Ramping up for court. Jen Shah is making several requests when it comes to any potential discussion of her participation in The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City at her upcoming trial, Us Weekly can confirm.
According to court documents obtained by Us on Wednesday, February 16, Shah “opposes the use in evidence of any clips from the RHOSLC” during her trial, which is scheduled to begin next month. “Any use of clips from the RHOSLC at the trial of Ms. Shah, either in the government’s case-in-chief or during cross-examination of the defense’s case, would have to fall under one of the exceptions to the hearsay rule of evidence, as they are, by definition, out-of-court statements.”
In April 2021, the reality star, 48, pleaded not guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. (All defendants named in the case, except for Shah, pleaded guilty to their respective charges.) A few weeks prior to entering her plea, the television personality and her assistant Stuart Smith were arrested in March 2021 for their alleged involvement in a telemarketing scam.
Additionally, the latest filing claims that “all [RHOSLC Housewives] have an incentive to exaggerate their characters and dramatize their lives in order to participate in the currency of the Housewives’ franchise: drama, conflict, and conspicuous consumption,” meaning that “it is impossible to tell where reality ends and fantasy and outright deception and fakery begins.” Therefore, the documents allege, such clips from the series should not be allowed in court.
Shah’s legal team also produced a lengthy series of questions for the prospective jury, including multiple queries about the potential jurors’ exposure to RHOSLC, which has documented the television personality’s arrest and legal woes in season 2. The questions range from the typical (“Does anyone in your household or family watch The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City?”) — to the more nitty-gritty (“Do you believe that all Housewives who appear on the franchise are rich? Do you believe that what you see on the show is, in fact, real?”).
The final ask of the RHOSLC-centric items listed is whether any possible jury member watched ABC News’ Hulu special The Housewife & the Shah Shocker. The question is a significant one, as Shah was previously denied the opportunity to have her case thrown out after the documentary aired. In December 2021, the fashion designer claimed through court documents obtained by Us that it would be impossible to find an “untainted jury pool” due to the program.
Judge Sidney H. Stein stated at the time, “Indeed, there has been no evidence whatsoever proffered to suggest that Shah’s right to a fair trial has been compromised or prejudiced in any respect.”
According to a press release obtained by Us in March 2021, Manhattan U.S. Attorney Audrey Strauss claims the pair and their “co-conspirators … allegedly generated and sold ‘lead lists’ of innocent individuals for other members of their scheme to repeatedly scam.” HSI Special Agent-in-Charge Peter C. Fitzhugh added that the two “built their opulent lifestyle at the expense of vulnerable, often elderly, working-class people.”
In the latest filing obtained by Us, court documents state that “The Government intends to offer evidence [of fraud] in the form of financial records, summary charts, and limited testimony regarding those records, charts, as well as testimony by percipient witnesses with knowledge of the defendant’s disposition of the criminal proceeds.”
If found guilty on both counts, Shah faces up to 50 years in prison.