'RHOSLC' 's Meredith Marks 'Shocked' by Jen Shah's Guilty Plea but Says 'It's Not My Job to Sentence Her'

Jen Shah entered a guilty plea in July for her involvement in an alleged telemarketing scheme scandal

Meredith Marks Says, Jen Shah
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty; Chad Kirkland/Bravo

Meredith Marks is opening up about her Real Housewives of Salt Lake City costar Jen Shah's legal troubles.

Marks, 50, revealed she was "shocked" that Shah pleaded guilty for her part in an alleged telemarketing scheme scandal. (Shah, 48, switched her original plea of not guilty to guilty in July, taking "full responsibility.")

"It's sad all the way around," Marks told E! News.

"Whether Jen was innocent or not, I always thought that she at least believed in her innocence," Marks said. "So for her to switch that plea was really shocking to me and I'm sure we'll learn more of the backstory."

She continued, "I don't think it's something she can really talk about until after sentencing. It's still an open case."

The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City - Jen Shah
Jen Shah. Jen Shah/Instagram

Shah was arrested in March 2021 alongside her assistant, Stuart Smith, for allegedly targeting individuals in a nationwide scheme. At the time, both Shah and Smith, 43, were charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud in connection with telemarketing and conspiracy to commit money laundering. She is set to be sentenced on Nov. 28.

Marks explained that she "always felt for the victims" of the case despite her costar's legal troubles.

"There was never a question that there were victims, there were always victims whether Jen was involved or not. So that was never an issue," she explained.

The reality star is remaining a supportive friend to Shah amid her legal troubles.

"I think Jen obviously needs support now," she told E! News. "I'm not the judge, I'm not the jury, it is not my job to convict her, it's not my job to sentence her."

RELATED VIDEO: RHOSLC Star Jen Shah Pleads Guilty to Fraud and Money Laundering Charges

Marks said she has been keeping in touch with Shah throughout the ordeal.

"She's been through a lot and it takes its toll. It's emotionally very difficult I would imagine," she said.

She continued, "And at the end of the day she is a human being, you know? She is as we all are and we make mistakes and if you're going to take accountability and try and do better, then what else can we do?"

Shah's court case will be documented on the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City.

In a trailer released last month for the third season of the Bravo series, Shah proclaimed, "I'm innocent!" and pointed the finger at Smith for deceiving her about their business partnership in a fraudulent telemarketing scheme. Smith has also entered a guilty plea.

"I got played by Stuart Smith," claims Shah. "I would not be in this thing at all if it wasn't for Stuart."

The trailer also featured footage of Shah walking out of the courthouse after pleading guilty in July.

Never miss a story — sign up for PEOPLE's free daily newsletter to stay up to date on the best of what PEOPLE has to offer, from juicy celebrity news to compelling human interest stories.

Season 3 of The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City premieres Sept. 28 at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo.

Related Articles