Jen Shah issued a lengthy statement from prison Thursday, recalling the “horrible nightmare” she experienced when having to say her final goodbyes to her family.
“Two miles from Bryan Federal Prison Camp (FPC), I could not breathe and my hands went numb,” the “Real Housewives of Salt Lake City” alum, 49, began in a post on Instagram.
“I knew I was having an anxiety attack.”
Shah, who is currently serving a six-and-half-year sentence for fraud, then detailed how she “cried so hard” when she FaceTimed her oldest son, Sharrieff Jr., on her way to prison as he reassured her “it would be okay.”
“My worst fear and the unimaginable was about to happen — having to say goodbye to my sweet husband and precious baby Omar,” she added.
Shah said the next few moments when they arrived at the prison gate “happened so fast.”
The mother of two reiterated again she cried as she “buried” her face into her son Omar’s chest as she said her final farewell to him.
Shah then said she hugged her husband, Sharrieff Shah, tightly as if “holding him harder would somehow erase this horrible nightmare.”
“I wanted to remember his embrace, his smell his touch,” she said of her husband of nearly 30 years. “As I looked into his eyes, tears streaming down my face, I told him he is the love of my life and I love him more than anything.”
Jen said having to declare her love for her spouse in those final moments with officers silently urging her to move along was “the most horrible experience.”
“It’s as if you know your world is ending and you have 30 seconds to tell the people you love how much you love them and hope they feel your love and understand its magnitude,” the disgraced marketing executive added.
Jen, who is Muslim, then noted that she and her loved ones took a moment to pray to “Allah.” She also described how she was allegedly unable to bring some personal items with her to prison, including her Quran, contacts list or driver’s license.
“The one item that made me feel instantly isolated was not having my contacts list,” the reality star said, before disclosing she didn’t have the “mental bandwidth” to memorize everyone’s phone numbers.
Jen shared that she one again grew emotional as she continued to say her goodbyes, and said she felt at the time that her “entire body” was numb and felt like her “life was ending.”
“I am truly scared,” she said before concluding, “I feel physically sick. I feel like I don’t belong here. 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.”
Jen’s emotional plea is a far cry from the confident statement her attorney released ahead of her surrendering herself to prison on Feb. 17.
Lawyer Priya Chaudhry told Page Six at the time that her client was “prepared to face these challenges head-on and emerge from this experience a better person.”
The attorney previously added of Jen, “She is committed to serving her sentence with courage and purpose, fueled by her desire to make amends for the hurt she has caused and to help others in her new community.”
Shortly after, a separate statement from Jen herself was posted on her Instagram account, in which she recognized that she “hurt” victims because of her actions and wanted to make things right.
The Bravolebrity also noted in that post that she planned to “publish” her work to “invite” others to hold her accountable, which is likely why she chose to speak out on Thursday.
However, the comments section of her revelatory message was turned off.
In July 2022, Jen pleaded guilty to defrauding thousands of people out of money, mainly the elderly, in a telemarketing scheme.
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