Some of Jen Shah’s closest friends are feeling betrayed now that they know the truth!
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star shocked everyone on Monday when she plead guilty in her ongoing telemarketing fraud case – after months of claiming her innocence! Now, we’re learning how her RHOSLC co-stars are feeling after the major change!
On Thursday, a source opened up to Page Six, sharing specifically how Shah’s pals Heather Gay and Meredith Marks, who publicly supported Jen throughout this controversy, felt about the guilty plea. Apparently, despite being in New York City with the star when she changed her mind about the case, they didn’t even know the guilty plea was coming until just moments beforehand!!
According to the insider, the reality stars were informed of their castmate’s legal decision right before it was made official. The source explained that the disgraced marketing executive called Heather first, just before heading into the courtroom. She explained what was up and then asked for Heather to pass the info off to Meredith. Those must have been some WILD phone calls!
A second source backed up that info, confirming that the women were given a heads up about the strategy shift before Jen’s pleading. Page Six also learned that both Bravo personalities were in New York ahead of the pre-trial hearing because Shah “wanted people around her” for support as she geared up for the trial’s start date next week. Well, we bet they felt screwed over when they realized they’d been standing up for the wrong person the whole time!!
The night before the 48-year-old came clean about her financial crimes, Mer, who was seen on the show questioning Jen’s innocence, made a very public stance on social media by suggesting on her Instagram Story that she’s now team Shah. She shared:
“For those of you who may not know this: I live in the United States of America. In the US, one has a right to a trial and is presumed innocent until proven guilty.”
While neither star has publicly addressed Shah’s news yet — and both their reps declined to give Page Six a comment about their friend “blindsiding” them — another source noted that they, along with co-stars Whitney Rose and Lisa Barlow, were “shocked.” The confidant expressed:
“Everyone was surprised.”
They must be feeling especially duped considering the mom of two “continually” told the other Housewives that she was “innocent and that she was going to fight.” She also slammed people who “plead guilty” for financial reasons, supposedly telling her close circle:
“ reason people plead is because they’re afraid and they can’t afford it, but that she can afford it and she was going to fight for her innocence.”
The RHOSLC stars were all under the impression that she was just in the Big Apple for the pre-trial hearing and that she was going to fight the allegations. Instead, she pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing. The US attorney agreed to drop the other charge against her (conspiracy to commit money laundering).
At the time, her attorney, Priya Chaudhry, told the outlet that she made the switch because she “wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.” But another source suggested that there was just too much evidence against her, adding:
“She knew she had to plead guilty because she was going to be guilty anyway and didn’t want to drag her mom, her husband, her kids, and everybody into it.”
Jen is mom to sons, Sharrieff Jr., 28, and Omar, 19, with husband Sharrieff Shah Sr. We’re sure this has been a tumultuous time for them all! Unfortunately, her hubby might not be so lucky now that she must pay for her crimes. As we reported, he could be responsible for helping to pay off her $9.5 million restitution. Yeesh.
The Utah native is now facing 30 years in prison and five years of supervised release. However, the plea agreement calls for a slightly lesser sentence of just 11 to 14 years behind bars and up to $9.5 million in restitution fees, so she might get off a little lucky. Her sentencing has been set for November. In the meantime, we’d think she better make it up to her co-stars somehow or she may have just burned some bridges she’ll never be able to repair! After pleading guilty, she did apologize to her “supporters” for misleading them all this time, remorsefully saying via her lawyer:
“Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters.”
But we think Heather, Meredith, and all those she tricked are going to want a much more in-depth apology and formal explanation after all of this! What do you think, Perezcious readers? Will the RHOSLC cast be able to forgive and forget her lying? Or does this guilty plea mark a big divide in their friendship after they were so willing to support her for nothing?! Will Bravo producers want her to return to the Salt Lake City-based show? So many questions! Sound OFF (below)!
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