Heather Gay is finally speaking out about Jen Shah‘s arrest for the first time and shares if she’s sticking by her Real Housewives of Salt Lake City friend.
The Bravoverse was shocked when Jen was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. As fans well know, prosecutors allege that she and her assistant, Stuart Smith, ran a years-long telemarketing scheme that reportedly defrauded thousands of vulnerable victims — many of them elderly — out of millions of dollars.
Since then, Jen has posted on social media about her “real” supporters and friends, but she didn’t name any names at the time. However, Heather confirmed that she is definitely one of those “real” friends during a recent podcast appearance.
Though the mother-of-three couldn’t discuss the matter in great detail, she first admitted that Jen’s arrest shook the entire Salt Lake City community.
“What I can say is this is the biggest, hugest thing that has happened to our community, and to our group of friends, and to Jen personally, and to me personally,” she said on the June 2 episode of the So Bad It’s Good with Ryan Bailey podcast. “I mean, this is big, and it’s real.”
She added, “It’s all very, very real, but it’s also hyper-realized. I don’t think anything’s bigger or more hyper-realized than a federal indictment or your friend facing prison. Like, this is hyper-realized drama, but it’s real, and it’s happening.”
Heather went on to explain how difficult the situation has been for the cast, who were reportedly questioned by the Feds before witnessing Jen’s arrest go down. She explained that the public scrutiny has also been harrowing since they’re all still relatively new to the world of fame.
“And so what I can say is it does feel like we’re ten years into [the show], but we’re only [in the] second season, and everything plays out in real-time,” she explained. “We are in it with her. We are going through it as friends, [and] as people who for the first time in [our] lives are public figures. And for the first time in [our] lives, we have to answer to not only [our] family and friends, but to a worldwide audience, and to also see [our] trials and struggles played out and subject to public opinion.”
The Beauty Lab owner confirmed that filming on season two wrapped a couple of weeks ago, and she made it clear that fans can expect an intense, dramatic season.
“It is all the five horseman of drama,” she shared. “I mean, you’ve got intrigue, and crime, and passion, and loyalty, and friendships all on the backdrop of Salt Lake City, Utah.”
As for Jen, she is currently free on a $1 million recognizance bond, and is seemingly attempting to raise money for attorneys fees by creating personal messages for fans on Cameo. If she’s convicted on all charges, she’s facing up to 50 years in federal prison. The trial date has been set for October.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City season two is expected to premiere on Bravo sometime later this year.