How Jen Shah Can Keep Her Bravo Stardom Alive During 6-Year Prison Sentence - Exclusive

On January 6, 2023, Jen Shah received her prison sentence for her part in a telemarketing scheme, nearly two years after her initial arrest. According to USA Today, Shah, an original cast member of the "Real Housewives of Salt Lake City" has been sentenced to 78 months  — roughly 6.5 years — in prison. Shah will also have to turn over $6.5 million in assets and pay $9.5 million in restitution. And while that sentence is nothing to scoff at, the publication notes that the prosecutors gunned for Shah to get a much lengthier sentence.

Given Shah's legal woes, Bravo fans have been wondering about her future relationship with the network and the "Housewives" franchise. Unfortunately, Shah's future doesn't look too bright. As Bravo producer Andy Cohen recently stated during his podcast, "Radio Andy," Shah's prison bid, which obviously won't allow for filming, took the decision out of the network's hands. Plus, she is expected to turn herself over to the authorities on February 23, 2023, per Vox, which doesn't leave much time for sorting out future goals. 

Of course, Shah is far from the only reality star to do prison time, though not all of them have been able to bounce back professionally. To gauge how Shah can possibly keep her Bravo stardom alive during her prison bid, Nicki Swift spoke to Justin Paperny, author of the book "Lessons From Prison" and co-founder of White Collar Advice

Jen Shah should update her followers on her prison journey

Using Jen Shah — and Todd and Julie Chrisley who will soon serve prison sentences for fraud as examples — Justin Paperny offered advice on how they can maintain their high profiles while behind bars. "Document the journey," says Paperny in an exclusive statement to Nicki Swift on his YouTube channel, White Collar Advice. "Share it with your network. When I went to prison, nobody knew me, and with the help of my business partner, Michael Santos ... I began documenting my journey on a website." 

He continued, "Within weeks, I was getting hundreds of letters a month in mail from people thanking me for providing a glimpse into this foreign world of imprisonment." Paperny then turned his blog into a book, a move that he believes Shah and the Chrisleys should mirror. "They should do the same thing," Paperny continued. "They're going to prison with a list of followers ... so they can absolutely grow their empire ... and prove worthy of their fans." However, these stars can't disappear for years and then return. Instead, Papery encourages them to, with the help of their family, speak directly to their followers through a podcast while they're actively serving their sentence.

Fortunately for Shah, a comeback is possible. Teresa Giudice from the "Real Housewives of New Jersey" served nearly one year in prison, in 2015, after being charged with multiple counts of fraud (via E! News), then was later able to return to the franchise. Perhaps Shah will have similar luck.