Jen Shah doubled down on the claim that she took off ahead of a cast trip because her husband, Sharrieff Shah Sr., was suffering from internal bleeding, during Sunday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
Jen was hit by online backlash after the previous week’s episode—by fans who saw the claim as an excuse that allowed Jen to briefly dodge the feds before they put her in handcuffs.
“When I was sitting on the bus, I got a phone call that showed my husband’s phone number on my phone,” Jen, 47, said in a confessional spot on Sunday’s show.
Viewers watched Jen join co-stars, Heather Gay, Lisa Barlow, Jennie Nguyen, and Whitney Rose on a Colorado-bound bus, before exiting the scene after receiving the phone call.
“And then I was like, ‘Wait, this is not my husband’s voice,’” the Bravo star added, without clarifying who had called her.
“They told me, ‘You need to go home, get [my son] Omar and then come meet Sharrieff, he’s at the University of Utah Hospital.’ I immediately went, ‘Oh my God, is Sharrieff OK? This is an emergency,’” she said.
Jen explained what allegedly occurred after she fled the scene in a pickup truck, during a discussion with her attorney, Clayton Simms.
“I get asked to pull over so they can come talk to me and I’m thinking, ‘Is my husband OK? Are my kids OK? I literally didn’t know what was going on,’” Jen said about her thoughts during her arrest. “I feel like I’m still in shock, kind of in a fog.”
Jen told Simms that she “didn’t grow up with a lot” and that she “worked so hard” for her success, becoming emotional during the exchange.
“And to have this happen, I tried to help so many people along the way. I don’t understand,” the reality star said. “And the worst part is, I’ll take whatever. But to have it affect my husband and my sons is killing me. I don’t want them to hurt.”
Jen and Sharrieff have been married for 26 years and share two sons, Omar and Sharrieff Jr.
“What I have been accused of is absolutely the complete opposite of anything I would ever do in my life,” Jen added in a personal interview spot. “If I have any fault, it is because I am too giving and I help too many people.”
Jen was arrested in March and charged with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. The Bravo star pleaded not guilty in April. Jen is one of six suspects, one of which is her assistant, Stuart Smith. The reality star has been accused of operating a nationwide telemarketing scheme that ripped off hundreds of elderly and otherwise vulnerable people, for nearly a decade.
Jen referred to her legal issues as “surreal” during Sunday’s episode.
“The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” airs Sundays at 9 pm, ET, on Bravo.