The former RHOSLC cast member is currently serving 6.5 years in prison for her part in a fraud and telemarketing scheme, and she is not enjoying the experience.
Jen Shah shared that she had an anxiety attack on her first day in prison. The reality star agreed to a plea deal in July 2022 and has since said she is sorry she took part in the plan and hopes her time in prison will bring justice to the people she hurt. Six weeks after getting her sentence, Jen went to jail on February 17.
After almost three weeks, Shah gave fans an inside look at her life in prison and her emotional journey to the Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Texas. Jen’s first entry in her journal was shared on her Instagram account by Coach Sharrieff Shah through @LoveAndyC.
Jen shared that she had an anxiety attack during the drive, which made her ask for a break. “I couldn’t breathe, and the feeling left my hands. I knew I had an anxiety attack coming on. I made Coach pull over because our driving signal was terrible, and I couldn’t FaceTime my oldest baby.”
Jen said she was crying hard until her oldest son Sharrieff Jr. told her over FaceTime that everything would be fine. She admitted that she thought she wouldn’t last the day. When they arrived, Jen spent her last emotional moments with her husband, Sharrieff, and their second son, Omar, before being imprisoned by an officer. The mother of two said that when she had to say goodbye to her family, she felt numb and scared as the truth of her situation set in.
Now, Shah is updating her fans on her new life behind bars. Last month, the former star of “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” turned herself into the Bryan Federal Prison Camp (FPC) in Texas. Since then, an administrator in charge of her Instagram account has shared her journal entries with the public.
In a new Instagram post from March 10, the reality star in trouble shared her second entry from her journal, which seems to have been written the day after she gave up. In it, Shah tells her followers about her time in prison and how hard it is to be away from her family.
Shah started by talking about a friend named Kashanna, whose nickname is “Special K,” narrating how they stuck together on the first full day as they walked around in shock, disbelief, and fear, trying to figure out what to do next.
When the Bravo alum talked about what was in the brown-bagged breakfast, she described a meal that was very different from what she’s used to. “It had one piece of wheat bread, an apple, two packets of jelly, and one packet of instant oatmeal. I ate a piece of bread. A woman in the common area gave me instant coffee, but I didn’t have a mug. Since I don’t go to the commissary until next Tuesday, I put the apple and oatmeal packet in my locker. I can at least eat something if I get hungry.”
She said, “Last night, I cried quietly while sitting on the top bunk of my bed and pretending to fall asleep while reading a book. My chest hurt as a million pieces of my heart had broken, and as I lay alone in the dark, I thought about having to leave my family, my sweet husband, and my boys.”
She added: “Sharrieff’s face was burned into my mind. I remembered Omar’s tears as I hugged him tight and Sharrieff Jr.’s face on FT as I said goodbye to him from the SUV before we got to Bryan FPC.” She then talked about how she was working on accepting her new reality, which still hadn’t hit her fully.
“As I look into the dark, I feel like I must be dreaming, but I’m not. I keep thinking this is crazy and a total waste of time. How come I’m here? I know why I’m here, but this isn’t the place for someone like me. I’ve never been in trouble before.”
She also mentioned, “I stopped myself right away from thinking this way, which is bad for me. I’m here because I made some bad choices. I’m here because I put myself in this situation, and no one else is to blame. I feel pain and guilt for making people suffer and putting my family through this ordeal for the past 2 1/2 years. And their pain at having to see me give up yesterday and at the start of the next 78 months without me is killing my soul.”
Shah also shared what happened the following day when she tried to get the paperwork ready to call her family. After setting it up, she tried to call her husband three times without success, but she said she was still trying her best to stay positive. Shah will have been in jail for a month in just a few days. After spending 6.5 years in prison, Shah must be watched for five years.
Jen had to wait until the end of her prison sentence and the start of her five years of supervised release before she could even think about home. Jen promised to make things right with the people she hurt. She even started a website to tell her side of the story and put some of her “RHOSLC” co-stars in their place.
Jen had to deal with being judged by the rest of the world and constantly being watched by the media. She also had to deal with losing friends after the telemarketing conspiracy became public.
Since she has gone through the last few weeks with her head held high, these low points may be short periods of weakness. Jen is determined to make the most of her time in prison so that she will get back on her feet.