“I thought I could do this but I’ve decided I can’t,” the disgraced Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star says in her first statements from behind bars.
Jen Shah opened up about her last moments with her family before checking into federal prison — as well as her first moments behind bars — in a diary entry posted to her Instagram page.
The lengthy entry details what was going through the disgraced “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” star’s mind before starting her 78 month — or roughly 6.5 year — sentence after pleading guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The 49-year-old reality star was convicted for her role in a nationwide telemarking scheme, in which many of the victims were elderly and working class.
According to Shah, she had an anxiety attack when she and her family were about two miles away from Bryan Federal Prison Camp in Bryan, Texas. “My worst fear and the unimaginable was about to happen – having to say goodbye to my sweet husband and precious baby Omar,” she said, adding that they connected with her other son Sharrieff Jr. over FaceTime.
After they arrived at the prison, Shah recalled hugging “Omar as tight as I could and cried as I buried my head in his chest and held him as tight as I could, not wanting to face reality that this would be the last time I hugged him for a while.”
She then embraced her husband — and said she told him he was “the love of my life” as tears were “streaming down” her face.
“Having seconds to tell you husband how much you love him and hoping he truly understands the depths of your love while officers stand there silently urging you to move quickly was the most horrific experience,” she continued.
After a group hug, she was allegedly told by an officer that she couldn’t bring paperwork that had all her contacts listed on it with her. Shah said not having that “made me feel instantly isolated.” She was then told “it’s time to go,” leading to one final emotional hug from her son.
“His eyes are saying, ‘Mama, please don’t leave,'” she wrote, saying she then kissed her husband goodbye and walked inside. “I turn to get one last glance at my husband and son … my entire body is numb,” she recalled, “I feel like my life is ending, and I am truly scared.”
She concluded her diary entry by saying she wanted desperately to be in her “husband’s arms because I know he will make this nightmare end.”
“I feel physically sick,” she added. “I thought I could do this but I’ve decided I can’t. I want to go home right now, but I know that is impossible. Please Allah help me, please.”
Read the full entry here. Coach Shah also posted a video explaining why it took so long for them to get a message from Jen up on social media, since she checked in back on February 17.
“It has taken my wife some time to put pen to paper,” he said, adding that it takes time for inmates to both send and receive correspondence in prison. “Initially, she had a difficult time capturing a lot of her experience.”