Much of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills Season 11 was spent focusing on Erika Jayne’s involvement in the alleged criminal dealings of her estranged husband, Tom Girardi, and his law firm, Girardi & Keese.
Erika is now facing another legal battle amid the ongoing issues surrounding Tom and his firm. Erika, and her company, EJ Global, were included in a new lawsuit seeking $55 million in damages.
Erika is being accused of being a “frontwoman” of an unlawful “scheme.” This new lawsuit comes off the heels of Erika being dismissed from an embezzlement suit in Illinois in January, which had originally been filed against her in December 2020.
What does this new lawsuit accuse Erika of?
The law firm Edelson PC, run by attorney Jay Edelson, is seeking the new damages from Erika Girardi, her company EJ Global LLC, and Girardi & Keese law firm. Edelson PC accuses the defendants of “racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, receipt of stolen property, aiding and abetting concealment of stolen property, money had and received, conversion, unlawful business practice, consumers legal remedies act and deceit.”
Edelson claims that “the real story is one that seems like a tale out of a John Grisham novel: Girardi Keese was little more than a criminal enterprise, disguised as a law firm,” alleging it stole over $100 million “from the firm’s clients, co-counsel, vendors, and many others unfortunate enough to do business with the firm.”
The new lawsuit claims that Erika Jayne’s celebrity status saw her act as a “frontwoman” for the firm, selling the public on its legitimacy, success, and trustworthiness. “To this day, Erika uses her significant public platform to lie about her own involvement and to try to assist Tom and the others in getting away with it,” the lawsuit claims.
The plaintiff says Erika “made the cynical decision to leverage the scandal to further her career and stay relevant in the tabloids, meaning more exposure and a larger paycheck for her next season of performing on Housewives.”
Edelson also alleged that Erika publicly lied about claims against Girardi Keese, including on episodes of RHOBH. The firm also claimed that Erika’s story about a 2017 car accident Tom had allegedly been involved in changed dramatically. Despite earlier saying Girardi had broken his ankle and was fine, Erika later claimed that Girardi had driven off the side of a cliff and suffered a traumatic brain injury. The firm said police have no record of the accident taking place and have no evidence of the crash.
Edelson PC is demanding a jury trial, meaning they’re requesting to have the case heard and decided on by citizens instead of a judge or panel of judges.
Erika filed for divorce right before the lawsuits were rolled out
Erika filed for divorce from Tom in November of 2020 after 21 years of marriage, shortly ahead of the filing of the initial suit. She has maintained her innocence from the start, blaming her own celebrity status for the heightened interest in the case.
Tom has since been living in a nursing home after he was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, and was placed into a conservatorship by his brother Robert. He was deemed medically unfit to attend any court proceedings for the foreseeable future.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns on May 11 on Bravo.