Lisa Barlow Says It Was ‘Kind of a Relief’ for Jen Shah Not to Be Part of ‘RHOSLC’ amid Prison Sentence

Lisa Barlow doesn’t hold back her feelings for Jen Shah.

The Bravo star, 48, admitted she was relieved when Shah, 49, couldn’t take part in Season 4 The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City as he is currently serving a five-year prison sentence for his role in a long-running telemarketing scheme.

“It was a relief because everything had to be about Jen in the past,” she said Access to Hollywood. “So it wasn’t like you were looking at everyone else’s perspectives. It was like a tacit approval of Jen.”

Lisa Barlow attends the Vivint Smart Lighting Launch Party on June 13, 2023.

Mark Sagliocco/Getty

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“I hate to say it, but it wasn’t like I missed her,” she continued. “I forgot when we started shooting it, like, ‘Hey, Jen used to be a part of this.’ There were so many other things that you didn’t miss that other element.”

During Tuesday’s premiere episode, Heather Gay admitted that she’s doing “surprisingly” well without Shah, saying, “I feel like a weight has been lifted” now that Jen is in prison.

In the confessional, Bad Mormon the author admitted, “I felt like I couldn’t be honest with Jen. With everything going on in her life, the stakes were too high. It wasn’t the time to talk about our friendship and work on boundaries.”

She continued, “But now that he’s in prison, I feel like I can just close the door and move on.”

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- "Reunion" -- Pictured: (L-R) Jen Shah, Heather Gay, Whitney Rose -- (Photo credit: Nicole Weinagart/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty Images)

Jen Shah and Heather Gay at the ‘Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’ reunion. Nicole Weinagart/Bravo/NBCU Photo Bank via Getty RHOSLC’s Meredith Marks is ‘thrilled’ Mary Cosby is back: ‘She brings quirky humor to the show’ (Exclusive)

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RHOSLC star Whitney Rose also talked about filming the episode without Shah Two Ts In A Pod with Teddi Mellencamp and Tamra Judge last month.

Rose, 36, admitted that “Jen leaving was a breath of fresh air”, adding: “Honestly, it was a lot easier.”

“I think it was weird that she wasn’t there because she was the OG,” she explained. “We built the show with her. But I don’t think we missed her in terms of toxicity — like we were all able to connect in a different way and get to know each other on a deeper level and that was nice. And I don’t know if it’s Jen or if it’s just season four, the dynamic of it.”

THE REAL HOUSEWIVES OF SALT LAKE CITY -- Season: 3 -- Photo: Jen Shah

Jen Shah. Chris Haston/Bravo via Getty RHOSLC: Heather Gay says ‘weight has been lifted’ since Jen Shah went to jail — but now she’s not sure ‘who to trust’

Despite the change of pace, host Tamra Judge noted that Shah was a “good character on the show” and “fun” for the audience.

“She must have brought it,” Rose replied. “And I think a lot of people are nervous about not having Jen, but we brought her. It’s still everything.”

Shah reported to Bryan Federal Prison Camp (FPC) in February to begin a 78-month (6.5 years) sentence for her role in a long-running telemarketing fraud scheme. Her sentence was reduced by one year in March and she is now scheduled to be released on Aug. 30, 2028, according to the Federal Bureau of Prisons’ inmate database.

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Shah pleaded guilty last July after being arrested in March 2021, along with her assistant Stuart Smith, for their role in a long-running nationwide telemarketing scheme.

Both initially pleaded not guilty after being charged with conspiracy to commit telemarketing fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Shah’s legal team tried to dismiss the charges in August 2021, but a judge denied the request.

Smith changed her plea to guilty in November, and Shah did the same at a hearing in July 2022. During her sentencing in January, she apologized for her actions.

“I’m sorry. My actions hurt innocent people,” she said at the time. “I want to apologize by saying that I am doing everything I can to earn the funds to pay the compensation.”

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The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City airs Tuesdays at 9pm ET on Bravo.

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Source: HIS Education

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