Bravo Overlord Andy Cohen Responds To Jen Shah Of “Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City” Pleading Guilty In Wire Fraud Case
Jen Shah showed up on the Real Housewives landscape as part of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast and immediately took the world by storm with her sudden rage-outs, narcism, and blatant lying. So when Jen was arrested for defrauding the elderly in a telemarketing scheme, viewers weren’t that shocked since it’s very on-brand for her. What was actually out of character was her pleading guilty after claiming innocence. But still, Andy Cohen isn’t sure how to feel about it. Does he believe Jen, who now admits guilt, is guilty? He isn’t sure if she’s really guilty or not! Why? Well, Andy says because he’s gotten close to her and she bought his child a toy once. But I’m guessing it’s because Andy is in denial that one of his messiest attention-getters is going to a place where Bravo cameras won’t be allowed: PRISON!
Jen Shah was originally charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. She allegedly ran a scheme with her Shah Squad that saw her targeting people to sell them irrelevant products and services that she knew wouldn’t do shit-all but her team promised were legit. The charges carry a maximum sentence of 30 years but since she took a plea deal, federal prosecutors called for a sentence of anywhere between 11 to 14 years in prison. And she has to pay a shit-ton of restitution–$9.5 million to the victims she defrauded with $6.5 million to be paid immediately.k
People says that Andy Cohen found out about Jen’s guilty plea while live on the air of his SiriusXM radio show. He was talking to Jonah Hill at the time and expressed his shock and disbelief at Jen being totally guilty even though she had just sworn as much in a court of law where it is illegal to lie:
“I don’t know how to feel about this, Jen Shah pleading guilty,” Cohen told actor Jonah Hill, who had stopped by Cohen’s SiriusXM show Radio Andy.
Hill countered, “Right, well, when you say you’re guilty of something, it maybe means you’re guilty.”
For Cohen, though, “All it means is she’s changing her plea.”
Cohen admitted part of the reason he feels conflicted about Shah’s latest legal move is because he’s grown close to her.
In fact, the reality star recently surprised his 2-month-old daughter Lucy with a present. “And I was like, “Jen Shah, with everything you have going on, that you thought to send to send Lucy a gift…,”” he told Hill. “I just thought that was so nice of her.”
Hill later added, “I’ll say that about Jen Shah–at least she’s honest.”
Andy explained that he’s also noticed viewers have a stronger reaction to Real Housewives criminals who have victims you can identify. As opposed to a nebulous victim we don’t have to care about, right?
He explained, “I also think what I’ve found regarding viewer response to some of these moments that have happened, some of the viewers are more outraged when there are — you know, when you look at Tom Girardi and what it looks like he did — actual victims that you can look at,” he explained. “When you look at Joe Giudice defrauding the government of some tax money, I think you wind up getting more upset when you know that there are victims.”
Obviously, this guilty plea will have no impact on Jen’s employment with Andy, as she will still appear on the next season of RHOSLC which makes total sense because DUH, who doesn’t want to see a post-guilty plea Jen Shah tearing up Utah?
“She’s had Meredith [Marks] and Heather [Gay] by her side, who have been very supportive of their friend during a difficult time,” a source tells PEOPLE exclusively. “Obviously her legal troubles have not been easy for Jen, let alone making this decision to plead guilty.”
This case is “a very big part of Jen’s story,” the source continues.
“Producers don’t want us to stop following it now,” the insider adds. “They’ll keep filming with her as long as they can, just like they did with Teresa [Giudice].”
Of course, the producers don’t wanna miss the good part. That on-camera arrest of hers last year was iconic television. Clearly, the Bravo producers need to also capture her husband, Sharrief Shah, inevitably divorcing her because she lied to him about being a financial criminal, and then her subsequent hard-partying cougar divorcee lifestyle. This is provided she doesn’t go to jail for too long. But honestly, if she does then let the cameras follow her there too. Something tells me that Jen’s anger issues will have her running the cellblock.