Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Heather Gay says she will continue supporting BFF Jen Shah through her federal fraud trial, despite her recent guilty plea.
The reality star, 40, has been there for her friend through thick and thin, even during her darkest days following her highly-publicised arrest last year.
Season Two of RHOSLC focused on the fallout from the criminal charges filed against Jen after the Housewive’s sprinter van was ambushed by government agents looking for her in the car park of Heather’s business, Beauty Lab + Laser.
The ordeal was caught on camera just before the cast were about to leave for a trip.
In March 2021, Jen, 48, was arrested and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering for her alleged role in a nationwide scheme.
She immediately proclaimed her innocence.
However, in July 2022, the reality star shocked viewers when she pleaded guilty just one week before her trial started, with her sentencing now set for November 28, 2022.
How Heather Gay Felt When Jen Shah Pleaded ‘Guilty’
Speaking exclusively to Megan Pustetto in episode 217 of the So Dramatic! podcast, Heather reveals she was “shocked” and “devastated” to learn Jen had pleaded guilty but admitted it hadn’t affected their friendship.
“I still ride hard for Jen Shah,” she admitted. “I have supported her from day one. And I feel like I need to support her even more now that she has admitted to these things, accepted accountability, and is facing sentencing.
“It’s not a question of whether she’ll be proven innocent or not… She is going to find out how many years of her life she has to give to the government to make restitution for what she’s admitted to.”
Heather Gay Will Continue to “Show Up” For Jen Shah
“So, I feel like now is the time for me to really show up for her more than ever, but it has been devastating all around,” she said.
Heather emphasised that it’s not a question of whether Jen’s “innocent or guilty” because she will be standing by her as a friend regardless.
“She stood in front of the judge and said what she had done, and I have to honour her words,” she said. “Even if it’s something I never thought I’d hear fall from her lips.
“I focus less on how shocked I am and my personal reaction because I’m not the one immediately affected by this. My life will go on, but she has a family. And I love her family, and she has friends, and she is my friend,” she said.
“And now the reality of it is that it feels good to put your energy into a fight… We’re gonna fight.”
Will Heather Gay Visit Jen Shah in Jail?
The conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge carries up to 30 years in prison, though Jen’s plea agreement carries up to 14 years plus restitution.
Heather says she will continue to stand by Jen and even visit her in jail when the time comes.
“Absolutely. Without question,” she said before joking: “That’s if she’ll put me on her visitor list!”
Jen has now blamed her former assistant Stuart Smith for the fraud scandal, which is set to be the storyline for season three of the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.
“I got played by Stuart Smith,” she said. “I would not be in this thing at all if it wasn’t for Stuart,” she can be heard saying in the brand-new trailer.
Stream the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City now on hayu.
Want even more Real Housewives of Salt Lake City goss? Listen to Heather Gay on episode 217 of the So Dramatic! podcast with Megan Pustetto below!