Monica Garcia is making it clear that she did not voluntarily decide to leave The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City after one season.
“That would be a cast and Bravo decision. It would not have been my decision,” Monica, 40, told The Cut in a profile published on Wednesday, January 24, when asked a hypothetical question about leaving the Bravo hit.
Reports surfaced one day earlier on Tuesday, January 23, that Monica would not return for season 5 of RHOSLC. Later that day, executive producer Andy Cohen revealed on his Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen talk show that Monica will take a “break” from the show.
Monica joined RHOSLC season 4, where she immediately made a splash. During the finale earlier this month, costar Heather Gay revealed to the cast that Monica was the brains behind Instagram troll account Reality Von Tease.
“I truly did not think it was going to be a big deal, genuinely. This was a bigger deal than Jen [Shah] getting arrested and going to prison,” Monica recalled to The Cut of the reveal. “It’s comical, in a sense, that they are more upset at me about a snark page than they are about someone scamming elderly people out of millions of dollars. This was someone who they chose to stand by, but this is the be-all and end-all.”
Monica explained that she “was prepared” for the Reality Von Tease bombshell to come out during filming — and was ready to “own it.”
“The page was never about them. It was about Jen,” she added. “They want to say, ‘It bullied us for four years’ — first of all, the page was only open for, like, a year. Second of all, it really was about exposing Jen. Lisa Barlow’s hot-mic rant was worse than anything we ever said on Von Tease.”
Lisa, 49, had infamously called then-friend Meredith Marks a “f—king whore” in an expletive-filled rant during a season 2 cast trip. According to Monica, Lisa’s hot mic moment was a bigger deal than what had been posted on her anonymous social media account.
While Monica was prepared for the cast to find out about Reality Von Tease, she didn’t know that it could come at the cost of a personal betrayal.
“What I wasn’t prepared for — and why you see I’m so shocked — was for my ex-best friend to give them a bunch of other information,” she told The Cut, referring to Heather, 49. “I was caught off guard with what my best friend had done, not about Reality Von Tease coming out.”