Andy Cohen reacted to the news that Jen Shah has been sentenced to six and a half years in prison after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
“Listen, any old person or anyone who just doesn’t really understand what’s going on with the internet or how many scams are going on, people are susceptible to stuff like this,” the Real Housewives executive producer, 54, said on Monday, January 9, during an episode of Sirius XM’sRadio Andy. “If you read the Victim Impact report, it was pretty stunning.”
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star, 49, was sentenced to 78 months in prison with five years of supervised release on Friday, January 6, in a New York City courtroom. Judge Sidney Stein ordered her to report to prison on February 17.
Cohen said he hopes to speak with Shah before she reports to federal prison in February. “I’m hoping to go talk to Jen this weekend. I’m hopeful that I can do that sit down with her in front of some cameras and deliver that to you,” the Watch What Happens Live host explained. “I’m really hoping to do that.”
Cohen added that he initially thought the reality star would be able to get out after just a few years. However, he was surprised to learn that since she was sentenced at a federal level, she must serve at least 85 percent of her prison term.
“It’ll be a big loss for the show,” the Missouri native admitted.
Despite Shah’s legal woes, the Bravo exec is planning how to make The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City even better in season 4.
“I got so many tweets from people saying this has been such an interesting period where she’s been waiting to be sentenced and people have been saying to me, ‘Well, is she on the show or not?’ I’m like, ‘Do you understand that this woman is being sentenced to jail on January 6th?’” he asked during Monday’s broadcast. “They’re not gonna give her no time. So you tell me, is she on the show? Like, what do you want me to say about whether she’s on the show? She’s going to serve her time. So you tell me, is she on the show or not? I don’t understand what people want me to say. … It seems like the judge figured it out for us, didn’t he?”
Even without Shah, however, Cohen is confident the next season will deliver. “We have excellent casting for next season,” Cohen explained. “I’m feeling good. But I am saying it is a loss. It’s a loss to lose her from the show.
Shah was arrested in March 2021 alongside former assistant Stuart Smith. Shah, who initially pleaded not guilty, was accused of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. While filming RHOSLC, Shah claimed that she felt “wrongly accused” by authorities, however, she changed her plea to guilty in July 2022. The money laundering charges were dropped as part of a plea deal.
While waiting for the reality star to be sentenced, Cohen exclusively told Us Weekly in November 2022 that he didn’t anticipate Shah being free for season 4. “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 shared.
He added: “Some people on Twitter were saying, ‘We want Jen next season.’ And I’m like, ‘OK, well, talk to the judge.’”