No more disengaging for Meredith Marks. From her blow up with Lisa Barlow to addressing the rumours that she had a hand in Jen Shah’s arrest, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star is finally ready to tell all.
From the way she carries herself to the way she defends her family, Meredith Marks is fearless. She hopped onto our call decked out in a powerful pink suit (sans feathers), ready to jump right in and say what she needed to say.
“I am engaging this season,” Meredith opened without hesitation. And that’s exactly what she did in our interview.
While many of us watched the RHOSLC star carry so much power as she chose to pull away from conflict time and time again in season two, she’s decided that now’s her chance to speak up for herself.
“One thing I learned – you have to be very vocal,” Meredith said. “As much as you want to disengage, as much as I want to disengage, sometimes it does not serve you. ”
In fact, she’s taking the opposite approach headed into season three. With explosive arguments on the horizon and Jen Shah’s guilty plea in the rearview mirror, there’s no turning back for Meredith Marks.
Meredith Marks talks Jen Shah’s guilty plea
“It’s sad, it’s shocking,” she said of the plea change. “In my view, I said ‘OK, Jen’s going through the process and that’s why we have a legal system. There’s a jury and it’s up to them to go through this whole process. I can just sit back and kind of let everything unfold.’ And I had always believed – at a minimum – that she believed in her innocence, so having her change her plea was really, really surprising for me and I hope that we all get to see and understand the backstory to it.”
Meredith’s tone alone makes it clear that she’s no stranger to forgiveness. When she works through conflict, she says that all she needs is “a level of understanding of someone’s experiences” to move forward. “You might not accept it entirely, but you can understand it and you can move on.”
She’s not afraid to address her own faults, either. “People make mistakes, everybody does that. I’ve made many, many mistakes myself and if there was no forgiveness and moving forward for me, it wouldn’t be so great.”
Her experience with Jen Shah is no different. After coming to the defence of her son with teeth bared time and time again, Meredith is finally ready to move on.
“I’ve not just forgiven Jen, but I’ve moved forward,” Meredith adds. “With any relationship or any dispute or any time you’re hurt by something somebody does, when you can get some kind of understanding of the place they’re coming from – whether it’s some kind of hurt from a past experience, some kind of current pain that they’re going through or trauma or even just jealousy or something like that – whatever it may be, once you have understanding it’s a lot easier to accept certain behaviours.”
Thank you so much for thinking I’m such a badass that I have more information than the FBI.
She’s ready to address those FBI tip-off rumours
Meredith may be ready to forgive, but fans aren’t so quick to forget. After a heated second season in which co-star Whitney Rose spread a rumour that Meredith may have had something to do with Jen Shah’s arrest, fans are still speculating about whether or not she tipped off the FBI.
“The FBI thing, I thought, oh my gosh, this is so preposterous,” Meredith exclaimed, laughing. “At first, of course, I was really agitated when I saw that we were going there, so my initial reaction was like ‘What’s wrong with you? This is crazy.’ But at the end of the day, that – to me – was so out there that I was just like ‘whatever.’ I mean thank you so much for thinking I’m such a badass that I have more information than the FBI. Really? Come on. So to me that was just almost comical. It wasn’t comical because Jen started to believe it so that’s not so funny anymore, but it in and of itself was, to me, funny.”
Rumours about her personal life tend to hit Meredith a little deeper, though. “Other things like my father’s memorial, that was really just very, very hurtful,” she explains.
“That was taking an extraordinarily painful moment. My father had passed away on the first day last season, I mean you saw me at that first lunch right at the beginning and to take the very small moment I had to grieve, the one day I took to myself during that whole time to grieve and try to come to some level of peace with it and weaponize it against me was intensely painful and cruel.”
Meredith is raising awareness for mental health
The star has had to work through a lot of family trauma throughout season two, some of which she wasn’t able to speak about on air. In fact, during season 2, her nephew went through a difficult struggle with mental health and addiction.
Meredith is ready to take that pain and trauma and use it for good. In the upcoming season, Meredith is preparing to host a fashion show to raise awareness for mental health, a cause that’s obviously “very close to my heart.”
“As you guys already know from the reunion, one of the things that was going on in the background of my life that I was really unable to talk about with anybody outside of my family was my nephew went through some very significant, difficult dark times and was struggling with mental health and addiction.”
Is Meredith still working through her big blow up with Lisa Barlow?
While going through all of these dark changes, Meredith felt she didn’t get any support from her …friend?… Lisa Barlow (cut to the fiery hot mic clip at the end of season 2).
“That was one thing that was going on that I couldn’t talk about on top of my father, on top of not having any support from Lisa on that. She did not call me after he passed away, I called her three days later. So apart from those things and feeling very left alone, I was also struggling with these other very, very, very heavy issues that I was not even able to bring to light in the group. I was sworn to secrecy at the time. And it was really tough and very intense.”
When I asked about where she was at with her friendship with Lisa, Meredith smiled and said, “So you’ll have to watch that all unfold, but it’s – at the end of the day for me – it’s the same thing as what I was saying with Jen.”
“I can forgive very easily, that’s not the hard part, but how do I move forward with somebody? And the only way I can move forward is if I have a level of understanding and they have an ability to give me that level of understanding and show me that they are getting whatever assistance they need so that they can make changes so that the behaviours don’t keep happening. And if you can do that, then – I mean, obviously you proceed with caution. No one’s an idiot here, but you can move forward, so you’ll see everything unfold.”
She still talks to former co-star Mary M. Cosby
“Mary and I text,” she explained. “She is going down her own journey right now and I think needs a little room from everything. So I’ve been very much just letting her take the lead on what she wants and when she’s comfortable with whatever she’s comfortable with. But she was invited to some events I had last winter and I only wish Mary positive things.”
We still have so many questions headed into RHOSLC season 3, but Meredith gave us some pretty spicy shade to tide us over in the meantime.
“I think I might have over engaged,” she teased through a cheeky smile.