Erika Jayne Accused of Acting as ‘Anchor’ in Tom Girardi’s Alleged Cheating Scandal Over ‘RHOBH’
The lawsuit, which was obtained by BuzzFeed News, claims Erika “made the cynical decision to leverage the scandal to advance her career and stay relevant in the tabloids, which means more exposure and bigger paychecks.” ” for RHOBH.
A brand new lawsuit claims that Erika Jayne’s role in The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills made her a “singer” in the Tom Girardi fraud and embezzlement scandal.
For some context, in October 2018, the Lion Air flight crashed into the sea, killing all 189 passengers and crew on board. Tom – who rose to fame as a lawyer the real Erin Brockovich the case — had represented the families of the victims.
The families of the plane crash victims later accused Tom and his now-defunct law firm, Girardi & Keese, of embezzling $2 million from the settlement intended for them.
Along with her ex-husband, Erika was also named in the December 2020 suit. Indeed, the law firm alleged that the reason Tom stole the funds in the first place was to “continue funding his style of lavish life and that of Erika in Beverly Hills”.
Another key piece of information to note is that a month before the court case against Tom and Erika was filed in 2020, Erika publicly filed for divorce after 21 years of marriage. Their seemingly sudden split prompted Edelson PC to accuse the couple of orchestrating a ‘sham’ divorce in an attempt to ‘fraudulently protect’ allegedly stolen funds.
However, Erika has repeatedly denied these claims – including at a July 2021 conference episode of RHOBH, in which she called the claims “crazy”. In the same episode, she denied having any knowledge of Tom’s actions and instead claimed that she had been involved in the trial by default.
Of course, if you’ve been following the ongoing litigation, you might be a little confused, given that earlier this year it was reported that – almost 14 months after the initial complaint was filed – Erika had been officially fired from the case. .
It was, and still is, indeed the case. However, shortly after reports of Erika’s firing surfaced online, Edelson PC Founder and CEO Jay Edelson clarified that – although the original case against Tom continues in Chicago – his company intends to refile its lawsuit in California.
Which brings us to the present, where Erika has been officially named in another lawsuit filed by the same company, Edelson PC.
In documents obtained by BuzzFeed News, Erika is being sued alongside her company, EJ Global LLC; Tom’s Law Firm; and its lenders.
The documents list nine separate complaints against the defendants, accusing them of: racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, receiving stolen property, aiding and abetting in the concealment of stolen property, money detained and received, conversion, illegal business practice, law on consumer legal remedies, and deception.
Edelson PC is seeking “no less than $55 million” in damages for the families of the Lion Airlines flight victims.
And while Erika’s involvement in her husband’s crimes has been challenged before this lawsuit accuses her of being a ‘singer’ in Tom’s ‘scheme’, citing her role in RHOBH.
Erika joined the Bravo reality show in 2015, at the start of its sixth season. Since then, she’s solidified herself not only as a standout cast member, but also as one of the richest.
Flaunting her shared Pasadena estate with Tom, numerous sports cars, two private planes and expensive jewelry, Erika was credited with the elevation and redefinition of the levels of luxury seen on the show – most notably with the introduction of its “glam squad”, priced at $40,000 per month.
And although it does not appear on RHOBH quite often, Tom’s presence was still felt through Erika’s references to him and his successful career. As she embarked on various career pursuits documented during the show, Erika was often transparent that Tom’s financial backing provided her with the means and stability to pursue her career in pop music.
Now, Edelson PC is spotlighting Erika’s role on RHOBH in the ongoing litigation, accusing him of using his platform on the show to ‘extend’ Tom’s ‘plan’ by portraying him as a successful lawyer to ensure his ‘creditors continued to believe they were wealthy and that customers would continue to hire Tom and entrust him with their money.
“Erika acted as the ‘presenter’ of the operation, selling to the world (including unsuspecting customers) that Girardi Keese [Tom’s law firm] was a success. And she was exceptionally good in the role,” the documents state.
The suit also alleges that she used the show to “shamelessly [display] a national showroom “of supposedly stolen money, specifically referencing the cost of his glamorous team as well as his infamous song and accompanying music video, “XXPEN$IVE.”
“When Erika joined the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2015, she dazzled viewers by showing off their extravagant lifestyle and exorbitant spending habits, including her endless parade of designer clothes and high-end jewelry, her $250,000 Lamborghini Huracán and her personal team 24/7 ‘glam squad’ which she paid $40,000 a month,” the legal documents allege.
“Spending money was such a part of Erika’s personality that she released a song called XXPEN$IVE, which features the refrain ‘it’s expensive to be me,'” the firm explains.
Just like with the trial 2020this filing alleges that the reason Tom stole the Lion Air crash victims’ funds was in order to maintain his and Erika’s lavish lifestyle, allowing him to continue to “gamble” their wealth on RHOBH for his benefit.
Edelson PC goes on to say that while Tom’s financial troubles started to unfold in real time on RHOBHErika used his account on the show to “create uncertainty” about whether or not he might have been guilty.
They explicitly refer to his “puzzling” revelations on the show about a car accident Tom was implicated in 2017, which she says caused his mental health to deteriorate. The lawsuit alleges she used her platform to “help in her defense”, using the inconsistencies in her recollection of Tom’s accident as evidence.
They go on to suggest that Erika’s choice to continue filming the series through its 11th season despite the collapse of her marriage and legal issues was a “cynical decision to leverage the scandal to further her career and stay relevant in the tabloids, which means more exposure and bigger paychecks.
In a statement provided to page 6 On Tuesday, Jay Edelson said the new case is “a giant step towards securing real accountability for what was the biggest criminal racketeering enterprise in plaintiffs’ legal history.”
He added: “It is time for [Erika] to stop the lies and start taking some responsibility.
Both on and off camera, Erika has vehemently denied allegations that she was involved in any way with Tom’s actions, maintain that she was unaware of the events at Girardi & Keese. She has yet to publicly respond to the most recent filing.
BuzzFeed News has reached out to a rep for Erika Jayne for comment.