A lengthy statement regarding the moments leading up to the start of Jen Shah‘s prison sentence was shared on her Instagram page on Thursday.
Weeks after the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City cast member began the 6.5-year prison term she was dealt as a result of her fraud crimes, Jen opened up about the “nightmare” she endured as she entered the facility, recalling her final moments with husband Sharrieff “Coach” Shah and their youngest son, Omar Shah.
“Two miles from Bryan Federal Prison Camp (FPC), I could not breathe and my hands went numb. I knew I was having an anxiety attack,” Jen began in the March 9 post. “[I made] Coach pull over because our reception was poor while driving and I was not able to FaceTime my oldest baby. We finally connected, I saw his face, and I cried so hard until he reassured me that it would be okay. I didn’t think I’d make it through today. It felt surreal as we drove to Bryan FPC just minutes away from having to surrender. My worst fear and the unimaginable was about to happen -having to say goodbye to my sweet husband and precious baby Omar (he’ll always be my baby even though he’s a senior in [high school]).”
“We approached the gates and were told to pull into a parking stall next to a white van. It all happened so fast. There was a guard waiting outside of our SUV, and two more officers approached, who I later found out one was the Captain. [I leaned] over to the seat next to me and hugged Omar as tight as I could and cried as a buried my head in his chest and held him as tight as [I] could not wanting to face reality that this would be the last time I hugged him for a while,” she continued.
The RHOSLC star then said her goodbyes to Sharrieff.
“I turned to embrace him; hugging him as if holding him harder would somehow erase this horrible nightmare,” she recalled. “I wanted to remember his embrace, his smell, his touch. I held his face in both of my hands. As [I] looked into his eyes, tears streaming down my face, I told him he is the love of my life and I love him more than anything. Having seconds to tell your husband how much you love him and hoping he truly understands the depths of your love while officers stand there silently urging you to move quickly was the most horrible experience. It’s as if you know your world is ending and you have 30 seconds to tell the people you love how much you love them and hope they feel your love and understand its magnitude.”
Later hugging both Sharrieff and Omar, Jen said she pulled them tightly as she prayed, “Oh Allah, please protect my family, please Allah.”
After an officer then told Jen that their time was up, she learned she would not be able to take all of her belongings with her into prison.
“The officer lets me keep my papers that contain my prescriptions, my actual meds, [glasses], and contacts but he won’t let me bring in my release plan, contacts list, Quran, or driver’s license,” she explained. “So I hand all of those items back to Sharrieff. The one item that made me feel instantly isolated was not having my contacts lists. I didn’t have the mental bandwidth to memorize my family and loved ones’ emails, addresses and phone numbers. I felt so alone.”
At that point, Omar gave her one last hug.
“We hug one last time so tightly that I feel air pressing out of my lungs, and I cry even harder,” she revealed. “Omar has been so strong through everything. As [I] look at his face it’s as if he’s a little boy again and he’s finally letting his walls of strength down – the hurt, pain and sadness in my baby boy’s face is now completely transparent. His eyes are saying ‘Mama please don’t leave.'”
“[I tell] him I love him so much. I hug and kiss Sharrieff again and as tears pour down my face,” she added.
Continuing on, Jen admitted she doesn’t “know [how she is] going to do this.”
“My entire body is numb, I feel like my life is ending, and I am truly scared,” she confessed. “I want to run back into my husband’s arms because I know he will make this nightmare end. I feel physically sick. I feel like I don’t belong here. I thought I could do this but I’ve decided I can’t. I want to go home right now, but I know that is impossible. Please Allah help me, please.”
In an additional social media post shared on Jen’s page, Sharrieff was seen explaining that due to prison protocols, it took longer for him to receive her first two journal entries than expected.
“In most federal facilities around the country, there are individuals that review every single email and physical letter that goes out of that facility as well as comes in so understandably it takes just a little time for inmates to send their correspondence — not only send it but receive it,” he shared, via the LoveAndyC Twitter page.
#RHOSLC Coach Shah shared Jen Shah’s first journal entry from federal prison… pic.twitter.com/x4CG6o1Nzf
— LoveAndyC (@LoveAndyC) March 9, 2023
No word yet on when the second journal entry will be shared.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City season four is currently in production
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