After 21 years together, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills couple Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi announced that they were divorcing, shocking fans of the show. The couple had seemed as though they had a strong marriage throughout their seasons on the program, but their decision to split has unveiled a much dirtier picture happening behind the scenes.
“For the first 10 years of our marriage, I was by Tom’s side,” Erika recounted of their marriage in a 2017 episode. “I was even the first lady of a couple legal organizations. Imagine that!"
But the divorce proceedings have brought allegations of embezzlement, and some are wondering how much Erika knew. RHOBH viewers are going to see much of their divorce play out in the current season, though the battle is far from over.
“She's going to tell her story and she's not going to hold back. In the past when they filmed, Erika protected Tom at all costs, but this time around is going to be different,” a source told Us Weekly.
A lawsuit claims that Erika was aware of the embezzlements allegedly made by Tom.
Shortly after Erika filed for divorce from Tom in late 2020, a lawsuit was filed alleging that through his work as a lawyer, Tom intentionally didn't pay out settlements that were meant to be awarded to the victims of Lion Air Flight 610.
While Erika has continuously denied that she knew anything of these allegations, another lawsuit alleges that she was very much in the know about these illegal dealings.
“We believe we’re going to be able to prove that Erika was incredibly involved in not just the law firm, but also, he was loaning money to her company tens of millions of dollars to her company,” Jay Edelson, the lawyer who filed the case, said, according to Us Weekly.
“And we think that money came from client funds. And we’re going to look into all of that. And that’s all going to be, you know, part of proof that we showed to a jury — that she was knee-deep in this fraud, and she can say, ‘Oh, she didn’t know anything about it.’ And I think that’s going be hard for to convince a jury of," he concluded.
“While Erika publicly filed for divorce [last] month, on information and belief, that ‘divorce’ is simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK," the suit reads, according to Page Six.
Erika has yet to make a statement claiming she knew more than she's admitted to so far, though there is supposed to be another hearing for the pair in July 2021.
Erika Jayne lawyer's quit after a Hulu documentary was released about the lawsuits.
On June 14, Hulu released a documentary about the entire scandal titled The Housewife and the Hustler that alleges Erika was much more involved than she claims to be. The documentary also allows some of the alleged victims to share their side of the story — and the testimonies were apparently enough to get Erika's legal team to quit.
Erika's bankruptcy attorney Peter Mastan filed a petition to be removed from her case one day after the documentary aired.
She is now represented by Evan C. Borges after repeated back and forth from her legal team.
It's unclear what exactly is next for the reality star, but we're likely to see a lot of it play out on RHOBH, which airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST on Bravo.