“At first I thought, ‘This was just an argument’ … and then the next day, a divorce attorney contacted me.”
“Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star Jen Shah has been fighting more than legal battles behind closed doors. On Sunday’s Season 2 premiere, the reality star revealed she and her husband Sharrieff almost got divorced, too.
The new hour began with a cold open in which Shah learned she was in serious trouble with the law. She pulled off her mic, left filming and was later arrested. Shah was charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering charges in April, pleading not guilty to both.
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While all that will unfold as the season progresses, the show then flashed in time back two months, where Jen — in a brand new “Shah Chalet” after the lease on the last one ran out — had Lisa Barlow over for a little gossip session.
“The last six months have been really rough for me. Covid happened, everything shut down. We were all quarantined,” Shah told her costar. “I’m doing okay now. I didn’t know I would be okay. I thought my entire world was ending.”
“Six months ago, Sharrieff and I almost got a divorce,” she then revealed. “I thought my life was like, over. Sharrieff felt like he wasn’t being a positive influence in my life, like he couldn’t help me.”
“At first I thought, ‘This was just an argument’ … and then the next day, a divorce attorney contacted me,” she added. “He had already reached out to a divorce attorney and I was devastated.”
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In a confessional, Shah said this incident was the first time her husband of more than 25 years had told her, “I am leaving you.” She said his “breaking point” was her out of control antics, of which viewers saw a lot of the first season.
“It’s the same stuff I had been doing, honestly: Getting angry, getting upset and lashing out to get attention from the people closest to me,” she explained. She added that she was still holding onto a lot of resentment over Sharrieff, a college football coach, not being there for her father’s funeral because of a game — but acknowledged she knew that’s what she signed up for.
“I can’t be upset with him because I told him to do this,” she added, before revealing the two were currently in couple’s therapy, “want to be together” and were doing much better.
With that part of her life in order, she hoped to fix the fractures in their friend group next — after a pretty nasty falling out with both Meredith Marks and Heather Gay during the Season 1 reunion. Lisa didn’t love being in the middle of the two warring factions, but Jen reassured her — saying, “You know I’ll go to jail for you. I haven’t gone to jail yet.”
Gotta love the editors for keeping that line in there.
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Meredith later explained her ongoing issues with Jen as she, Heather, Whitney Rose and Mary Crosby met up for lunch. While Heather was ticked Jen reposted something on social media calling her a racist, Meredith said Shah had continued to make “homophobic references” to her son Brooke — who, she reminded viewers, “has never spoken one way or the other what his sexual preference is to Jen.”
“Jen has been liking and reposting negative and homophobic comments about Brooks on social media. Then she made a comment about Brooks never seeing a vagina before,” she explained. “Brooks has never spoken to her about his sexuality, he’s barely talked to me about it. He’s figuring it out, leave him alone. I want an apology to our family.”
When Lisa later sat down with Meredith to see whether she’d be open to a conversation with Jen about everything going down between them, Meredith said it wasn’t that “complicated” to figure out.
“This is so basic. She needs to apologize to my family,” she said. “I will not debate with her, I will not argue with her. It’s not complicated. I have not done anything to Jennifer Shah.”
We’ll see whether that happens as RHOSLC airs Sundays on Bravo.
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