Monica Garcia has come to The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City with all of her dirty laundry on the table. Although she’s “kind of” raising her four daughters in the Mormon faith, she’s excommunicated from the church for having an affair with her brother-in-law.
“The truth power of owning your past and present,” Monica says. “Is no one can weaponize it against you, ever.”
She spilled the beans on her past during a shopping trip with Heather Gay for their girls’ trip to visit the Trixie Mattel Motel in Palm Springs, CA. (Season 4, Episode 2)
Heather is famously ex-Morman, and when she filmed this scene, she was fresh on the heels of publishing her book Bad Mormon(affiliate link,) so she was surprised to hear that Monica was raising her girls in the church.
Monica, however, can’t be a part of the Mormon church. She explained that she was raised in the church after her mother converted and that she was married to her ex-husband Mike in the temple.
“Then, I was excommunicated,” Monica says.
“For?” Heather asked.
“For f***ing my brother-in-law for 18 months,” Monica says.
— Starcasm (@starcasm) September 20, 2023
Monica clarified that she wasn’t sleeping with her husband’s brother; it was her husband’s sister’s husband.
Monica didn’t get caught; she confessed to her bishop because she felt guilty. Monica was excommunicated, but her affair partner wasn’t given the same treatment.
“Yeah,” Heather affirmed. “They never excommunicate the men.”
Initially, Monica was laughing as she related this all to Heather, but soon found herself tearing up as she called it “one of the worst experiences of my life.”
She thought that when she confessed to the affair, she expected relief. Instead, she had to deal with being shunned by her community, while the man did not get the same treatment.
Although Monica and her husband divorced after the affair, which happened four years into her marriage, she eventually got married again. Now, it’s truly over between the two of them, and they’re divorcing for a final time.
After Monica was excommunicated, she was no longer allowed to wear the modest Mormon undergarments, so she immediately went to Victoria’s Secret and bought a bunch of the thongs she had never been allowed to wear before.
How many kids does Monica have with her ex-husband?
Before Monica married Mike, she had a daughter from a prior relationship named Bri. She and Mike went on to have three daughters: Jaidyn, West, and Kendall.
Loss of financial security
When Monica was with her husband, she didn’t have to worry about money. Now that she’s on her own with her four girls, she less financially secure; which is why she started her own business.
Her company Brea Baby sells baby swaddles, blankets, and crib sheets. She says the business was just a hobby at first when she started it in her marriage, but now it’s a “lifeline” for her.
Monica filmed her mom and daughter helping her out with the business on her debut episode of RHOSLC, but her daughter Bri did reveal that she forgot how to fold the swaddles because they usually “pay the neighbor kids” to do this.
Monica was Jen Shah’s assistant
Monica has joined the show largely because of her association with Jen Shah, her longtime friend and former boss. Soon after she became Jen’s assistant, things got very shady. Jen asked her to sign things over to Monica’s name.
“Jen had fired her assistant and I stepped in to help her. And one night, Jen asked me, ‘Do you want to be rich? Do you want to make $600,000 a year? All you have to do is put this, this, and this in your name. I remember being so weirded out – It was very bizarre,’” Monica said
A very suspicious Monica called a friend she knew in the Secret Service, who told her to stay away from Jen because she was “going to prison.”
Monica didn’t just stay away from Jen, she became a witness in Jen’s case, presumably against Jen.
Parallels with Whitney
Whitney Rose was also excommunicated from the Mormon church over a similar situation.
When Whitney was a Mormon, she cheated on her ex-husband with her current husband Justin Rose. In her case, though, her Justin was excommunicated while Whitney was given a “repentance process” because her ex and spoken in defense of her.
Although Monica didn’t have a choice but to be excommunicated, Whitney felt like she wasn’t given a choice to leave the religion. “The men get to decide what happens to me,” Whitney shared about this experience in Season 3. In both instances it seems that the patriarchal system decided what would happen to a woman who had an affair, leaving the choice out of her hands.
Whitney remained in a kind of limbo with the church for years with her name still “on the books.” Last Season showed Whitney going through the rather difficult process of removing their name from “the books” and severing ties with the church forever.
“Having my name on the record of the Mormon church means that they’re still tracking what I’m doing,” Whitney said. She no longer wanted to be tracked or followed by them. She said she felt the church was all about “power and money.”