As everyone who cares about internecine Real Housewives drama and the elderly victims of telemarketing schemes knows, Jen Shah pleaded guilty to wire fraud charges yesterday, a week before her scheduled trial in Manhattan federal court. Fans were shocked, but perhaps no one was more surprised than Andy Cohen, who discussed the news on his Sirius XM radio program this morning.
Cohen has to thread a beautifully bedazzled needle here, considering that Shah is reportedly still filming RHOSLC as she awaits sentencing in November (she faces up to 14 years in prison). Yes, she pleaded guilty to wire fraud, admitting to a judge that she participated in a nationwide telemarketing scheme “offering services with little to no value” to “many purchasers” over the age of 55. But what does that really mean, anyway?
“All it means is she's changing her plea,” Cohen said when the topic came up this morning, per a summary compiled by E! News. Cohen’s co-host John Hill saw things a bit more clearly: “Right, well, when you say you're guilty of something, it maybe means you're guilty,” he responded.
Still, Cohen was hesitant to fully condemn his Shahmazing employee, who honestly was really breezy and fun to watch last season, despite the fact that she was facing serious prison time. “I don't know how to feel about this, Jen Shah pleading guilty,” he sighed.
Yeah, it’s a toughie. Especially since Shah just sent Cohen a baby gift for his new daughter, Lucy. It was a really cute pink microphone that arrived “out of nowhere,” Cohen said. “I was like, ‘Jen Shah, with everything you have going on, that you thought to send Lucy a gift…’ I just thought that was so nice of her.”
At the end of the conversation, Cohen acknowledged that it’s tricky for viewers to support Shah, since her crimes do have victims (old, vulnerable ones). “I think what I've found regarding viewer response to some of these moments that have happened, some of the viewers are more outraged when there are — you know, when you look at Tom Girardi and what it looks like he did — actual victims that you can look at,” he said, referencing the alleged criminal conspiracy currently unfolding on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
It’s all a lot to process, so hopefully Cohen figures out how he feels before Shah goes to jail. Or the RHOSLC season 3 reunion, whichever comes first.