The reality star opened up about her arrest and the support she's received from certain 'RHOSLC' castmates.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star joined BravoTV social's Donald Adler and Gizelle Bryant from The Real Housewives of Potomac in an Instagram Live on Tuesday to chat about her legal battle and the upcoming second season of RHOSLC. Jen's portion of the "Spilling Ice Tea" IG Live began with them asking who was there for her in her time of need.
"Heather. My girl Heather Gay was there for me from jump. Heather was there. She was like, 'Girl, where you at? I’m coming. What do you need?," she said of her co-star's support, adding that the whole experience has taught her who her real friends are. "But who's there for you when you really, really need them. Heather showed up for me. No questions asked. Two in the morning, three in the morning, five in the morning. That’s been invaluable to me because I don’t have to wonder or wade through all the bull."
However, things weren't so cordial with other cast members, admitting, "I was very, very close with Lisa [Barlow] and that’s honestly who I expected to pick up the phone on the first ring … and you know, it took a minute. It took a minute for her to process and go through whatever she was going through."
Jen is accused of operating a telemarketing scheme and in documents obtained by ET, federal authorities say she allegedly targeted "vulnerable, often elderly working class people." In April, Jen pleaded not guilty to federal charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering. She faces up to 30 years in prison if found guilty.
Jen also shared that Heather gave her some great advice during season 2, while Lisa also gave her some words of wisdom after filming the season.
"[Lisa was like], 'I was your friend then, I’m your friend now. I know you’re innocent and I’m going to stand by you. Jen, you need to stay strong for Coach and for the boys. This is a chapter in your life. This isn't the full story,'" Jen said Lisa told her.
Jen, meanwhile, maintained her innocence, expressing, "What people don’t understand is, here in America, you’re innocent until proven guilty. I’m innocent. And I believe this is not just my test, this is everyone else around me’s test. How are my people going to respond?"
"I’ve just been focused on my family, right now because as you can imagine, this entire situation is just, it’s hard," she relayed, adding that this affects her sons and husband, Sharrieff Shah, AKA Coach Shah. "God literally sent an angel down on Earth to me in the form of Coach Shah to deal with my crazy ass."
"Coach Shah, he’s so motivational. He’s so inspiring. Throughout this entire ordeal, it has really, it has brought us closer than ever. Which is, it’s crazy to say that, but it really has," she relayed. "When you go through something this traumatic, this deep, people are either going to leave you or they’re going to stay by you…Coach Shah and I have had our ups and downs through our marriage and when I thought he cared more about this than me, whatever, now what we’ve gone through there’s no question in my mind Coach Shah loves me more than anybody or anything in the world. And he’s just been so, so supportive of me."
As for what she hopes viewers take away from her experience and what they see unfold in season 2, Jen hopes "that people can separate the drama vs. the entertainment of this season."
"This is real. Like, y’all came on this real time with Jen Shah, OK? This was rolling out real time, so I just hope people can separate the drama and the entertainment from real life, and this is really impacting my loved ones and the people that are around me," she expressed. "And I’m concerned about them. That’s what I’m concerned about. I just hope people can see, this is a real thing. This is not fake. This is not made up."
She also couldn't help but poke fun at the situation, quipping, "First of all, I was not trying to waste full glam, box braids and a mink coat for that s**t."
Before signing off and the second season drops on Sunday, Sept. 12, Jen also used three words to describe the new RHOSLC episodes.
"Courageous, challenging and emotional," she stated, before slipping in, "I could add betrayal in, if you wanted a fourth."
Heather told ET she still has the "same affection for her," adding, "I want to be a great friend to Jen…Our relationship has changed for the past year because of the things that we have gone through, but as far as my support and my support of her and her family…It has not really changed with the charges."
Lisa, on her end, noted that she would continue to treat Jen like a friend despite the circumstances. "If I am your friend, I am your friend. I am also not the judge, not the jury and I am not Jen Shah. So I think at this point, I am not going to change who I am and we are just going to see what happens and hope for the best."
However, Whitney admitted that her "biggest regret" was turning off Jen's microphone before the arrest. "So I turned off her mic, she came back on the bus and said her husband's in the hospital with internal bleeding and she took off."
"I wish I didn’t turn the mic off because that call is a big question mark. Who was on the phone? What did they say? And in reality TV, we kind of signed up for this. You don't turn off the mic," she continued, adding that she didn't know if Jen lied about what she was told in the phone call.
See more of what the rest of the RHOSLC cast members told ET in the video below.