the law

Erika Jayne Hit With $25 Million Claim in Tom Girardi Bankruptcy Proceedings

Photo: Bravo

As Erika Jayne implored her Real Housewives of Beverly Hills co-stars to “please, look at your bank accounts” on July 14’s episode amid her divorce from Tom Girardi, her finances were put under new scrutiny, too. A lawyer overseeing the bankruptcy filing for her estranged husband’s law firm, Girardi Keese, claimed in a July 14 filing that Jayne received over $25 million from the firm — money she allegedly owes amid claims that the firm, and Girardi, embezzled money from clients. People reported that the filing by bankruptcy trustee lawyer Ronald Richards claimed Jayne and her businesses received jewelry, other “luxury items,” and lottery payments from Girardi Keese cases totaling $25 million as Jayne and Girardi Keese “conspired to conceal” the money during bankruptcy proceedings. Richards is asking for an order for Jayne and her businesses, EJ Global, LLC, and Pretty Mess, Inc., to pay the $25 million to Girardi Keese, so it can be distributed to various creditors of the firm. Jayne’s attorney did not reply to a request for comment, but a Jayne source told People, “No merit, no investigation, no proof, just more harassment.” Relatedly, the new filing comes a week after a judge ruled that Jayne could be pursued for $11 million in collections by three of Girardi’s embezzlement victims, related to money she allegedly received from Girardi Keese.

Jayne filed for divorce from Girardi in November 2020, a month before Girardi Keese filed for bankruptcy amid multiple embezzlement claims, including a class-action suit by families of plane-crash victims represented by the firm. Her luxurious lifestyle has been of particular interest throughout the bankruptcy developments, with Richards writing in the new filing, “Erika has used her glamor and notoriety to continue to aid and abet in sham transactions that have occurred with respect to large transfers of assets from the Debtor.” Last month, Richards — who has previously been criticized by Jayne’s legal team for social-media comments made against her and Girardi — expressed concern in a filing that Jayne “may further dissipate the Debtor’s assets” without quick action. In the new July 14 filing, per People, Richards claimed Jayne and her businesses have “refused to return” the money and “continue to derive benefit from their wrongful acts.”

Meanwhile, July 14’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills focused heavily on Jayne’s divorce from Girardi, with Jayne denying allegations that it was a front related to the bankruptcy and embezzlement issues. “What’s being said, I mean, it’s insane that my divorce is a sham. But nobody cares about the facts,” Jayne told Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna over FaceTime, during a scene that took place in December 2020. She continued that she “wouldn’t fucking know” how to hide assets in bankruptcy proceedings, and insisted that she was caught in Girardi Keese’s larger troubles. “It is the firm that they’re dragging in,” Jayne told her co-stars. “So they’re suing the firm, and I’m being attached to it.” Later, speaking to Rinna and Crystal Kung Minkoff at her home, Jayne said her husband “steals from widows and orphans,” repeating a claim made often throughout the legal proceedings. “People think that Erika Jayne brought down Tom Girardi,” she said during a confessional. “Tom Girardi brought down Tom Girardi.”

Erika Jayne Hit With $25 Million Claim in Girardi Bankruptcy