AceShowbiz - Andy Cohen was grilled during a CNN interview over his initial comment on Jen Shah. During the interview, Andy appeared to stumble over his response when host Chris Wallace asked him why he took the reality TV star's side in her fraud case.
"You're on the record last November as saying that you hope she would get no jail time," Chris asked the "Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen" host about "The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" star. "And the question I have is: Why would you take her side against the thousands of people she defrauded, including a lot of elderly?"
In response to the question, Andy seemingly tried to defend himself as he explained, "I think I was hoping that she was actually innocent." Chris, however, quickly fired back, "She pleaded guilty!"
Looking uncomfortable, Andy then said, "That was before she pleaded guilty, I mean, that I said that, I would think?" Chris later replied, "No. I think it was after." Andy appeared to be shuddering in embarrassment as he responded, "Oh really? Oh, God. Um, anyway! Wow, this is fun."
The Bravo executive shared that he didn't remember the exact "context" surrounding his comment, though he noted that viewers demanded to know Jen's "status" on the show. Andy revealed to the "Who's Talking to Chris Wallace?" host, "And I'm like, 'It's up to the judge. She's about to get sentenced to a lot of jail time.' "
When Chris reminded Andy that Jen "did something bad," Andy agreed, adding, "And so, she should go to jail." Still, Andy tried to elaborate on why he hoped Jen was innocent, "You know, sometimes, if you get to know someone and you get to like them, you hope that they are not guilty of something horrible."
Andy made the initial comment during an interview with Us Weekly back in November. At the time, he was asked if Jen would be back for season 4 of "RHOLSC". To the inquiry, Andy responded, "She's being sentenced on December 15, so I don't know what to say to people who want her on the show. I hope she gets no jail time whatsoever and she can come right back, but I have a feeling that she's not going to be available to be on the show."
On January 6, Jen was sentenced to six-and-a-half years in federal prison in wire fraud and money laundering case. Hours later, the 49-year-old Bravo personality allegedly threw a lavish party with a group of 20 at Italian hotspot Valbella at the Park in Midtown.
According to reports, she spent the night "eating and drinking" on the establishment's second floor. "She had two people standing around her table blocking anyone from taking photos," a source spilled at the time.
In more recent news, Jen was reportedly ordered to participate in a mental health treatment program after she completes her 6-and-a-half-year stint behind bars. Court documents revealed that once she's set free, Jen would be under supervised release for five years, during which she would participate in the program.
She additionally must give her probation officer "access to any requested financial information." She must ask for permission to "incur new credit charges or open additional lines of credit" until she's on track with her restitution payments in addition to her paying 15 percent of her gross income toward her restitution, which has been set at $6,646,251.00.