The reality star’s lawyer filed a proof of claim in connection to her estranged husband’s involuntary bankruptcy case, in which Erika reiterates that she had nothing to do with the once famed attorney’s misdeeds.
Tom’s alleged victims have all made similar claims—that the attorney was awarded settlement funds after winning various lawsuits—but then made excuses to dodge turning over the funds. Tom’s defunct law firm, Girardi Keese, is accused of being in the hole for over $101 million.
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. The lawyer repping the family members revealed in November that financial records prove that “money that belonged to the surviving widows and orphans of the victims of that plane crash had, in fact, been used to make payments for Erika or her companies.” The lawyer and the trustee hammered out an agreement that allowed Erika to be personally sued by the widows and orphans of the crash victims. Joseph Ruigomez, a fire burn victim, claims that he’s owed $11 million. Tom represented Ruigomez after he was injured in a 2010 gas pipeline explosion.
Erika, who announced her impending divorce from Tom in November 2020, continued to claim that she had no knowledge of the disbarred lawyer’s shady business practices in newly filed court documents. Erika noted in the filing that any money owed to her ex from past cases should be classified as community property.
“[Erika] should not be liable for and has complete defenses to such third party claims, as they are based on the actions of [Tom Girardi] and others, in which [Erika] had no part,” Erika’s lawyer stated.
Lawyer, Ronald Richards, who played a past role in investigating the RHOBH star’s finances, was the first to break the news on the filing.
Erika’s reiterated claim of innocence comes in the wake of a new lawsuit that alleges that she aided and abetted her ex’s alleged scams for her own personal gain.
Erika’s lawyer, Evan Borges, brushed off the allegations in comments to Radar Online.
“The bottom line is Erika believed, as did most of the legal community, that her husband was extremely wealthy. Erika has no law degree and never worked at the law firm. She was an entertainer,” he said.
Borges added—”Erika had no knowledge of any of [Tom Girardi’s] misconduct. The focus should be on [Tom Girardi], others at his firm who had law degrees, the [Girardi Keese] employees who managed the money, and outside accountants and others who enabled what [Tom Girardi] did. Remember that in many [Girardi Keese] client cases, [Girardi Keese] had co-counsel who also had a duty to clients and responsibility to make sure the cases were handled the right way.”
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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.