‘We will be transcribing every word’: Investigators trying to trace money linked to RHOBH’s Erika Jayne’s estranged husband will be watching like hawks as new season charts his downfall in embezzlement case
- ‘We will be transcribing every word. The show does not provide immunity to its talent,’ attorney Ronald Richards tweeted about the Bravo show
- Erika’s estranged husband Thomas Girardi is in debt to ‘hundreds of clients’ amid claims his law firm owes at least $26 million in settlement money
- The 81-year-old attorney, who is in a court-ordered conservatorship and under the legal guardianship of his brother, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and says he has no money
- Erika is being accused of helping Thomas hide some of his assets from creditors
- The 49-year-old has objected to the investigation into her finances
- According to her filing, Erika says the property she possesses, except from a few ‘household items,’ are all gifts from her husband which she is entitled to keep
- Erika and her castmates began filming season 11 in October last year and she split from Girardi in November. In December, it emerged that a fraud and embezzlement class action had been filed against them
Legal professionals are going to be carefully scrutinizing the new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, after Erika Jayne’s finances became a focal point in the embezzlement case against her estranged husband.
Thomas Girardi – who Erika split from in November – is in debt to ‘hundreds of clients’ and ex-workers amid claims his law firm owes at least $26 million in settlement money.
The 81-year-old attorney, who is in a court-ordered conservatorship and under the legal guardianship of his brother, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease and says he has no money.
Watching closely: Erika Jayne – who is being investigated amid her estranged husband’s embezzlement case – will be scrutinized as she appears on the upcoming season 11 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
And now, two of the trustees in the lawsuit have hired Beverly Hills attorney Ronald Richards to investigate Erika’s finances, amid accusations that Thomas has been hiding some of his assets from creditors by transferring them to his TV star wife.
‘We will be transcribing every word. The show does not provide immunity to its talent.’ Richards tweeted about the upcoming Bravo series which premieres Wednesday.
Erika, a pop singer, is known for her love of luxury, glam squads and traveling on private jets to exotic places, much of it funded by her husband who she married in 2000.
Investigators have been dispatched to go through Erika’s belongings and accounts to see what money and property she has, LA Times reports.
Her estranged husband Thomas Girardi, 81, who is in a court-ordered conservatorship and under the legal guardianship of his brother, has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease. He says he has no money
The 49-year-old Bravo star has reportedly filed an objection to stop the investigation and claims Richards is biased.
She also feels that hiring Richards is a conflict of interest because he’s currently representing plaintiffs in another case against her spouse.
According to her filing, Erika says that the property she possesses, except from a few ‘household items,’ are all gifts from her husband which she is entitled to keep.
Richards and another special counsel will, if approved by the judge, effectively become bounty hunters who can keep as much as 45% of what they seize from the reality star, LA Times revealed.
‘If she wears a $150,000 ring, the victims are going to say, “That is my diamond.” If she is going to wear a $10,000 blazer, they are going to say, “That is my blazer,” attorney William F. Savino told LA Times.
Woes: In a new clip from the upcoming season 11 of the series, Erika tells her costars how the pandemic led her to go on antidepressants when she wasn’t able to work. (It appears this scene was filmed before her marriage split and the lawsuit was made public – at one point during the conversation, she refers to her ‘husband’ and dog)
Taking notes: Attorney Ronald Richards recently said he will be ‘transcribing every word’ of Erika’s appearance in the upcoming Bravo series which premieres Wednesday
Under the microscope: The new teaser shows footage from Erika’s Pasadena property which she shared with Girardi. The garage housed a fleet of luxury cars, including a Lamborghini
‘If I am a victim, I am going to want her chased to the ends of the Earth and pushed off.’
In September Thomas took to the stand and testified that his cash and stock portfolio – once valued at more than $100 million – were gone, claiming ‘I don’t have any money,’.
The LA Times reports that the trustees have already begun liquidating some assets, including ownership interest in a pair of private planes.
