NEW YORK CITY, NEW YORK: Andy Cohen, the host of Watch What Happens Live With Andy Cohen and executive producer of The Real Housewives series, was confronted during a recent CNN interview when he was after his initial Assistance has been sought for reality star Jen Shah in her cheating case. Shah pleaded for leniency in a court statement last month, citing that her actions were in part the result of “some personal painful experiences” she went through in her life, including the deaths of her father and grandmother.
During the interview, which aired Sunday, Jan. 15, host Chris Wallace brought up a November 2022 statement by Cohen expressing hope that Shah would not face jail time. Cohen was visibly nervous and eventually claimed he wasn’t sure of the context when he originally made the comment. Shah is an ex-star on The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City but won’t be returning to the show.
Jen Shah: ‘RHOSLC’ star sobs in court after being sentenced to 6.5 years in prison for fraud
“I think I was hoping she was actually innocent”
During the CNN interview, Wallace asked Cohen why he initially sided with her, who claimed he got the impression the comments were made before Jen Shah pleaded guilty: “I think I was hoping she would.” is indeed innocent.” However, Wallace pointed out that Shah had already pleaded guilty to the charges. Cohen, struggling to recall the context of his previous statement, responded with, “Oh really? Oh God. Wow, that’s fun.” Cohen finally explained himself, “I think I said, ‘Look, you know, sometimes you meet someone and you like them, you hope they’re not guilty of something terrible.’ “
Jen Shah was recently sentenced to six and a half years in prison for her involvement in a telemarketing fraud scheme and will be paroled for five years after her release from prison. The court ruled that Shah’s supervised release will include mental health treatment approved by the US Parole Board.
Shah and her assistant, Stuart Smith, were arrested in March 2021 while the show was still filming. They were charged with conspiracy to wire fraud related to telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering.
Shah pleaded guilty to the charges in July 2022 and issued an apology statement saying, “I knew that was wrong. I knew a lot of people were hurt and I’m so sorry.”
It is believed that even Andy Cohen was caught off guard by the incident and the first comments were only made in the heat of the moment.