Jen Shah Reacts to Marketing Scam Accusations Against Her on 'The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City': It's 'Surreal'

Jen Shah is coming face to face with her legal troubles.

via People:

Sunday night’s episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City picked up exactly where last week’s episode ended, with Jen’s fellow castmates — Lisa Barlow, Jennie Nguyen, Meredith Marks, Heather Gay, Whitney Rose and Mary Cosby — discussing Jen’s arrest.

Sitting together at a dinner table, Lisa explained to the other ladies, “I just feel so deceived, I just don’t think she’s who we think she is. I don’t know who she is … she’s a completely different person than I think.”

Meredith then asked the ladies who among them wanted to remain friends with Jen moving forward. As each member of the group paused and looked around, Jennie spoke first, explaining that she felt as though they couldn’t drop their friend just based on the situation at hand.

“I feel like, yes, it’s a lot today, but we can’t just say, ‘Oh yeah, [now] she’s getting arrested we’re just gonna leave her to the sideline,'” she said. “What am I going to do when she comes around? What would you guys do when she comes around?”

Continuing their candid conversation, Heather said she would also back Jen. “I will help her, 100 percent,” she said. “She is my friend, and for better or worse, whatever that word means, when things like this happen, people use it as an excuse to scatter … and I think the only true value of friendship is when you’re down.”

Meredith then asked Heather if she would visit her in prison should she be convicted of the accusations. “Yeah, absolutely,” Heather replied. “I would visit her in prison, for sure.”

Meredith still couldn’t help but think of the individuals who Jen was accused of harming through the alleged marketing scam. “Can we talk about the hundreds of lives she has ruined through her actions?” she asked, raising her voice. “And I’m just supposed to feel bad for her?”

The jewelry designer also explained that despite being in an “upward trend” with Jen, the situation didn’t change the fact that she does not want to have a friendship with her. “You have to have trust to be friends,” Meredith said. “… She has continuously abused me and slapped me in the face. Why would I show up for her? You tell me.”

Mary seemed to side with Meredith, noting that she has “never seen good in Jen,” adding that she “always knew there was some type of scandal.”

Whitney, meanwhile, explained that she was torn about where she stood. “I don’t know what to make of it, it’s crazy. It doesn’t add up but … Jen owes it to every single one of us to tell us the truth about what she has been up to.”

Later in the episode, viewers got their first look at Jen since the drama unfolded with her arrest. She appeared in Salt Lake City, Utah, while the rest of the cast members remained on their trip in Vail, Colorado.

Meeting with her lawyer Clayton Simms, Jen explained that she wanted to debrief after a hearing. Clayton explained that they were just at the start of the case and reiterated to Jen that she had been “charged with wire fraud and then money laundering.”

Pointing out how she pleaded not guilty to both charges, Clayton explained that the next step would be to get more documents related to the case in an effort to get a better idea of what the prosecution’s theory against Jen is.

“What I have been accused of is absolutely the complete opposite of anything I would do in my life. If I have any fault, it’s because I’m too giving and I help too many people,” Jen said in a confessional, before adding to Clayton that the ordeal was “surreal.”

Recalling the phone call she received on the bus before the Vail trip, Jen said she was told to grab her son and meet her husband at the hospital.

During the drive, Jen told Clayton that she was then asked to pull over. “I didn’t know what was going on,” she said, before tearing up and adding, “I feel like I’m still in shock … I didn’t grow up with a lot. I worked so hard to get where I am, and to have this happen … I don’t understand.”

Jen and her assistant Stuart Smith were arrested and charged in March with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing — through which they allegedly victimized 10 or more persons over the age of 55 — and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Though the two pleaded not guilty during an arraignment in April, Stuart changed his plea to guilty during a Friday appearance before Southern District of New York Judge Sidney H. Stein. Jen has continued to maintain her innocence.

The judge set Stuart’s sentencing for March 3. The judge also noted that the maximum combined sentence for the three charges is 70 years in prison. 

According to a previous court document obtained by PEOPLE, others who were involved in the same telemarketing scheme and pleaded guilty to similar charges were given sentences ranging from about 5 to 7 years.   

Do we think Ms. Shah is going to jail? Probably. ‘The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ airs Sundays at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

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