Aahoo Jahansouz "Sarah" Shahi ( /ˈʃɑːhiː/) (born January 10, 1980) is an American actress and a former NFL Cheerleader. She is probably best known for starring in The L Word as Carmen de la Pica Morales and in Life as Detective Dani Reese. In 2011, she began playing the role of Kate Reed in the legal drama Fairly Legal on the USA Network.
Shahi adopted Sarah as her name in second grade after hearing the song "Sarah" because she was "tormented" by other children. At her father's behest she grew up speaking Persian, as well as English. Shahi's parents began entering her in beauty pageants at the age of eight.Her parents divorced when she was 10.Shahi attended Trinity High School, where she was captain of the volleyball and basketball teams, and Dallas' Southern Methodist University, majoring in English and Theater.Shahi won the Miss Fort Worth USA pageant in 1997;hoping to become an actress, she joined the Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders 1999–2000 squad despite not having cheered before, and appeared on the cover of the squad's 2000 calendar before moving to Los Angeles.
She's the great-great-granddaughter of Fat′h-Ali Shah Qajar of the Qajar Dynasty, who ruled Iran from 1797-1834.