New Lawsuit Alleges Erika Jayne's Divorce Was Really a Business Arrangement

Illustration for article titled New Lawsuit Alleges Erika Jayne's Divorce Was Really a Business Arrangement
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In early November, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne filed for divorce from superstar attorney Tom Girardi, a man whose cases have been featured in films like Erin Brokovich. The news seemed to come as a shock to fans, who believed Jayne’s tales of a picture perfect marriage onscreen. In an announcement that followed the news, Jayne said: “I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved.” In the weeks since, however, this facade of an amicable separation seems to have crumbled.

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Page Six reports that class action firm Edelson PC filed suit in federal court against Girardi and Jayne on Wednesday morning. Edelson PC represents victims of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed in 2018, killing 157 people. The suit alleges that Tom Girardi, whose lawfirm Girardi Keese represented victims in court, appropriated settlement funds from those same victims for personal use, to settle debts. In the suit, seen by Page Six, Edelson PC claims that Tom and Girardi Keese “are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds.” Jayne, whose “outrageous lifestlye” depends upon Girardi’s supposed fortune the suit alleges, is roped into the proceedings; Edelson PC alleges that their divorce is an attempt to “”route the money to friends and family and satisfy other outstanding debts.”

From the suit:

“While Erika publicly filed for divorce this month, on information and belief, that ‘divorce’ is simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK.”

As Page Six notes, production has officially halted on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills due to rising coronavirus cases in Los Angeles, and mounting concerns about the pandemic. No word yet on whether or not the lawsuit will be detailed in the season. But, it is not the first time Jayne and her husband have come under public scrutiny for his legal practice. Amid their divorce filing, Girardi also faced a legal malpractice lawsuit, from a widow named Judy Selberg. According to documents obtained by The Blast, Selberg, who hired Girardi to represent a wrongful death suit, alleged that she only received $50,000 out of a $500,000 settlement. Girardi was also sued in September in another set of fraud allegations.

As of press time, representatives for Erika Jayne did not respond to request for comment; this post will be updated if and when they do.

DISCUSSION

itsnotaboutthepasta
itsnotaboutthepasta

So, the argument is that Erika is divorcing Tom so that her money is protected from the lawsuit against Tom & his law firm, but they are still in love? I’m absolutely not a lawyer, but I don’t think there’s any criminality there - there’s no law saying that a couple must no longer love each other in order for the divorce to be valid, and people get married for monetary reasons all the time. Or maybe it’s because Tom’s money would be divided up to some extent in the divorce, and the ill-gotten gains shouldn’t be given to Erika (I thought there were clawback protections for situations like this)?