The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Diana Jenkins has been called out over how she announced a $100,000 donation to the families of victims killed in the 2018 Lion Air crash in Indonesia.
Jay Edelson, one of the attorneys whose law firm is suing Tom and Erika Girardi on behalf of the families, said he did not think a press release she made about the move was “appropriate,” and added that he hoped it wasn’t a PR stunt.
While the lawyer recognized that the millionaire’s heart might be in the right place, he said he didn’t appreciate how she went about revealing the donation from her Sunela Foundation.
And he feels that Diana may not have done all the appropriate due diligence before making such a public statement about her donation.
The founder of Edelson PC said, “While Ms. Jenkins may be well-intentioned, we do not believe that issuing a press release and soliciting donations from the public without having done the necessary legwork is an appropriate way to proceed.”
The attorney continued, “That being said, we hope that this is not a publicity stunt and will reserve judgment until we hear directly from her.”
RHOBH star Diana Jenkins’ $100,000 donation ‘unannounced’
Speaking to Page Six, he appeared baffled that Diana or her team didn’t contact his firm before making the announcement, and revealed that they found out about her foundation’s move like everyone else, by reading the press or social media.
He said, “Ms. Jenkins never reached out to our firm and, other than what we have seen in the press, we know nothing about her claimed plans to donate money to the victims of this horrible tragedy.”
He further clarified that some of the victims were compensated by his firm during the summer.
He said, “As we previously announced, we have compensated the victims and are involved in ongoing litigation with those we believe were involved in the Girardi Ponzi scheme to both recoup our money and hopefully get additional damages for the Lion Air clients.”
At the time, Alex Tievsky, a lawyer at Edelson PC, explained that they didn’t want the victims to spend more time waiting for their settlement funds while legal moves against Tom, which also involve his RHOBH star wife Erika Girardi, were ongoing.
Diana Jenkins says her donation has nothing to do with ongoing lawsuits
In response to Edelson’s comments, a member of Diana’s team told Page Six that she was making the donation only because she felt bad for the victims and wanted to help them.
The representative said, “This has nothing to do with any past or ongoing litigation. It is simply a way for Ms. Jenkins, Sunela Foundation, and its nonprofit partner GVNG to support the victims’ families.”
Diana’s rep added, “To the extent, there are legitimate efforts made to provide donations, 100 percent will go directly to the victims.”
Diana herself said on the show that she wasn’t aware of the plane crash before the ladies started questioning Erika. In one of her confessionals, she said she thought that her costars should talk less and do more.
That’s why shortly after, she started her foundation, the Sunela Foundation.
She explained her position about the Lion Air move on social media last week and invited people to donate to the victims.
Viewers could see how Erika feels about Diana’s donation, as it may be brought up at the reunion — which Diana attended virtually.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Wednesdays at 8/7c on Bravo.