'Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City': Mary Cosby's Husband, Robert Cosby Is Also Her Step-Grandfather (!)

Photo: Bravo
'Real Housewives of Salt Lake City': Who Is Mary Cosby's Husband, Robert Cosby? (He's Also Her Step-Grandpa!)
Entertainment And News

Usually, a new reality series has to premiere before the drama really gets off the ground. However, Bravo is already packing a major punch with the cast announcement for The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. While the show isn't about polygamy, there is one seriously unconventional marriage being featured. Mary Cosby is married to a man who used to be married to her own grandmother.

An admission like that is sure to bring a lot of questions and we sure hope that the Cosbys will address their relationship on the show. For now, we have some background on their family and what led them to get married, despite the super unusual circumstances.

Who is Mary Cosby's husband, Robert Cosby?

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Mary Cosby married Robert Cosby to get her grandmother's estate.

In her Bravo bio, Cosby says she is the beneficiary of her family's empire of churches, restaurants, and other businesses but in order to get all that she had to marry her deceased grandmother's second husband. She also says she and husband Robert Cosby have been married for over 20 years and have a teenage son. To say this is an unusual arrangement is an understatement and the details will probably be spelled out on the show.

Who was Mary Cosby's grandmother?

Mary's grandmother was a Pentecostal minister Rosemary "Mama" Redmon Cosby. She grew up in Indiana where she was deeply religious. She also had four children by the time she was 29 years old in 1960, though it's not clear who their father was. That same year, she believed God was telling her to go to Salt Lake City, which she did, taking buses, hitchhiking, and sometimes walking to get there. Once she arrived in her new hometown, she started a church in her living room. Eventually, she met Pentecostal Bishop Robert C. Cosby, who was 22 years younger than she was and married him. Together, they founded Faith Temple Pentecostal Church, an endeavor that grew over the years to include sites in Utah and Indiana.

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Robert Cosby was accused of stealing from his first wife's estate.

When Mama Cosby died in 1997, Robert Cosby and her daughter Rosalind Cazares were named as representatives of her estate, which was said to be worth millions. Cazares filed suit that same year alleging that her step-father was committing fraud and illegally diverting money from the estate. The lawsuit dragged out for years, but ultimately courts demanded that Cosby pay $1.2 million in damages to Cazares in 2005. In 2007, she filed an additional suit alleging that Cosby was mishandling assets int he estate. It's not clear if or how that suit was resolved.

At one point, Robert Cosby was suspected of foul play.

Cazares was so suspicious of her stepfather, that she demanded that her mother's body be exhumed for autopsy two years after her death. She believed that her mother had been in perfect health and she wondered if Cosby had done something to cause her death. Cosby had blocked an autopsy at the time of her death, despite the fact that she died at a property they owned in Florida. Florida law requires autopsies so Cazare had grounds to demand one, even two years post-mortem. 

Ultimately, however, the autopsy revealed that Mama Cosby had died of natural causes. 

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At some point, Robert Cosby married his step-granddaughter, who is Mary Cosby.

In 1998, Cosby married Mary Martha Harris, who is one of his late wife's grandchildren. We aren't sure which of Mama Cosby's children is her parent at this time. We also have no idea what went down that led to this marriage. Mary Cosby says that the marriage was a condition that allowed her to inherit her family's empire of churches and other businesses but the marriage has lasted a very long time and resulted in one son, who is now a teenager. By our best guesses, Mary Cosby is in her 40s now and her husband/step-grandpa is probably about 67 years old. 

Cosby and her son.

Mary and Robert Cosby still preside over the church her grandmother founded.

Robert and Mary Cosby are listed as the Bishop and First Lady of Faith Temple Pentecostal Church to this day. In addition, Mary Cosby dabbles in fashion, perfume, and some event planning. Her husband doesn't show up in any of her social media so we don't have much sense of what he does besides running a church and getting sued for fraud.

Needless to say, there are a lot of questions this couple will need to answer for audiences this fall. The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premieres on November 11. 

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Rebekah Kuschmider has been writing about celebrities, pop culture, entertainment, and politics since 2010. She is the creator of the blog FeminXer and she is a cohost of the weekly podcast The More Perfect Union.