After learning that the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast member had changed her not guilty plea to guilty, the Watch What Happens Live host admitted to having mixed feeling about the legal development as he also discussed viewers’ response to legal drama across the Real Housewives franchises.
“I don’t know how to feel about this, Jen Shah pleading guilty,” Andy admitted on the July 12 episode of Radio Andy, via Page Six, noting that he wasn’t quite ready to label Jen “guilty.”
“All it means is she’s changing her plea,” he noted.
But co-host John Hill was more blunt, saying, “When you say you’re guilty of something, it maybe means you’re guilty.”
“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,” he said.
One caller compared Jen to Real Housewives of New Jersey star Teresa Giudice, who, along with her now-ex-husband, Joe Giudice, pled guilty to fraud in 2014 and served time in prison. Then, another suggested Jen would continue to receive love from RHOSLC viewers because “we’ve been supporting [Teresa] for years.”
In response, Andy said the ladies’ fraud cases were different because Jen’s crimes targeted the elderly.
“What I’ve found regarding viewer response to some of these moments that have happened [is that] 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,” Andy explained, giving a nod to Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member Erika Jayne’s estranged husband.
“When you look at Joe Giudice defrauding the government of some tax money, I think you wind up getting more upset when you know that there are victims,” he added.
During her court hearing, Jen said she “knew many of the purchasers were over the age of 55” as she apologized for her crimes.
Jen will face up to 14 years behind bars and a $9.5 million restitution bill at her sentencing hearing on November 28.
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