Bravo fans are reacting to the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” episode that featured federal agents swarming the Utah residence of Jen Shah.
In March, the “RHOSLC” star was charged with conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering as part of a widespread telemarketing scheme, and her arrest was caught on camera.
When agents showed up at Shah’s Park City residence to arrest her, her family members were evacuated. According to Us Weekly, Shah and her husband Sharrieff’s two sons, Sharrieff Jr. and Omar, were seen in homeland security footage that aired during the episode of the Bravo reality show. The Sun notes that Sharrieff Jr. is 26, and Omar is 16 years old.
In surveillance video that aired on the show, Shah’s younger son and another young man were seen with their hands up as they exited the house with federal agents watching them.
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“RHOSLC” fans saw the events play out in near-real time as Shah bailed on a trip with her castmates after receiving a tip that agents were on the hunt for her. Shah made up a story that her husband had “internal bleeding,” then exited the group’s vacation bus just as they were about to leave for Vail, Colorado.
What happened next left fans and Shah’s co-stars shocked. During an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” just after the episode aired, “RHOSLC” star Heather Gay said it was “horrible” to watch the armed officers evacuating the Shah home. She also noted that the second young man who was seen with his hands in the air was Shah’s nephew.
After fellow “WWHL” guest star Michael Rappaport said the police swarm looked like a scene out of “CSI,” Gay said, “I would have loved to see [“CSI” actor] David Caruso because that guy with the heavy artillery marching her 15-year-old son out and her nephew? It was very upsetting to me. I thought it was horrible.”
Viewers Reacted to the Footage of Jen’s Son & Nephew
On social media, viewers reacted to Bravo’s unnecessary inclusion of the footage of Shah’s son and nephew in the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” episode. Many fans wrote that it was “heartbreaking” to watch the innocent young men walk out of the house with their hands up.
“Why isn’t anyone talking about how traumatic it must be for her kids as young Black men,” one viewer tweeted. “That scene was chilling.”
“I HATE the idea that Jen Shah’s Black sons had to experience guns drawn on them in their own home (yes i’m blaming Jen for that) & even more that Bravo showed it, their hands up & everything,” another wrote.
“I still don’t understand why Bravo and the production company that handled #RHOSLC felt the need to use the footage of Jen Shah’s son and nephew with their hands up when their house was being raided. That’s some disgusting s*** to include,” another tweeted.
“Sharieff & [Jen Shah] are crap parents,” another tweeted. “[Bravo TV] & Production are crap people for showing the kids being led out the house w/ their hands up at gunpoint. Tacky, tasteless, & unfeeling of how those kids are going to be emotionally scarred.”
In a lengthy Reddit thread, the topic of the footage of the kids was also addressed. Many fans questioned how Bravo got the footage, which appeared to have come from a security camera or Ring doorbell. One Redditor questioned if the same type of video been available when “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star Teresa Giudice was arrested, would footage of her teen white daughters have been shown on TV?
Others speculated that Shah released the footage to get sympathy for her family.
“I suspect Jen wouldn’t have let Bravo air that personal footage unless it was for $$$ and/or sympathy,” one Redditor wrote.
“Jen shared it with production to be shown,” another viewer speculated. “She thought it would make viewers have sympathy. Let’s not forget who put these kids in this situation.”
“Jen has responsibility for putting her kids into the negative limelight but imo… Bravo made a choice, and a bad one, to air the footage,” another added. “They had all the footage they needed to give us a juicy episode and could have left the kids out of it.”
But another Reddit user pointed out that the act was “already done” whether or not it aired on Bravo, and that that was the real problem.
“Bravo choosing or not choosing to air it doesn’t mean it didn’t happen,” the viewer wrote. “Now that you know that it did in fact happen, are you more upset with Bravo for showing it? Or are you mad that that is the way that the police handled it? ….There was no need to approach the house like that for a white collar fraud crime. Period.”
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