Erika Jayne quickly rose in the ranks of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills for her glamorous wardrobe, cold demeanor, and impressive second life as a stage performer. Even more intriguing was her 20-year marriage to lawyer Tom Girardi, the inspiration behind the Erin Brockovich film, who is 33 years her senior. Their marriage will supposedly take center stage this year on the Real Housewives due to Girardi being entangled in embezzlement lawsuits and involuntary bankruptcy, and now it seems the legal troubles will be the focus of another show as well.
In the aftermath of the allegations, the Girardis are heading for divorce and their once opulent lifestyle is at risk. According to Variety, the legal troubles of Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi will be the focus of an ABC News Original special to premiere exclusively on Hulu on June 14. It is called The Housewife and the Hustler and will feature legal and Real Housewives franchise prominents to discuss the ongoing case. Of them, former O.J. Simpson prosecutor Chris Darden, commentator Heather McDonald, and Real Housewives alums Danielle Staub and Dana Wilkey were interviewed.
The trailer for The Housewife and The Hustler using Fergie’s “Glamorous” is but one hint that the show will likely lean closer to an E! True Hollywood Story bent rather than a serious legal investigation. Even more telling is the inclusion of former Real Housewives of New Jersey star Danielle Staub as a talking head. Staub is notorious on the Bravo network for stirring up gossip and throwing shade, as seen just recently with her phoning in on the Real Housewives of New Jersey Season 11 reunion special. Given how Staub is not a known close contact to Erika Jayne, it seems what will mostly be offered up is commentary and speculation about the legal situation.
Real Housewives of Beverly Hills appears to be angling for something similar. Erika Jayne was shown in the Season 11 trailer as seemingly finding out about her husband’s legal woes while in the midst of filming. Her co-stars are also shown learning the news and interrogating Erika Jayne about what she knew. It hasn’t yet come up in the season airing now, but in the trailer, Erika Jayne is heard saying, “No one knows the answer but him.”
The particulars of Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi’s legal situation are more than a little confusing. But so far, we know bankruptcy was declared against Girardi and his law firm, with speculation circulating that Girardi was running a Ponzi scheme. Erika Jayne has been implicated because her company, EJ Global, reportedly got loans from Girardi’s law firm that number in the tens of millions of dollars. As a result, her and Girardi’s property and assets are being called into question to pay off their creditors.
It sounds pretty dire for the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, who just last year was on top of the world, starring on Broadway in Chicago and having a $40,000 a month glam squad. Real Housewives of Salt Lake City’s Jen Shah has been facing similar legal circumstances and questions regarding her overt displays of wealth, which resulted in her arrest and further drama. Still, Shah isn't faced with two shows focused on her downfall like Erika Jayne - yet.
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.
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