The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City production team directly addressed Monica Garcia‘s claims that she told them she was involved with Reality Von Tease before joining the show.
During the final part of the RHOSLC season 4 reunion, which aired on Tuesday, January 23, Lisa Barlow questioned whether producers were in on the reveal that Garcia, 40, was involved with the burner account, saying,“You guys brought her on knowing she wanted to f—king take every single one of us out, and no one gives a f—k.”
While Garcia claimed she did inform the production team during an early round of the casting process, executive producer and reunion host Andy Cohen, denied her version of events.
“If you’d said you run a burner account we wouldn’t have cast you,” Cohen, 55, told Garcia on the show.
After the Bravo special, Cohen, showrunner Lori Gordon and Shed Media SVP Lisa Shannon doubled down.
“You have to have the trust of your cast,” Shannon told Variety in a profile published on Wednesday, January 24. “And we would never jeopardize the trust of the cast, nor would the network, nor would Andy. Especially over something so seemingly silly — and not knowing that it’s going to pay off. We just would never do that. Especially with the entire cast — you’re really blowing up your relationship with everybody.”
According to Shannon, production would have guided Garcia into telling the truth if they knew ahead of time. “Had we known, we probably would have encouraged her much earlier on to have a come-to-Jesus with the ladies,” she added.
Fans and Garcia’s costars learned about her involvement with Reality Von Tease during the season finale, which aired earlier this month, when Heather Gay was tipped off by her stylist Tenesha Luckett (who was also involved with the page).
While addressing the drama, Garcia maintained that the account was “never just one” person. “It wasn’t just me,” she told the cameras. “There were several other humans involved, but bottom line, our mission was to take down Jen. The other women were just collateral damage.”
Garcia has since been exiled from the other Housewives and the three-part reunion did little to help.
“What I love about reunions is it’s like the Housewives’ court of law,” Cohen told Variety on Wednesday. “I think if Monica had come out and was able to sway even one of the women back on her side, it might be a different conversation right now.”
Hours before the final installment aired on Tuesday, January 23, news broke that Garcia wouldn’t be returning to the show. Cohen confirmed the cast shakeup during Watch What Happens Live that same night but he called Garcia’s absence from season 5 “a break.”
“The whole franchise is based on friends, and people who know each other and circulate in the same circles. And at this time, the women just need a cooling off period,” Gordon added to Variety. “And I think it’s too soon — they’ve articulated it. It’s too soon for them to reenter into a friendship, a trusting friendship. Not enough time has passed.”
The production team isn’t ruling out a return for Garcia in the future. “Who knows?” Cohen quipped on Wednesday. “Anything can happen. And I love a comeback. And so it would be very cool to find a path forward for her.”
Gay said she was relieved by the decision, adding, “Monica has no connection with any of us right now. There’s no chance that she will be in my home, in my business, or around me anytime soon.”
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is set to start filming season 5 in early February.