Jen Shah has detailed why she has declined doing an interview with Andy Cohen as she prepares to serve six-and-a-half years behind bars for running a telemarketing scheme that prosecutors say targeted the elderly and vulnerable.
Shah, 49, claimed she has chosen not to participate in the interview due to Bravo’s ‘unwillingness to remove contractual provisions’ that would enable them to misrepresent her story.
Shah said she has been keen to shed some light on her case now that she was ‘legally, emotionally and mentally’ able to do so, however would rather ‘remain silent’ than have her story ‘inaccurately conveyed.’
‘I would rather remain silent’: Jen Shah has detailed why she has declined doing an interview with Andy Cohen as she prepares to serve six-and-a-half years behind bars for running a telemarketing scheme
Taking to Instagram, Shah posted a lengthy statement discussing her decision.
‘On January 6th, 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. I want and need to share these critical facts. I owe it to those that love and support me to hear the truth.
‘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.
‘This specific 1 on 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.
”I will not be doing the 1:1 with Andy Cohen and Bravo’: Shah went in depth on her decision on Instagram; Cohen pictured December 2022
‘Too many people have been hurt by my actions and my inability to control my narrative. I would rather remain silent and wait until I am able to accurately share my story than continue having complete lies and misrepresentations about me smeared across the headlines. I intend to speak and you will hear from me. I will share my story and this painful part of my life very soon.’
This comes after Cohen was grilled for supporting Shah during an interview with CNN’s Chris Wallace, where he defended his initial response hoping Jen would receive no jail time.
The TV host, 54, was interviewed by CNN’s Chris Wallace, 75, on Sunday, who said: ‘You’re on the record, last November, as saying that you hoped she would get no jail time. Why would you take her side against the thousands of people she defrauded, including a lot of elderly?’
The Bravo executive explained, ‘I think I was hoping that she was actually innocent. However Wallace quickly replied, ‘She pleaded guilty!’
Defending his words: Cohen defended his initial response to Shah’s nationwide telemarketing scheme and his hope that she would get no jail time in a new CNN interview
‘That was before she pleaded guilty, I mean, that I said that, I would think?’ Cohen responded to the grilling about Shah, 49.
‘No,’ Wallace countered, ‘I think it was after.’
‘Oh, really?’ Cohen — who serves as an executive producer on the Real Housewives franchises — replied, appearing sheepish, ‘Oh, God. Um, anyway! Wow, this is fun.’
Grilled: ‘Why would you take her side against the thousands of people she defrauded, including a lot of elderly [people]?’ CNN’s Chris Wallace, 75, asked the TV host, 54, on Sunday
Hoping for innocence: Cohen explained, ‘I think I was hoping that she was actually innocent. However Wallace quickly replied, ‘She pleaded guilty!’; Shah pictured leaving Manhattan federal court on January 06, 2023 in NYC
Cohen said he didn’t remember the exact ‘context’ of his comment, but said the viewers were ‘demanding’ to know Shah’s status on the show.
‘And I’m like, “It’s up to the judge. She’s about to get sentenced to a lot of jail time,’” he told Wallace, who reminded him that Shah ‘did something bad.’
‘Yes, she did. And so, she should go to jail,’ he agreed.
‘You know, sometimes, if you get to know someone and you get to like them, you hope that they are not guilty of something horrible,’ he added.
Tense: ‘That was before she pleaded guilty, I mean, that I said that, I would think?’ Cohen responded to the grilling. ‘No,’ Wallace countered, ‘I think it was after’
His side of the story: ‘You know, sometimes, if you get to know someone and you get to like them, you hope that they are not guilty of something horrible,’ he added
Cohen’s initial quote comes from a November 2022 interview with Us Weekly, where he discussed whether Shah would be back for Season 4 of RHOSLC.
‘She’s being sentenced on December 15, so I don’t know what to say to people who want her on the show. I hope that she gets no jail time whatsoever and she can come right back … but I have a feeling that she’s not going to be available to be on the show,’ he said at the time.
However Shah did not attend the Season 3 reunion and was absent from BravoCon, which took place in October 2022. She has been a cast member of RHOSLC for its entire three season run on Bravo beginning in November 2020.
Shah was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison earlier this month, for running a years-long telemarketing scheme that prosecutors say targeted the elderly and vulnerable, stripping them of their savings and maxing out their credit cards.
Prison sentence: Shah was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in prison earlier this month, for running a years-long telemarketing scheme that prosecutors say targeted the elderly
Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City star: The 49-year-old was one of the most bombastic characters on the Bravo series
She pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in July in a dramatic defense U-Turn. She must present herself to be taken to prison on February 17, and will serve her term in a facility in Texas.
Shah herself sobbed as she read a statement to the court, claiming her reality TV persona was nothing more than an act. She vowed to raise $6.5million in restitution to make victims’ whole, and said she intended to do so from prison.
But prosecutors showed no mercy, telling the court how Shah had once laughed about the fact that one of her victims had called the company in tears over the fact that she was losing all her money.
Shah, one of the most bombastic characters in her franchise of the Bravo reality TV series, denied any wrongdoing for months.
She then dramatically changed her plea in July following the guilty plea of her former assistant, Stuart Smith.
Reality world: Shah has been a cast member of RHOSLC for its entire three season run on Bravo beginning in November 2020; Pictured in a promo shot from Season 3