Erika Jayne, AKA Erika Girardi, is a 49-year-old woman cast on Bravo’s Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for the last 6 years. She is known for her “Erika Jayne” persona and for marrying Tom Girardi, a formerly successful lawyer famous for his work in the Erin Brockovich case. Tom Girardi is 32 years older than her, they married when Erika was 27 and he was 59.
Of their marriage, Erika Girardi wrote in her book, Pretty Mess, that Tom told her, “Listen, I’ll buy you anything you want. I don’t care what it is. You name it.”
During her tenure on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika Girardi flaunted her wealth, frequently talking about her private plane and mansion. She employed her own nail, hair and makeup artists who travel with her wherever she went. She also employed a “creative director” who choreographs dances for her and helped develop her “Erika Jayne” persona. More than even the other women on the show, Girardi showed up in designer couture and glam to all occasions. Here’s a tour of one of her three closets she published with People.
At one time, Erika Girardi bragged that she spends $40,000 a month on her appearance. Spending money was so much a part of her personality that she created and performed a song with the refrain “it’s expensive to be me”:
In 2020, Erika Jayne’s life came to a halt when it was publicly revealed that her husband Tom Girardi was suspected of stealing millions of dollars from the victims of a plane crash he represented in a class action lawsuit. Her hometown paper, the Los Angeles Times published a scathing account of exactly how Tom Girardi went from respected lawyer to scammer. He is accused of preying on “vulnerable clients” like widows and children who were orphaned by a plane crash in Indonesia and a burn victim who was injured in the Pacific Gas & Electric pipeline explosion by embezzling money that was supposed to be paid to them in settlements.
Additionally, at least one company claims they loaned money to Girardi’s law firm and that it was “improperly funneled” to his wife to use on beauty expenses. Following the allegations, most of Girardi’s employees left his law firm, even his son-in-law. A federal judge called his actions “unconscionable.” Tom says he used to have “$80 million in cash” but that he is now broke.
Soon after Tom Girardi was outed as a grifter, Erika filed for divorce. She’d previously said that she wasn’t married to Tom for his money and “It’s great to have financial support. But having someone’s emotional support is something that I wish I had more of growing up.” They had been married for 20 years. Some people have speculated the divorce is being faked in order to protect the couple from being court-ordered to use their wealth to repay the money they stole.
Tom Girardi now claims he has Alzheimer’s disease and is unable to understand legal proceedings. He joins a long line of predatory men who have a sudden onset of feebleness when asked to take accountability for their actions. He is fighting the eviction order for their Beverly Hills mansion on the grounds that he doesn’t have another place to live that is “familiar” and “close to his doctors”.
Since filing for divorce, Erika hasn’t slowed her roll. The reality cast member has continued her expensive public life. Real Housewives fans revolted after a publicity stunt where she was photographed picking up flowers from a luxury boutique on Valentine’s day. Erika does not think the public has enough information to be mad at her:
Erika says Tom handled the finances in their relationship so she doesn’t know anything about where it came from. Neither Tom nor Erika can explain where the settlement money went that was entrusted to Tom and never distributed to victims. Tom Girardi lost his license to practice law this month. As the investigation into the couple’s finances continues, the lawsuits against them are piling up and they are facing serious charges. It’s possible that they both end up in jail.