The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah is gearing up for her sentencing in her telemarketing fraud case. Shah claimed she was innocent for over a year before recently changing her plea just two weeks before her scheduled trial date. People want answers. It’s unclear if she’ll speak, but former RHOA producer Carlos King says Shah using her being a woman of color to claim she was unfairly targeted is bogus.
Jen Shah switches plea to guilty
Shah initially claimed she was innocent. But her former friend and assistant Stuart Smith, who says he too participated in the telemarketing scheme, plead guilty early on. Multiple reports reveal that in exchange for his guilty plea, he would receive leniency. He’s said to have given prosecutors mounting evidence against his former boss, making it nearly impossible for Shah to feel that she would be able to win at trial.
In Shah’s guilty plea, she told a judge in a New York City courtroom that she was fully aware of committing fraud. Her lawyer released a statement to the public which reads: “Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line,” Entertainment Tonight reports. “She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed. Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters. Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”
She now faces 14 years in prison. Additionally, she may also have to pay $9 million in restitution to her victims.
Carlos King says Jen Shah used race card to prove innocence in fraud case
King is a producer who Bravo franchises RHOA and RHONJ. In a recent episode of his Reality With the King podcast, King spoke with Dustin Ross, co-host of The Friend Zone podcast. The two dished on reality TV hot topics, one of which was Shah’s guilty plea. King says he’s furious over the ordeal, telling Ross:
You and I are both Black men from Detroit, Michigan, and we have seen a lot and heard a lot. And obviously, when it comes to being Black in America, you are targeted often time, just based on the color of your skin. Period, point stop. What bothers me is the fact that Jen Shah had the audacity to tape scenes talking about how she was targeted, and her family was targeted, because she’s Black. And she made it about race. And that’s the part that pisses me off. Because at the end of the day, if you did the crime, do the time. That’s what I believe. Or, find a way to work with the system. I’m not here to judge you. But when you try to make it seem like you were targeted for being Black when Black people are really targeted, we now are going to be questioned on, ‘Are they using race to get out of the situation?’ And that Jen Shah is some s–t I will never forgive you for.
Andy Cohen shares his thoughts on Jen Shah’s plea
Cohen is also upset with Shah. Having worked with her on the show and getting to know her, he feels betrayed of sorts. He spoke about it on his Radio Andy SiriusXM show.
“I’m especially upset for her victims,” Cohen said while speaking with Jonah Hill. “I’m upset that she lied for so long and claimed to me that she was an example of someone being wrongly accused. .. “I’m also upset because, frankly, you get to know someone and you get to like them. You want to cheer them on, and you hate to think that they’re capable of this behavior.”
He wants the chance to speak for Shah himself. He added that he warns all potential reality TV cast members one thing: “I’ve said it before I’ll say it again: if you have something to hide, reality TV may not be the avenue.”