The second season of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City is bound to be like no other. Original cast member Jen Shah was arrested on March 30 and charged with federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in an alleged long-running telemarketing scam, per a statement released by the Department of Justice U.S. Attorney’s Office of the Southern District of New York.
Shah’s first assistant/partner – and friend on RHOSLC – Stuart Smith was also charged. Shah appeared in Salt Lake City federal court before a magistrate later that day. Three days later, during her arraignment, she pleaded not guilty.
The arrest news had many fans wondering if the next season of RHOSLC was filming and if it will be shown. Luckily, the answer is yes. The cast was together prior to the arrest. “The cast left for a trip to Vail on Tuesday, including Jen,” a source told People. “She was filming.”
Another source told Entertainment Tonight that the cast was on a bus leaving for Vail, “when Shah received a phone call.” The source shared that after the call, Shah told her fellow co-stars that her husband, Coach Sharrieff Shah, was suddenly in the hospital. She then left, and “she was arrested minutes after leaving the bus,” per ET.
Bravo Won’t Stop at the Arrest
Bravo knows when they’ve hit a goldmine, so fans can expect to see more than just the arrest. “Production sees this as a great story line,” a source told Us Weekly on April 5. “One that everyone will want to see unfold.” The source continued saying that RHOSLC is, “still filming” following Shah’s accusations.
Another source reaffirmed this notion, sharing with Page Six that Bravo is going to make the charges a, “central part” of RHOSLC season two. Bravo will even air, “exclusive footage” of the arrest.”
The source told Page Six, “Bravo knows full well that viewers are following every detail of this case and will continue to do so as it progresses, so producers plan to follow it just as closely and use whatever footage they legally can…So far, they have filmed the lead-up to and aftermath of Jen’s arrest as well as her costars’ reactions, of course.”
RHOSLC is the newest Real Housewives franchise, and this storyline adds to the excitement fans already had. “It’s rare that Bravo has a big hit like RHOSLC on its hands right out of the gate, and the team hoped to continue that momentum when production for Season 2 began,” a source told Page Six.
“Now, with the news of Jen’s arrest, they are sure to have even more success than they imagined, especially since Jen hopes to continue shooting if Bravo and her lawyers allow it,” they added. “She can only say so much, however, as it remains an ongoing case.”
Andy Cohen Dished on Shah’s Legal Problems
Andy Cohen is the unofficial face of Bravo, as well as an executive producer for the Real Housewives franchises. Cohen stayed silent about Shah’s arrest until recently, and he also hinted that it will all play out on season 2.
During an April 5 episode of his radio show, Radio Andy, Cohen shared his thoughts about the arrest. “Oy vey,” Cohen said. “I’m waiting to see how it plays out. I have nothing to add to what we already know, other than I certainly hope and pray that none of it is true.”
As for Shah herself, she is currently out on $1 million bond and most likely free to film. She has also been outspoken on social media. She has re-posted various Instagram Stories that share the sentiments of, “Free Jen.” Shah also wrote, “Thank you for being loyal, believing in me, and not believing the hype. This journey has showed me who my true friends are. All my love #ShahSquad.”
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