Back in late 2020, we learned of the surprising news that The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne and her husband of 21 years, Thomas Girardi, had filed for divorce. As we head into Season 11 of RHOBH, we're finally learning more about what went on behind the scenes. "I did not see it ending this way," Erika tells the housewives in a new trailer for the upcoming season. "I was gonna hold that man's hand until he died."
Erika Jayne and Thomas Girardi are headed for divorce.
“After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi ... This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together," Erika informed Entertainment Online via a press statement on Nov. 3, 2020.
"It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved. I request others give us that privacy as well," she added.
It's understood that the former couple spent a considerable chunk of time apart in early 2020. As Erika explained in a previous interview with Daily Mail, she had to temporarily relocate to New York to rehearse for her Broadway debut.
As she told the outlet, she and Thomas had no trouble living together during the COVID-19 lockdown period — partly because of the makeshift break.
"We've been married for 20 years, of course we get on each other's nerves. But lately, we've been OK, I mean it's fun," she told Daily Mail, before adding, "Maybe it's because we’ve had a four-month break [when I was in NYC on Broadway], but so far so good. I mean, we haven't been ready to kill each other."
As Erika revealed in her 2018 memoir, Pretty Mess, she and Thomas chose to not sign a prenup.
"Neither of us ever even thought to get a prenup. It never came up. Let's be serious, Mr. Girardi knows the law so well that a prenup is not going to do s--t," she argued.
The two originally met when Erika was a cocktail waitress at the LA restaurant Chasen's, where Thomas was a regular. They married in 1999.
News of the divorce came shortly before the world learned that both Erika and Thomas were accused of misappropriating settlement funds that belonged to victims of the 2018 Lion Air 610 crash to fund their own glamorous lifestyles.
The lawsuit alleges that, after his firm received the funds from Boeing in the spring of 2020, Thomas “resorted to embezzling the proceeds” to avoid “a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds," instead of paying clients the settlement money.
According to the suit, some of the money was intended for the widows and orphans of the crash victims but instead was taken by Erika and Thomas, an accusation that was brought up in the trailer for Season 11. "Orphans and widows, it makes you feel sick," castmate Dorit Kemsley says. When asked if she knew about any of the accusations described in the lawsuit, Erika replied, "No one knows the answer but him."
Season 11 of RHOBH premieres May 19 at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.