When Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah was suddenly arrested on March 30, 2021, it sent a shock wave through the Bravo-verse. Jen is facing federal charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit wire fraud. These charges stem from a telemarketing scam that the RHOSLC star was allegedly involved with for nine years. Did I mention that many of the victims were elderly folks? And Jen’s trusty assistant, Stuart Smith, is facing the same charges.
Jen plead not guilty to the charges, as did Stuart. Now Jen is “maintaining her innocence to the ladies,” a source told HollywoodLife. “The ladies really had no idea. They found out when the rest of the world did and were shocked,” the insider added.
Jen’s RHOSLC co-star Lisa Barlow took a minute to digest what was happening before standing up for Jen. Lisa stated, “Jen’s situation doesn’t change who I am as a person and how I’m going to treat Jen as a friend, but it was a lot. It took me weeks to recover from some of the stuff we had to go through,” she said. If Lisa thought that Jen didn’t notice that she was late to support her, she would be sadly mistaken. “My girl Heather Gay was there for me from jump,” Jen remarked. “I was very, very close with Lisa [Barlow] and that’s honestly who I expected to pick up the phone on the first ring … and you know, it took a minute.” Oof.
Lisa’s friendship with Jen is a big issue for Lisa’s bestie, Meredith Marks. During the Season 2 premiere of RHOSLC, viewers learned that Lisa is the only cast member talking to Jen. The rest have frozen her out, which is fitting given the setting. And this is two months before she was arrested.
Meredith was furious that Jen liked and reposted homophobic comments about her son, Brooks Marks. Talking about her family in such a manner was the last straw for Meredith. She was confused about why Lisa would ignore that and continue to be friends with Jen.
RELATED: Lisa Barlow Says Meredith Marks “Could Have Engaged A Little More” To Defend Her Against Heather Marks At Real Housewives Of Salt Lake City Reunion
Meredith, her husband Seth Marks, and their children hosted the Barlow family for a Shabbat dinner to honor Meredith’s father, who had recently passed away. Lisa, who is stuck in the middle between her warring friends, wanted to broker a peace agreement. Good luck, Lisa! Meredith is not moving forward with Jen, and she shut down any comparison to Lisa’s feuds with Heather and Whitney Rose. Meredith is engaging this season, and I am here for it.
Many RHOSLC viewers were puzzled by Lisa supporting Jen over her friend of 10 years, Meredith. Of course, the drama spilled over on to social media. (Warning-there is some rough grammar in some of the tweets.) Lisa tweeted, “I am a great and loyal friend. #RHOSLC.” Really, Lisa? I beg to differ.
She also tried to compare her kids to Brooks, but her children are minors, so the argument doesn’t hold up. “My kids are minors and they haven’t commented on anyone,” she posted.
A follower replied, “That’s what bothered me about Whit’s comment. Your kids are minors and didn’t comment on anyone, Mer’s son did. However, Jen is the older adult and should’ve known better,” the fan wrote. “You acknowledged that. It would’ve been nice for the favour to be returned.”
Lisa explained how she tried to persuade Meredith to listen to an apology from Jen. “I did – on the sofa at Meredith’s- I said Jen needed to apologize and asked if she would be open to hearing it,” Lisa replied. “I also did talk to Jen about the situation as a whole. You don’t see everything.”
The same fan commented, “That’s what I mean. You acknowledged all of that, so it would’ve been good to see the same acknowledgement of your feelings,” the user stated. “You didn’t make any comparisons between the situations as you specifically said that you won’t say you’re more hurt than Mer or she, you.”
Lisa posted, “Thank you!” Then Lisa discussed the messages that Jen liked and reposted about Brooks. Meredith did send the messages to Lisa. “Yes, you sent me the messages. Yes, I saw them,” Lisa tweeted. “No, this has nothing to do with me.”
Wow. Apparently, some fans didn’t like Lisa refusing to support Meredith in this situation. “Yes, she’s your best friend. Yes, he’s her child. No, you didn’t do anything to defend your friend and reprimand Jen,” a follower responded.
Lisa answered, “Keep watching.” Then Lisa decided to delve a little deeper. “Since there’s more chatter about this, I’m going to address- Lies were told and I had to defend my character, my business, and my name,” she wrote. “My feelings matter. #lastplace #RHOSLC.”
A fan replied, “Not the same. Lisa take some time off and rewatch and reevaluate the situation. We are talking about strong friendship here.” The follower added, “C’mon you can’t just compare your beef with Heather with what Jen been liking or saying about your friend child who care if he is 20 or 50 years.” Lisa disagreed with the user’s argument. “And yes I can. You don’t see everything,” the alcohol brand entrepreneur stated. Well, damn!
In another tweet, Lisa posted, “I talked to Jen– for Meredith about this and told her I was NOT ok with anything negative being liked or posted. Meredith knows this,” Lisa said. “I only control me. No one should be attacking anyone’s families or family members. Keep watching.” I’m glad that Lisa spoke to Jen about her social media attacks on Brooks.
It looks like Meredith and Lisa are in a better place now judging by their tweets. Meredith tweeted, “Vida and Manichevitz lol #RHOSLC.” This is a nod to the Shabbat dinner. Lisa wrote, “Henry is impressed with Your cooking skills. Chef Meredith.” She added several heart emojis.
I guess we will have to tune in to RHOSLC this season to see how this situation plays out.
TELL US- IS LISA PRIORITIZING HER FRIENDSHIP WITH JEN OVER HER FRIENDSHIP WITH MEREDITH? WHY DOESN’T LISA SUPPORT MEREDITH? WILL LISA AND MEREDITH EVER BE BESTIES AGAIN?
[Photo Credit: Bravo]