Jen Shah, 49, will not be sitting down with Bravo executive Andy Cohen to discuss her legal woes before she begins her 78-month prison sentence for defrauding mostly senior Americans out of millions of dollars in a telemarketing scheme. “On January 6, I stood before Judge Stein and asked him to see me not as a fictionalized character, but as the real Jen Shah. I am now at a point, legally, emotionally and mentally, where I can answer some questions and provide a few unknown details about my case,” she began in a statement she shared on Instagram on the evening of Jan. 19. “I owe it to those that love and support me to hear the truth.”
Jen Shah just dropped her official statement. 👀 Get into ittt. #RHOSLC pic.twitter.com/VYypemfsV0
— Mr. Mention It All 📺🇯🇲 🏳️🌈 😄 (@MrMentionItAll) January 20, 2023
“I will not be doing the 1:1 with Andy Cohen and Bravo because of their unwillingness to remove contractual provisions that would allow the network to legally make misrepresentations of me and my story, relating to any and all topics, prior to and during the course of my participation,” the Real Housewives of Salt Lake Citystar continued. “This specific 1 one 1 interview was not part of my RHOSLC reality tv contract. I promised myself and my loving family that I would not allow this portion of my life to be sensationalized or inaccurately conveyed.”
Jen went on to say that “too many people” were hurt due to her actions and her “inability to control” her story, and that she wants to wait to speak out so she can “accurately share” her story. She concluded, “I intend to speak and you will hear from me. I will share my story and this painful part of my life very soon.”
As she mentioned, Jen was sentenced on Jan. 6 and she is expected to report to prison on Feb. 17. The reality star and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were arrested in March 2021 while Bravo cameras were rolling for their phone scam. While Jen originally pleaded not guilty, she changed her plea in July 2022 — eight months after Stuart entered a plea deal.
“Jen Shah deeply regrets the mistakes that she has made and is profoundly sorry to the people she has hurt. Jen has faith in our justice system, understands that anyone who breaks the law will be punished, and accepts this sentence as just,” her lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, told HollywoodLife following her sentence. “Jen will pay her debt to society and when she is a free woman again, she vows to pay her debt to the victims harmed by her mistakes.”
Andy, 54, originally said he was not sure how to feel about Jen’s guilty plea on his Sirius XM radio show, Radio Andy, when she first reversed her plea of innocence. He also recalled Jen buying his baby daughter, Lucy, a gift amid all her drama, which added to his shock. However, he later gave a firmer stance. “I’m upset, and I’m especially upset for her victims,” he said on the July 13, 2022 episode of Radio Andy. “I’m upset that she lied for so long and claimed to me that she was an example of someone being wrongly accused.”
Andy was put in the hot seat about his seemingly supportive rhetoric surrounding the mom of two while speaking to CNN’s Chris Wallace on Jan. 15. “You’re on the record last November as saying that you hope she would get no jail time,” the 75-year-old journalist noted. “And the question I have is: Why would you take her side against the thousands of people she defrauded, including a lot of elderly?”
Andy seemed taken aback by the question and replied, “I think that I was hoping she was actually innocent.”
Jen also skipped out on the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City Season 3 reunion in December. In an Instagram post discussing the matter, she claimed Bravo wanted her to talk about her arrest and upcoming sentencing. However, she said that she is legally not supposed to speak of anything regarding her case. “I was clear with Bravo that out of respect for the courts and a standing judicial order, I would not be in a position to discuss anything related to my legal case or sentencing,” she explained. “So under legal advice, I will not be attending reunion.”
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