Not a laughing matter! Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Whitney Rose got a front row seat to Jen Shah’s arrest and admits that it was one of the most “shocking experiences” she has ever been through.
“I still kind of forget that it happened,” Whitney, 35, told Us Weekly on the Friday, September 17, episode of the “Getting Real with the Housewives” podcast. “I think I blacked it out a little bit. It was intense, unexpected, and it just didn’t feel like real life as it was unfolding.”
In fact, things were so surreal in the moment that Whitney thought she was in the middle of a prank.
“We had so many different agencies, federal agencies there that I thought that they were in costumes. I thought Jen got us strippers,” Whitney told Us. “It’s something you don’t see, but I really thought that it was so out there because there was Homeland Security, FBI, NYPD and a SWAT team and none of their outfits matched, so I thought Jen got strippers. I thought it was, like, a prank.”
In March, Jen, 47, and her assistant were arrested and accused of allegedly defrauding hundreds of people in a nationwide telemarketing scheme. Whitney admits that her arrest divided the cast, but she has been “very supportive” of her costar, who she says is doing “great” despite her legal woes.
“I was very supportive and kind to Jen. I offered her grace and kindness. You’ll see me go probably full circle. It was a roller-coaster of emotions because naturally, it’s human nature to think, ‘Wow! How does this impact me, my family, my business?’” Whitney explained to Us. “It was a pretty great opportunity to challenge myself of what kind of friend am I and how am I going to show up for Jen? It takes a minute to get there, but I chose to match Jen with what she gave me. If she’s being kind, I’ll be kind back.”
In April, Jen pleaded not guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shortly after, she filed a motion asking the court to dismiss all charges on the grounds of “legal and factual insufficiency” and suppression of evidence.
The judge denied that motion in August, and her trial is now scheduled to begin in March 2022.
The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs on Bravo Sundays at 9 p.m. ET.