Chris Wallace put Andy Cohen in the hot seat.
During a Friday, January 13, appearance on the CNN host's new HBO Max show, Who’s Talking to Chris Wallace?, the news anchor questioned the Bravo boss on the past comments he made about The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City star Jen Shah and her fraudulent telemarketing scheme.
“You’re on the record last November as saying that you hope she would get no jail time,” Wallace recalled of Cohen's declaration, which occurred before Shah was sentenced to six and a half years behind bars. "And the question I have is, ‘Why would you take her side against the thousands of people she defrauded, including a lot of elderly?'”
“Oh, really? Oh, God," Cohen replied with a horrified look before clarifying how he may have felt at the time. “Sometimes you get to know someone and you get to like them, you hope that they are not guilty of something horrible.”
The broadcaster held the media mogul's feet to the fire once again when he asked Cohen about building The Real Housewives franchise, questioning, “Are you at all embarrassed by what you do?”
“No, I’m really not, because it makes so many people happy,” the producer told Wallace. “It can be really confrontational, it can sometimes be something that’s a little difficult to swallow. But I think it’s also about, in the real great moments, it’s about being a wife, and a mother, and a sister, and a friend and a whole lot more. So, yes, there’s all that [fights] and then there’s a whole lot more.”
One day after the men's chat went viral, Cohen addressed his comments about the former direct response marketing expert, who was sentenced to just over half a decade in prison for one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
“I just want to clarify the context of what I said,” he explained in a Tuesday, January 17, Instagram Story. “I was saying it in response to people wanting to know if she was going to be back on the show. … I knew that there had to be some context, and I should’ve asked him what it was.”