Jen was arrested in the spring of last year and was charged with conspiracy to commit money laundering and fraud. For a year, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star insisted she was innocent until pleading guilty this July. She now faces up to 30 years in prison.
As the sentencing looms overhead, Meredith shared how her friend is doing.
“Jen is okay,” she said in December 14 interview with E! News. “It’s a lot, so anyone in her shoes would be struggling with a lot of different things. She obviously has a lot of variables being thrown at her well beyond her sentencing.”
Jen can’t address her issues in the same way she did in the past, alleged Meredith.
“Usually we have a chance to speak out as [the show is] airing, whether it’s via social media or interviews or whatever,” she said, “and [Jen] really has not had that same chance. She’s been on social a little bit, but she’s really tried to stay off for the most part. So I think that it’s been a very trying time because to go through this and feel like you don’t have a voice on top of everything else that she’s facing, it’s overwhelming. She just tries to focus on the day-to-day as best she can.”
Meredith then shared she had “no idea” how the next season may look, but she seemed positive about having potential new cast members.
“Obviously, as we’ve seen, there is a kind of a divide [in the group], which is a shame,” explained the star. “I’m hoping that we get some new blood in to mix it up a little bit and make things a little more cohesive because the way it is right now is just not vibing for me.”
Addressing the upcoming reunion, which she’ll film this week, Meredith said, “We’re all human beings. We all make mistakes … I have no problem apologizing if I feel that I have made a mistake, and I have no problem standing behind the things I did if I don’t feel they were mistakes.”
In a separate interview with People, Meredith discussed Jen’s legal issues and shared her thoughts that Jen is “a huge part of the show.”
“It’s not like a question mark. There’s no question mark about that,” said the 50-year-old. “Mary [Cosby] was a huge part of the show. You move forward. And I assume they’ll have some new people, I don’t really know, but you have to move on. There’s nothing we can do. It’s life.”
Meredith was “very shocked” by the announcement of Jen’s guilty plea in July and shared the reason she hasn’t asked her about the fraud case.
“She really can’t talk about any of the reasoning behind why she went down that path, nor would I ask her,” said Meredith. “Because I don’t want to implicate myself in a federal investigation, contrary to what everyone else thinks, it’s not really my vibe. So I don’t really understand how we got to where we are right now. And eventually, I hope that I do understand.”
According to Meredith, Jen has been “a good friend,” in spite of their relationship’s “rocky road.” She said Jen’s life as a reality star is now “a gray area,” while the star awaits sentencing.
“It’s not a great place to be sitting, and no one wants to be sitting and waiting for their sentencing,” Meredith explained. “And I just hope for the best outcome for everybody.”
“She’s in a position where she’s been through a lot, and she needs support from people around her, who know a lot of the issues that have gone on,” she went on. “And I don’t want to see something bad happen to her.”
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City season three airs Wednesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.