Real Housewives Stars Erika Jayne And Jen Shah's Legal Troubles Have Taken Some Interesting Turns

screenshot jen shah and erika jayne real housewives
(Image credit: Bravo)

Serious allegations have been leveled against two of Bravo's most notorious Real Housewives stars: Real Housewives of Salt Lake City's Jen Shah and Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Erika Jayne. In March, Shah was arrested and accused of spearheading a telemarketing scheme that defrauded hundreds of mostly elderly victims. Meanwhile, Erika Jayne has been implicated in her husband's bankruptcy case. As it turns out, their legal troubles have only taken on more interesting turns of late.

After Jen Shah was arrested, the Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star pleaded not guilty at her arraignment hearing, with the trial set to take place on October 18. However, it looks like Shah's legal team is hoping to avoid that outcome at all costs. NBC News reported that they, in fact, filed court documents for her case to be thrown out entirely. In the filings, Shah’s lawyers called it a “bare-bones superseding indictment.” They continued:

Nowhere does the indictment allege, as required, facts sufficient to establish that Ms. Shah joined this purported conspiracy willfully and with the specific intent to defraud the telemarketing purchasers. Thus, this indictment should be dismissed because the facts it alleges, even if taken as true, are insufficient to support the crimes charged.

Jen Shah's legal team also stipulated several reasons for why her case should apparently be thrown out. Among them, they allege her arresting officers used “deception and trickery calculated to overpower her will,” and that the Real Housewives star was “coerced” into being interviewed by detectives.

The often-described “Ice Queen” of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika Jayne, is facing similar accusations as Jen Shah. It has been speculated that she knew of her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s (Tom Girardi) alleged embezzlement activity that ultimately landed him in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy case. The TV personality denied having any prior knowledge of her husband’s business dealings. However, Page Six reported that Erika Jayne's lawyers, Dinsmore and Shohl LLP, filed to withdraw as her counsel in the case on Monday (speculated because of that ABC News special about her). The law firm had stated:

The relationship of trust and confidence that is essential to a properly functioning attorney-client relationship has broken down and, in the good faith assessment of counsel, the relationship is irreparable.

Curiously enough, a flutter of even stranger developments occurred only two days later. The reality star’s lawyers supposedly reversed their decision to drop her, with confirmation made by Page Six. The allegations against Erika Jayne’s husband are quite serious, so it’s an odd and sudden switch-up of legal tactics.

The legal situations for both Jen Shah and Erika Jayne are becoming eerily coincidental. Not only are both entangled in accusations pertaining to fraud, but they also became embroiled in their drama while filming Real Housewives. Shah was arrested during Salt Lake City’s Season 2 that is still filming, and Erika Jayne was only just shown filing divorce from her husband in Beverly Hills’ Season 11 that is airing now on Bravo.

As they say, the plot thickens... To find out more interesting developments on Erika Jayne's case, tune in to Bravo on Wednesday nights as her situation unfolds in real time. For Jen Shah, I guess we'll have to wait until later this year for Real Housewives of Salt Lake City (supposedly, with footage of her arrest, too).

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.