A mansion in Pasadena belonging to the former couple was listed this month for $13 million.
In previews for RHOBH Erika hints at not knowing about her husband’s legal problems.
‘No one knows the answer but him,’ she tells her castmates in one sneak peek when asked about missing settlement funds owed to his clients.
Another clip, released on Monday, shows Erika telling her costars how the pandemic led her to go on antidepressants when she wasn’t able to work.
The blonde beauty described being lonely and roaming around the halls of her empty mansion.
Opulence: Shots from inside the mansion were also shown during the teaser. The property is now on the market as the former couple’s assets start to get liquidated
Grandeur: Artwork showing the scantily clad singer can be seen above the fireplace in one room
Lavish: One of the dining rooms is also seen in the footage, showing luxurious décor and an ornate chandelier
Footage from the Pasadena property she shared with her lawyer spouse flashes up on screen, with various sports cars, including a Lamborghini, seen parked in the garage.
‘I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t shake it, and I couldn’t shake it. I was feeling this incredible dread. Every day I woke up and I dreaded waking up.’ she recalled.
‘I called a psychiatrist and I went on Lexipro.’ she revealed.
‘That’s an antidepressant’ Erika added when one of the women asked her what it was. ‘And it’s the greatest thing’.
‘My problems are still there but my attitude towards them is different’ she said on a positive note.
In a confessional, Erika explained, ‘There’s so much that these women don’t know, about my life and about my personal life.
Liquidating assets: A mansion in Pasadena belonging to the former couple was listed this month for $13 million
‘Because you know what, everyone has problems, everyone. And the bigger your life is the bigger your problems are.’
A trustee’s probe of the liquidation of the 81-year-old Colorado native’s firm Girardi Keese released last month indicated the company owed a minimum of $26 million to ‘anywhere from dozens to hundreds of clients’ in settlements, according to US Weekly.
Trustee Elissa Miller of the firm SulmeyerKupetz PC said in the report that about $2 million in the unpaid settlements are earmarked to plaintiffs in the Lion Air Flight 610 crash.
After Erika, 49, filed for divorce last November, a class action firm Edelson PC said in December said the divorce was orchestrated to ‘fraudulently protect Tom and Erika’s money’ as they’re ‘on the verge of financial collapse’ in a lawsuit accusing the pair of embezzling settlement funds for the families of the victims of the 2018 crash, in which all 189 people onboard died.
Miller’s report indicated that Girardi’s firm was also on the hook for $11 million to a San Bruno, California family as result of a suit stemming from a gas pipeline explosion in 2010.
Also impacted were more than 8,200 clients who had damages in the 2018 Woolsey fire in Southern California.
Expensive indeed: Erika is seen here last season with her glam squad. She famously bragged about spending $40,000 a month on hair, make-up and clothing
The report stated that there was ample ‘evidence that many cases had settled but the clients had not received the funds from the settlement,’ and that new claims for unpaid monies continued to trickle in.
Erika opened up about the ongoing legal problems in a preview for the Bravo series’ upcoming season, claiming she had no clue about any of it.
Kyle Richards specifically asked about the money for the crash victims, and she told her that ‘no one knows the answer’ but Thomas.
Erika issued a statement following her divorce filing after 21 years of marriage.
‘After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi,’ Jayne said. ‘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. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserve. I request others give us that privacy as well.’
Longtime partners: The couple, who married in 2000, are pictured here in 2016. They don’t have any children together but Erika has an adult son from a previous relationship
Insiders told the outlet last month that Erika has hit a ‘breaking point’ amid production of the current season, as she’s been inundated with questions from castmates about the divorce and legal issues.
‘From day one Erika was, like, “I will tell my story, but you have to let me tell you myself,”‘ the source said. ‘Then news kept coming out about all these legal issues Tom was involved in and it led to the girls wanting answers.
‘They kept trying to stir up more drama on top of the existing drama Erika had going on in her personal life.’
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills season 11 begins airing on Bravo May 19 at 8/7c.
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