“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, Erika Jayne, wants her estranged ex, Tom Girardi, to testify as part of her defense as she prepares to head to trial over the disgraced lawyer’s bankruptcy case.
The reality star is entrenched in a lawsuit that is demanding that she return $25 million that was supposedly funneled from Tom’s law firm, Girardi Keese, into her entertainment company.
Erika is a named defendant in a federal lawsuit that alleges her estranged husband embezzled funds owed to family members of victims of a 2018 plane crash. Lawyer, Jay Edelson, is representing the survivors in a class-action lawsuit filed against the former couple.
Former clients and business partners forced Tom into a Chapter 7 bankruptcy last year, accusing the disgraced lawyer of using settlement funds to support his lavish lifestyle and Erika’s pop star career.
In July, documents were filed which claimed that Erika and two of her companies, EJ Global LLC and Pretty Mess Inc, raked in jewelry and other assets purchased by Girardi Keese funds. The filings list several of Erika‘s alleged expenses during the marriage, including $14 million in American Express charges. Erika was also accused of hiding bank statements to avoid accountability.
In August, court docs accused the reality star of being fully aware that her lavish lifestyle was being supported by funds transferred from her estranged husband’s law firm. The trustee overseeing the case cited a “fraudulent transfer” of assets in the legal documents.
The judge presiding over the ongoing bankruptcy recently ordered American Express to release Tom’s credit card statements. The trustee has been investigating the disgraced lawyer’s finances amid an effort to pay back multiple creditors. The trustee asked the court for permission to demand that the credit card company turn over the statements, after concluding that the financial records kept by the firm were inadequate.
Both sides are currently preparing for trial, and have told the court that they recommend a January 2023 start date. The trustee revealed that ten witnesses would be deposed, along with experts who will address the financial accounting of the estate. Another expert will testify regarding the ethical responsibilities of lawyers.
Erika’s list of requirements needed for discovery includes documents and testimony from the trustee and testimony from her estranged husband. She also listed a need to depose Tom’s current and ex-employees, including the disbarred attorney’s former accountants.
Earlier this month, Bravo and RHOBH producers were dragged into the legal drama when they were hit by subpoenas from lawyers repping Tom’s alleged victims. The law firm repping the group of orphans and widows who lost loved ones in the plane crash informed a federal court judge that they had fired off subpoenas to NBCUniversal/Bravo. The lawyers want information about Tom and Erika and are likely trying to learn what Erika earns for appearing on RHOBH.
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” is currently in production.
Avigail is an Entertainment blogger at All About The Tea, who specializes in The Real Housewives of Atlanta and The Real Housewives of Potomac. Avigail has a background in marketing. She’s a Brooklynite living in the Bahamas, with a passion for travel, writing, reality TV watching, pop culture and spoken word.