Bermuda. Since Monica is officially out of RHOSLC, at least for Season 5, Lisa said the pause was necessary after she believed the scandal “put us in a situation where none of us could move forward” after a tumultuous few seasons of dealing with Jen’s case in front of the world.
“We've already dealt with so much like when do we have boundaries?” she asked. “When do we put up boundaries? And I think Bravo made that decision for everyone when they put her on freeze or pause. I don’t remember which name they used.”
Stream Season 4 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City on Peacock.