After Jen Shah pleaded guilty to fraud, her friend and castmate Meredith Marks was launched in the hot seat. For many months Meredith defended the 48-year-old, who was accused of running a telemarketing scheme.
Before news of the plea deal broke, Meredith shared an “innocent until proven guilty” post, which enraged many fans of Real Housewives of Salt Lake City. In the previous season, however, Jen was adamant she committed no crime.
In an interview with E! News, Meredith shared her reaction to the guilty plea.
“I was shocked,” said the star, who’s preparing for the season 3 premiere. “It’s sad all the way around.”
Meredith also addressed the people affected by the scheme. “There was never a question that there were victims, there were always victims whether Jen was involved or not. So that was never an issue. I always felt for the victims so that really didn’t change.”
She went on to say, “Whether Jen was innocent or not, I always thought that she at least believed in her innocence. So for her to switch that plea was really shocking to me, and I’m sure we’ll learn more of the back story. I don’t think it’s something she can really talk about until after sentencing. It’s still an open case.”
Meredith then gave an update on her friendship with Jen.
“I think Jen obviously needs support now,” she said. “I’m not the judge, I’m not the jury, it is not my job to convict her, it’s not my job to sentence her. So yes, I’ve been in touch and checking in to make sure she’s OK. She’s been through a lot, and it takes its toll. It’s emotionally very difficult, I would imagine.”
She continued, “At the end of the day, she is a human being, you know? She is as we all are, and we make mistakes, and if you’re going to take accountability and try and do better, then what else can we do?”
The season 3 trailer promises plenty of drama. Meredith is at odds with former bestie Lisa Barlow, while Heather Gay has tension with Whitney Rose, her ride-or-die friend.
“You’ll see a lot of changing dynamics—a lot of chaos for sure,” said Meredith. “It’s very intense, and it’s somewhat combative. I feel like we don’t have many peaceful dinners.”
At one of the dinners – according to the trailer – Whitney addresses a “sexual favors” rumor about Lisa. At the same meal, Heather seems to push Whitney out of her way before Whitney launches into a wall. As of now, the details surrounding the event are still a mystery.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City season three premieres Wednesday, September 28, at 9/8c on Bravo.
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