Heather Gay, Meredith Marks ‘Shocked’ By Jen Shah’s IOU

It was shah king.

Heather Gay and Meredith Marks – like the rest of the cast of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” – were caught off guard by Jen Shah’s admission of guilt.

A source tells Vidak For Congress exclusively that the Beauty Lab and Laser owner and jewelry designer were made aware of their castmate’s legal strategy shift just before it was made official.

An insider shares that Shah, 48, called Gay just before entering the courtroom on Monday and asked her to call Marks, 50, to let their friend know of the new decision.

We were told that Gay and Marks had been in New York prior to the pre-trial hearing because Shah “wanted people around her” to support her.

Marks showed her allegiance on social media the night before the hearing, stating that “in the US, a person has the right to a trial and is presumed innocent until proven guilty”.

A screenshot of Meredith Marks' Instagram Story post.
Marks posted this message to her Instagram Story the night before Shah’s preliminary examination.

The reality star was then called by fans after news of Shah’s plea broke. Her representative did not immediately respond to Vidak For Congress’s request for comment on her friend “blinding” her. Gay was also not immediately available.

However, we’re told that Marks and Gay aren’t alone and that other cast members, including Whitney Rose and Lisa Barlow, were also “shocked.”

“Everyone was surprised,” said a source, adding that Shah “constantly” told the other “housewives” that she was “innocent and that she was going to fight”.

The cast of season 2 of "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" posing together.
Shah, seen here with her co-stars, has been a part of “RHOSLC” since Season 1.
NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images

The insider claims the disgraced marketing director told friends the “reason why people are arguing” [guilty] is because they are afraid and cannot afford it, but that she can afford it and that she would fight for her innocence.”

The cast of “RHOSLC” was under the impression that Shah was alone in New York for the hearing and preparing to fight the charges with her counsel.

The Bravolebrity pleaded guilty to one charge of conspiracy to commit telemarketing, while the US attorney agreed to drop the other charge against her, conspiracy to launder money.

Her lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, previously told Vidak For Congress that the plea was made at the last minute because Shah “wants to pay her debt to society and put this ordeal behind her and her family.”

Jen Shah shot outside the courtroom.
Shah wore designer clothes for the federal fraud hearing.
Alec Tabak

Our source said Shah felt her back to the wall when she and her team saw the evidence against her and who was going to testify.

“She knew she had to plead guilty because she would be guilty anyway and she didn’t want to involve her mother, her husband, her children and anyone else,” the insider said.

Shah shares two sons, Sharrieff Jr., 28, and Omar, 19, with husband Sharrieff Shah Sr.

The reality star faces up to 30 years in prison and five years of supervised release. However, the plea deal calls for just 11 to 14 years behind bars and up to $9.5 million in restitution costs. Her sentencing is scheduled for November.

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