Heather Gay says she was duped by Jen Shah. In a February 2023 interview, “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star admitted she already wishes she could rewrite parts of her book, “Bad Mormon,” which was released on February 7, 2023.
In her book, Gay gushed about Jen Shah, her onetime bestie who will begin a 6.5 year prison term in February 2023 for her role in a telemarketing scam targeted at elderly people, according to Page Six. Shah had maintained her innocence but pled guilty to charges against her in July 2022.
“I would love to rewrite the book and say that I’m smarter and wiser and was less duped than I was, but I bought into all of it,” Gay told People in an interview published in February 2023. “As we know now, it was all a lie, and I think that it’s important to remember why we fall for these types of charismatic people, and that’s how the book is written.”
Heather Gay Admitted She Was ‘Dazzled’ By Jen Shah When She Met Her
Gay said she first knew Shah from her cosmetic spa, Beauty Lab + Laser, and thought she was “fabulous.”
“I only knew her peripherally before that and I got swept up into it, much like the audience did,“ Gay wrote in “Bad Mormon.” “Every time she came by, she would be dressed head to toe in Gucci silks and four-inch heels. When she walks into a room, she leads with her charisma. … There is no doubt that in this cast, Jen is MVP.”
In an interview with The Cut, Gay admitted she “was tempted to rewrite history” and not refer to Shah as an MVP.
“But I really felt like I needed to honor what it was to become a Housewife and to be swept into this life that I knew nothing of,” she explained. “I also wanted the readers to see Jen running her business and how she was really a mastermind of this. It was this lavish lifestyle that didn’t make sense, but I was dazzled by it. …I wanted the reader to feel that and to see the behind-the-scenes of before Jen was a Housewife, and before we found out that this marketing enterprise was all a complete lie.”
Gay explained to People that while she wrote her book as allegations about Shah were coming out, she wrote it from her “perspective as it occurred.”
Heather Gay No Longer Considers Herself Jen Shah’s Ride Or Die
Gay stood by Shah for a long time because the marketing guru had maintained her innocence. But when she changed her plea to guilty, Gay had second thoughts about standing by her side.
“I was labeled ride-or-die because I had a friend that was looking at me and telling me she was innocent. Everything changed for me when she pled guilty,” Gay told Us Weekly, adding that her main focus now is on the victims of Shah’s crimes.
But Gay doesn’t plan to completely turn her back on Shah. At “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” reunion taping in December 2022, Gay said it wouldn’t be productive to shut Shah out of her life.
“She said she committed fraud and she’s going to prison and she’s making $15 million restitution and I think me being mean to her or mad at her is just a virtue signal to the world and doesn’t do anybody good,” Gay said at the reunion, per Page Six. “And I’m this far down the road with her, I’m not going to drop her now.”
Elsewhere in the interview, Gay stopped short of promising to visit Shah in prison. “I mean, it depends on where she goes,” she said. “I will write her if she wants that, and I will look in on Omar and Coach, I don’t know,” she added in reference to Shahs’s teen son and husband Sharrieff “Coach” Shah.
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