Jen Shah's Legal Drama Is a Reality Show in Itself
The Beauty Lab co-founder, 38, recently opened up about Jen's legal scandal—in which she and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were both arrested by federal authorities on March 30 for allegedly running a nationwide telemarketing fraud scheme. Following the arrests, both Stuart and the 47-year-old reality TV personality pleaded not guilty to the charges.
When discussing her co-star's legal battles, Heather came to Jen's defense during an interview on the So Bad It's Good With Ryan Bailey podcast.
"I think that good people can do bad things, and she is claiming she is innocent," Heather said on Wednesday, June 2. "Even if she gets...wrongfully convicted, she can make things right. She can redeem herself."
Heather went on to explain that she's "passionate about second chances" because she wasn't given that opportunity after she got divorced.
Back in March, the U.S. Attorney Office for the Southern District of New York announced that Jen and her assistant were taken into police custody on two charges each: conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Additionally, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss spoke out about Jen and Stuart's charges, sharing in a statement that they "allegedly generated and sold 'lead lists' of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam" from 2012 until March 2021.
Jen and Stuart, along with their unidentified co-conspirators, were accused of being "motivated by greed, to steal victims' money," who were mostly over the age of 55.
Just days after the arrests, on April 2, Jen and Stuart both pleaded not guilty to the charges.
A judge ruled that Jen was required to put up a $1 million bond, stating, "There is a risk of flight here. It's not insubstantial. I'm going to release her on the following conditions: I am going to require a personal recognizance bond of $1 million. I am going to required $250,000 to secure that bond in cash or property." Moreover, the judge told Jen that she would have one week to comply.
"Jennifer Shah is a wife, mother, and lifelong resident of the Salt Lake City area," attorneys for the Bravo star said in a statement to E! News. "She maintains her innocence of these charges, and is eager to defend herself in a court of law. She puts her faith in the American legal system. Because of the ongoing legal proceedings, we ask that you respect her privacy, and understand she will not provide any further comments."
At the time, a source told E! News that Bravo cameras captured the events unfolding in real-time. "A crew with RHOSLC was outside the courtroom capturing it all for the show," the insider shared. "The bulk of the crew is with the rest of the cast in Colorado."
A separate source connected to the cast explained Jen's co-stars learned about the news just like everyone else, revealing, "The other Housewives are just finding out about this. Many of them had questions about Jen's business, but no one saw these arrests coming."
Heather echoed similar sentiments during the podcast, sharing, "Everything plays out in real-time."
"We are in it with her," she continued. "We are going through it as friends—as people, who for the first time in their lives, are public figures. And for the first time in their lives, not only have to answer to their family and friends, but a worldwide audience."
Although Heather and Jen appeared to have a falling out by the end of RHOSL's first season and during the reunion, the beauty mogul revealed why it's hard to walk away from the friendship.
"It's not because she's going to be the star, so I have to attach my wagon to that," Heather described of Jen. "She is a star. When you're in the room with her, she is magnetic, charismatic and you want the Jen Shah sunlight to shine on you."
"The easiest thing for me to do would be to wash my hands of this woman," she expressed. "She has certainly established a way out for me...She has given me plenty of reasons to dip. And, I am not dumb, but I don’t want to dip."
Heather added, "The only person that I think is completely immune to that is Mary [Cosby]. Mary could give a s--t how charming she is."
(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)
For more true crime updates on your need-to-know cases, head to Oxygen.com.