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Jen Shah is a “Real Housewives of SLC” star, and her legal issues will take center stage in Season 2


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For most TV stars, getting arrested for cheating on little old ladies with their savings would be the end of their careers. Even before the case goes to trial, it would, in all likelihood, force their shows to be canceled.

This is true even at a time when it has become common practice for politicians to tell us that what we saw happen on television did not actually happen.

But that is not true if you are one of the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City“. Jen Shah’s arrest and impending trial is potentially the biggest thing that can happen for the Bravo series.

Are you kidding? “Real Housewives” is a TV set about a train wreck – we can’t help but watch the carnage – and it could turn out to be one of the biggest pile-ups in franchise history. And there have been almost 1,500 episodes of “Real Housewives” to date, with all the different players in all the different cities.

“Real Housewives” is all about the drama, and what better drama than when – in the middle of filming – your most controversial actor is handcuffed and arrested, facing allegations that she and her assistant “flaunted their lifestyle lavish to the public as a symbol of their success “as they carried out a fraudulent telemarketing scheme that took advantage of hundreds of” vulnerable, often elderly, working class people “?

(Photo courtesy of Fred Hayes / Bravo) The fallout from the brawl at the surprise birthday party two episodes ago continues to plague Whitney Rose, Meredith Marks, Jen Shah and Lisa Barlow in “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City “.

Sounds like golden notes for Bravo! Don’t you see executive producer Andy Cohen and the Bravo executives jumping up and down and clapping wildly when they hear the news?

To be clear, neither the show’s producers nor Bravo executives have commented on all of this. (This is nothing new. Bravo has a long-standing policy of not releasing any information about the cable channel’s reality shows until a new batch of episodes air.) Officially, they don’t even have to. confirmed which Housewives will be featured in season 2 of “RHOSLC. Unofficially, the six cast from season one are all said to be back, along with at least one newcomer.

(I would have predicted that Lisa Barlow, Heather Gay, Meredith Marks, and Whitney Rose would be likely to return. But, while it’s true that Mary Cosby is back, I’m a little surprised after she’s all but gone by several. Season 1 episodes – and looked like a pretty terrible person when she appeared, most of the time.)

(Photo courtesy of Fred Hayes / Bravo) Jen Shah and Mary Cosby in “The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City”.

As for Shah, it’s an open secret that she resumed filming after her arrest in March.

The latest development in the court case is that Shah’s lawyers have requested that the case be dropped. This is not an unusual gesture, and it usually does not work. And it should be noted that Shah has pleaded not guilty.

Shah’s lawyers argue that the indictment “is not at all clear” about how a crime was committed, and the prosecution has mostly refused to clarify. And they’re not happy that prosecutors threw more than 1.3 million documents – along with hundreds of electronic devices – into the mix. “This information cannot be adequately examined over the course of a lifetime,” they argue.

I am not a lawyer, but that seems to be a valid point.

The 57-page dossier contains a lot of legal jargon that will not appear on the show. It boils down to this: Shah’s lawyers claim she hasn’t committed any crime – and they want the charges dropped.

But the case file may give us a glimpse of what we’ll see happen when “RHOSLC” returns for Season 2 – including that Shah wants his post-arrest statements deleted because detectives allegedly lied to him and that ‘she was’ in a very emotional state due to the combination of strange phone calls she received on the morning of her arrest and her history with a convicted felon who had victimized her in New York City.

And giving up her right to remain silent shouldn’t be taken into account, her lawyers say, as her contacts had dried up, her vision was blurry and she didn’t know what she was signing.

THIS IS THE Jen Shah we came to know and love (or hate) in Season 1!

Do not mistake yourself. This is serious stuff. If found guilty, Shah could be sentenced to decades in prison.

But, clearly, that will be the big news for season 2 of “RHOSLC”. Which is, like it or not, Bravo continues to transform into intelligently constructed entertainment. This is the really juicy stuff, and it happens to the most convincing housewife in Utah.

Jen Shah is a lot of things, but she’s not. Her often temperamental demeanor – followed by the inevitable excuses and explanations, sometimes accompanied by abject apologies – drove the series narrative more than any other woman in Season 1. She looks absolutely charming for a minute and angry, resentful. and vindictive the following.

In a recent edition of the “So Bad It’s Good With Ryan Bailey” podcast, compatriot Heather Gay, who has had a top-down relationship with Shah, said, “He’s a star. When you’re in the room with she is magnetic and charismatic.

For the record, my few contacts with Shah let me love him. And, more often than not, sympathize with her.

(Photo courtesy of Bravo) Sharrieff and Jen Shah in episode 10 of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City“.

Jen has a lot to deal with, but watching her husband, University of Utah assistant football coach Sharrieff Shah, do just that was a surprisingly charming aspect of the series.

Again, I have no legal training and no idea how this is going to turn out. I have no way of knowing if Shah is guilty of anything. For the sake of her family, I hope she isn’t.

And, to complicate matters even further, what about the little old ladies (and men) she’s accused of making fun of?

It will be interesting to see how the producers play this out. They love to create suspense, but it won’t be a surprise when Shah is arrested. And, assuming it goes to mid-October, as planned, that’ll be well after Season 2 production ends. (And maybe even before it starts airing.)

We don’t know when it will be. Season 1 premiered in November 2020, but we’ll have to see if Season 2 follows the same timeline.

Whenever that happens, Season 2 will show us how other housewives are reacting to Shah’s arrest and its aftermath. Like Bravo, this will be their chance to rise above – or sink into – the gutter.

The highway could be a more noble choice for all concerned; getting deeper into the mud will be more entertaining.

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Mary Cashion

The author Mary Cashion