The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City fans are trying to wrap their heads around Jen Shah's guilty plea in her telemarketing fraud scheme. After over a year of maintaining her innocence, Shah changed her plea to guilty just weeks before her trial was set to begin. She now faces upwards of 14 years in prison and may have to pay her victims up to $9 million in restitution. Bravo honcho Andy Cohen says he's upset for Shah's victims and admitted he grew to like and believe her. Now, someone from behind the camera is speaking out.
Carlos King is one of the top reality television producers in the business, having worked on Bravo franchises RHOA and RHONJ, and others on networks like VH1 and OWN. King spoke with pop culture analyst Dustin Ross and co-host of The Friend Zone podcast on a recent episode of his Reality With the King podcast and had some harsh words for Shah after her recent plea. Viewers of the show recall Shah alleging she was being unfairly targeted and made an example of because she was a wealthier reality star of color. King is furious now that the truth is out.
"You and I are both Black men from Detroit, Michigan, and we have seen a lot and heard a lot. And obviously, when it comes to being Black in America, you are targeted often time, just based on the color of your skin. Period, point stop," King told Ross. "What bothers me is the fact that Jen Shah had the audacity to tape scenes talking about how she was targeted, and her family was targeted, because she's Black. And she made it about race. And that's the part that pisses me off. Because at the end of the day, if you did the crime, do the time. That's what I believe. Or, find a way to work with the system. I'm not here to judge you. But when you try to make it seem like you were targeted for being Black when Black people are really targeted, we now are going to be questioned on, 'Are they using race to get out of the situation?' And that Jen Shah is some s–t I will never forgive you for."
In Shah's guilty plea, she told a judge in a New York City courtroom that she was fully aware of her actions in running the scheme. Her lawyer released a statement to the public which reads: "Ms. Shah is a good woman who crossed a line," Entertainment Tonight reports. "She accepts full responsibility for her actions and deeply apologizes to all who have been harmed. Ms. Shah is also sorry for disappointing her husband, children, family, friends, and supporters. Jen pled guilty because she wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family."