Is This ‘Real Housewives’ Star Really Running a Cult? Ex-Church Members Say Yes

Chad Kirkland/Bravo via NBC Bravo’s Real Housewives franchise has always been about drama—petty digs at so-called best friends, mascara-streaked tears over crumbling relationships, and a healthy dose of flipping tables and smashing wine glasses.

But recently, season storylines have been overtaken by serious criminal investigations , with Teresa Giudice serving prison time for financial fraud, Jen Shah facing charges over conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and Erika Jayne currently entangled in allegations that her husband embezzled his clients’ settlement funds to bankroll their extravagant lifestyle.

In the new season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City , Mary Cosby will take her turn in the hot seat in response to accusations that she has transformed her late grandmother’s Faith Temple Pentecostal Church into a cult.

Eyebrows were raised from the moment viewers first met Cosby, and learned about her unconventional religious path. The eccentric, designer-clad preacher married her step-grandfather Bishop Robert Cosby shortly after her grandmother Rosemary “Mama” Redmon Cosby passed away in 1997, thereby inheriting her multimillion-dollar estate, her various businesses, and her commanding position in the church.

Cosby was already quizzed over the cult allegations at the Season 1 reunion, which aired in February. Host Andy Cohen brought up leaked audio recordings of Cosby’s sermons, including one where she complained about not getting enough birthday cards and called the congregation “stingy” and “poor.”

Cosby denied to Cohen that she was pilfering money from the church to fund her expensive lifestyle, calling the claim cruel. “My church couldn’t possibly take care of me,” Cosby said. “I’m a God-fearing woman. I would never do that.”

“Clearly I’m not gonna get on national television, be a Housewife and be in a cult,” Cosby defended herself to Entertainment Tonight . “Like, come on. I believe in my church. There’s no cult. My church members, they know those are false allegations. Those are ridiculous. It’s the people that are looking for fault.”

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