Thomas Girardi is pleading the fifth. The estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, Erika Jayne, has officially invoked his fifth amendment right to not testify in the ongoing case, which accuses him of embezzling millions designated to widows and orphans of victims of a 2018 plane crash. Radar Online has obtained court documents that confirm that the disgraced lawyer has notified a federal judge of his plan to stay quiet amid the unfolding case.
The signed declaration reads—“I, Thomas Girardi hereby state under penalty of perjury that, if called as a witness in pending contempt proceedings … I will follow the advice of my counsel and invoke my constitutional rights to remain silent.”
Tom represented families who lost loved ones on Lion Air Flight 610 before his law license was suspended. He struck a multi-million dollar settlement, but his clients claim that they were never paid the full amount. Tom and Erika were accused of embezzling the funds shortly after Erika announced that she was splitting from her husband, in November 2020.
The judge reportedly found Tom and two partners at his firm, Girardi Keese, in contempt of court, including his former bookkeeper, David Lira. Lira has alleged that he has no clue about the whereabouts of the millions of dollars.
Tom’s lawyer indicated that her client planned to invoke his right against self-incrimination, due to his ongoing health issues.
“He does not recall one of my conversations with him between conversations,” the attorney claimed.
Tom was forced into Chapter 7 bankruptcy by multiple creditors who claim that the attorney owes them tens of millions. Followers of the legal drama know that the ex-couple has been accused of embezzlement and fraud and that a court-appointed trustee was hired to evaluate and sell off Girardi’s assets in order to pay back his creditors. The trustee put Tom’s Pasadena mansion on the market and is currently auctioning off his possessions. The trustee also hit Erika with a lawsuit, demanding that the Bravo star return the $25 million that was supposedly transferred from her husband and his firm.
Ronald Richards, the lawyer investigating the reality star’s assets recently discovered that jewelry was purchased with funds from the firm.
“We saw jewelry payments that the firm has bought from a jeweler,” Richards told Us Weekly earlier this month, estimating that the purchases were in the “hundreds of thousands of dollars” range.
“We haven’t sourced it to Erika yet,” he clarified.
Erika has denied all involvement and claims to have no knowledge of her husband’s finances. She has not yet responded to the lawsuit in court. She requested spousal support but the ongoing bankruptcy case put their divorce case on hold. The Bravo star wants to cash in on half of Tom’s estate because she claims that the pair did not have a prenuptial agreement.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Wednesdays at 8 pm, ET, on Bravo.