Jen Shah opened up about her arrest in the December 12 episode “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.”
The Utah-based businesswoman was arrested earlier by federal agents and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in a nationwide telemarketing scheme, according to CNN. Viewers saw some of the arrest play out on the Bravo reality show, but in the new episode, Shah gave details of what wasn’t seen.
During a lunch date with co-star Heather Gay, Shah revealed that when she exited a cast trip to Vail, Colorado after receiving a call that her husband, Sharrief Shah, was ill, she was pulled over by a white minivan and black SUV. Shah told Gay she thought she was being kidnapped until a New York police officer told her she was under arrest.
Shah claimed her innocence, telling Gay she didn’t think she needed an attorney because she “didn’t do anything.”
But at the same time, her Shah Chalet was being raided and her 15-year-old son, Omar, and her nephew were confronted by federal agents. When police showed up at Shah’s Park City residence to arrest her, she was not there but her family members were evacuated, according to Us Weekly. In a surveillance video that aired on RHOSLC, Shah’s teen son and nephew were seen with their hands up as they exited the house with federal agents watching them.
“They held our son at gunpoint,” Shah told Gay during the RHOSLC episode.
She added that her nephew, Dwayne, “sees a red laser pointer on his chest, so he opens the door and they pull AR-15 guns on them.”
Shah became emotional as she recounted the scene that took place at her home.
“We tell the boys, ‘You’re Black in a predominantly white community. Like, don’t move, don’t say anything, be polite,’” she said. “And it makes me sick, because what if they would have thought that, like, Omar moved the wrong way or did something and they could have shot him or whatever?”
Heather Gay Was ‘Infuriated’ By What Happened to Jen Shah’s Son & Nephew
Heather Gay expressed sympathy to Shah as she heard her side of the arrest story for the first time. In a confessional, Gay said she was angered that the young boys were confronted so aggressively by police.
“To put her 15-year-old son in cuffs with a laser pointer at his chest, that seems highly unnecessary,” Gay said. “It is over the top, unfair, aggressive. They are taking this out on the wrong people, and I’m infuriated by it.”
Gay also expressed outrage during an appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” just after the arrest episode aired in November 2021. Gay told host Andy Cohen the scene was “horrible” to watch.
“That guy with the heavy artillery marching her 15-year-old son out and her nephew?” Gay said. “It was very upsetting to me. I thought it was horrible.”
RHOSLC Fans Reacted to Jen Shah’s Story
In a Reddit thread, RHOSLC fans reacted to Shah’s story about her son and nephew being held at gunpoint.
“Jen was responsible for putting her children in that situation. Not the feds,” one Redditor wrote. “They did their job and they did it fairly. Do I understand her fears? Yes, I do. But she the only reason that even happened.”
“Yep it was her fault and it almost seemed as she recounted to Heather at lunch that she was going to say her kids were in that position because of ‘MY FAULT’ but then switched it up quick to ‘something I’m being accused of,’” another agreed.
“I can understand that it totally is her fault,” another wrote. “But marching those young boys out like that, could you have said it would’ve happened that way to a bunch of white kids? I think it is honestly too much.”
Others blasted Bravo for airing the footage of Shah’s teen son at all.
“I hate that Bravo has now shown the footage of her son twice,” a commenter wrote. “Stop showing the footage. He is a minor and he is not implicated in her legal issues.”
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