Besieged reality stars Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi list Palatial Pasadena for $ 13 million
Here’s a dirty little Hollywood secret that may shock you deeply: Reality TV shows are totally bogus. You do not believe me? Take Erika Jayne and her ex-husband Tom Girardi. The Girardis first rose to fame in 2015 when Erika joined the cast of âThe Real Housewives of Beverly Hillsâ. And while you might assume that the stars of this show must be residents of ZIP code 90210, in reality Tom and Erika lived about an hour away in ZIP code 91105. Aka Pasadena.
Let me say right away that even if you don’t care about “The Housewives” at all and you’ve never heard of Erika Jayne or Tom Girardi, you’re going to find the story of their recent one. fascinating financial upheaval. Just a few years ago, Tom estimated his net worth at $ 264 million. He recently claimed to have no money at all and was forced into bankruptcy. Their financial upheaval caused the couple to break up and today they are looking for buyers for their Pasadena mansion. The list price? $ 13 million. All of the proceeds would be used to pay off approximately $ 60 million in debt.
The king of collective actions
Tom Girardi made his fortune through class actions against large corporations. His firm, Girardi & Keese, pioneered the practice of major case management in emergencies. This is where clients did not pay money up front and in return, lawyers would keep 25-40% of final judgment amounts. These cuts made Tom extremely wealthy.
In one of Tom’s most famous cases, he represented the residents of the town of Hinkley, California, in a class action lawsuit against Pacific Gas & Electric. Tom and a team of lawyers sued PG&E, alleging the company caused Hinkley residents to develop various forms of cancer after contaminating local groundwater. Tom and his team were victorious. A jury ultimately awarded a judgment of $ 460 million to be paid by PG&E to 650 Hinkley residents. The case inspired Julia Roberts’ 2000 film “Erin Brockovich”.
Over the decades, Tom’s law firm has literally made billions of dollars for its clients. Its biggest settlement was $ 4.85 billion paid by pharmaceutical company Merck, in connection with a pain reliever called Vioxx.
In 2014, Tom was inducted into the Trial Lawyers Hall of Fame.
In a 2015 loan application, Tom estimated his personal net worth at $ 264 million. That same year, his wife Erika Jayne began to star in “The Real Housewives”.
Tom and Erika are 40 years old. When they got married two decades ago, she was 20 and he was in his 60s. They met at a Beverly Hills restaurant where she worked as a waitress.
On âThe Real Housewives,â Erika and Tom gleefully showed off their lavish 1.7-acre mansionâ¦ which, as we mentioned, was technically in Pasadena. They presented themselves as flying in private planes, holding millions of dollars in jewelry and spending almost unlimited amounts each month on personal luxuries.
Here’s a video tour of their $ 13 mansion:
So what caused Erika and Tom’s financial turmoil?
Today Tom expected $ 57 million to various legal finance firms and hedge funds that have loaned him money over the years. In December 2020, the debts of these loans led Girardi & Keese to declare bankruptcy. Tom and Erika’s assets were subsequently frozen. A month before filing for bankruptcy, Erika filed for divorce.
There have been allegations of embezzlement and clients claiming to have been deprived of millions of dollars in settlement distributions. There were allegations that Tom and Erika were using their clients’ funds to finance their lifestyle, which at one point included TWO private jets and $ 40,000 spent each month on Erika’s hair, makeup and clothing. .
In a 2020 deposition, Tom said:
“At one point I had about $ 80 million or $ 50 million in cash. Everything is gone. I have no money.“
He also reportedly held $ 50 million in stock at one point. According to court testimony, at the end of 2020, his stock portfolio was worth a negligible amount.
A particularly salacious accusation concerns funds allegedly transferred to Erika in the years leading up to the financial collapse. According to court testimony, a creditor claimed that Girardi transferred at least $ 20 million to Erika’s entertainment company in previous years. The plaintiffs in the bankruptcy case claimed that Tom and Erika’s divorce was a “sham” and that she was sitting on that $ 20 million.
Sadly, even if creditors get that $ 20 million + back regardless of the proceeds generated by that Pasadena home sale, they will still be about $ 25 million less than the alleged total debt of $ 57 million.
For her part, Erika is still listed as one of the main actors of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills”. Today she apparently lives in a $ 10,000-per-month rental in an area of ââLos Angeles called Hancock Park. Surprisingly, she is still far from Beverly Hills! Hancock Park is at least 30 minutes from Beverly Hills at midday with light traffic.