Merry Christmas, mofos! Or at least a Merry Christmas episode for the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, who gathered around the table to partake in turkey and freshly roasted Erika Jayne.
Last week, while wrapping up their vacation in La Quinta, the women all got alerts for the LA Times story about Tom Girardi and Erika that laid out all of the lawsuits against Tom and opened the floodgates of conspiracy theories as to what Erika knew and whether or not it motivated her to file for divorce—and whether or not the divorce was a ploy to hide assets. It’s a lot to keep up with, I know, but luckily the ladies of Beverly Hills didn’t have to trouble themselves with reading a whole news article, because lead investigator Sutton Stacke had combed through the entire thing and taken notes before she even poured her morning cup.
Unsatisfied with the level of journalism at the LA Times, Sutton doubled down on her own personal investigation Wednesday night, where she attended a secret meeting of all the ladies without Erika and broke out three sheets of notes and a recap of what she’d learned by talking to a lawyer. Why did she talk to a lawyer? Because she’s rich as fuck and on the board of a bunch of organizations. Plus, there’s the added incentive of keeping her reputation from being ruined by Ms. It’s Expensive to Be Me. Or as Sutton herself put it, “Listen, Ruth Madoff doesn’t have any friends.”
Where’s the lie?
During the secret meeting, Dorit and Kyle appeared to be on Team Sutton and agreed that Erika needed to be pressed so that the women weren’t seen to be supporting someone who may have known that their husband was mishandling lawsuit winnings that should have gone to plane crash victims and orphans. Lisa Rinna was the only one who seemed hellbent on letting sleeping dogs lie, but then again Lisa has never been known to have a single well-thought-out opinion.
Things came to a head when all the women (plus Teddi) gathered at Kyle’s house and launched into the Erika Inquisition. The second she walked through the door, Erika was extremely low energy, as if already mentally girding her loins against women she pretends to like for a living. That or she was merely exhausted from that day’s divorce proceedings. Or both.
But as soon as the questions started coming, Erika transformed into a new character she’s been workshopping all season, Meek Erika. She quietly deflected nearly every question and attempted to guilt the women for reading much less discussing an article that was published in a reputable newspaper. But after the women had retreated slightly, Meek Erika actually defended Tom claiming that what he had been accused of, embezzlement, was a direct result of his “diminished capacity” and his mental deterioration. When this episode was filmed in December of last year, Tom had not yet been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s. It wasn’t until early 2021 that he was diagnosed and eventually put under a conservatorship. Erika attributed his diminished capacity to a car crash he suffered three years prior but the acts of which Tom is being accused go back ten years.
This unclear timeline seems to be what bothers Sutton Stracke, aspiring detective, the most. “All I’m saying is 2+2=4. And I’m not even good at math,” she said while attempting to piece together all of the moving parts in Erika’s story.
Personally, I’m not a fan of Sutton or what she brings to the RHOBH table but in this case—despite her selfish motivations behind asking questions—she is essentially playing the role of the viewer. Folks who have watched RHOBH and enjoyed Erika’s character on the show are desperate to know what all is going on and Erika certainly won’t be the person to answer those questions, because she never has been. But now she finds herself in a situation where she has to speak, and do so carefully, if she wants to come out with her career intact.
If it takes Sutton putting on a detective hat and taking a magnifying glass to Erika’s marriage I am here for it.