Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills' Kyle Richards Opens Up About Erika Jayne's Divorce And Legal Issues

screenshot erika jayne real housewives of beverly hills
(Image credit: Bravo)

The legal situation surrounding Erika Jayne and her soon-to-be ex husband, Tom Girardi, has been steadily intensifying over the last year. Girardi is faced with bankruptcy and lawsuits that accuse him of embezzling from clients (the most egregious of which claim he stole money meant for "widows and orphans" in a flight crash settlement). Given how their money is tied together as a married couple, Erika Jayne has even been implicated in the issues. She has yet to comment publicly on the accusations beyond divorcing Girardi. But the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ Kyle Richards is frank and open about the toll of this legal drama on her co-star.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills has teased that tonight’s episode will finally show the group learning about Erika Jayne’s legal problems. Several of the ladies were seen with shocked expressions as they find out the first of it all on their phones. In an interview with E! Online, Kyle Richards shared what the dramatic turn of events was like for them all in real-time:

It honestly was waking up every day to headlines and just, kind of, watching her life.... I don't know. For lack of a better word, crumbling before her eyes. It was a 20-year marriage and all that happening with the stuff in the news and the lawsuits and this and everything, it was so much. It was happening while we were all together. So, there's a lot of stuff coming out and it's going to be a very challenging season for her.

Currently, Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is only three episodes into Season 11 and, so far as she shows on-camera, you wouldn’t know that there's any trouble on the horizon for Erika Jayne. She jokes and participates with the other ladies and still dresses to the nines any chance she gets. In fact, during their trip to Lake Tahoe, Erika Jayne had nothing but glowing words about her husband, saying how he lets her be herself and she does the same for him.

So from a viewer’s perspective, you wouldn’t think Erika Jayne already knew about the legal drama, going into their girls' trip. Yet in the past few months, she has often been accused of knowing about her husband's alleged activities all along. It has even been alleged that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star's marriage to Tom Girardi was a falsehood in itself. According to Kyle Richards though, she doesn’t think Erika Jayne knew, either. She said:

To me, it's easy to judge someone on reality television. She's someone that has dealt with that for years, even before reality television was a part of her life. So, when the audience watches the show, they have to remember, this was six months ago. It was literally unfolding as we were filming. Every day it was another headline, another story coming out, and some of them were devastating and I'm sure some people think, 'Oh, she knew…' and all that shady stuff they're talking about. But you really don't know, and if you know Erika you think, ‘Well, why would she have known all of this stuff?’

Kyle Richards elaborated that she thinks the sharing of legal details between Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi just wasn’t “the relationship they had,” given his stature as a high-profiled lawyer. The situation is still unfolding, but viewers will get to hear her side (or what she chooses to reveal) throughout the current season of the Bravo show. In the Season 11 trailer, Erika Jayne appeared to be cautious about saying anything incriminating but, ahead of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills premiere, she did take the time to thank fans for their support.

We’ll find out more tonight, June 9, for the next episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills to find out more. But likely the other dramas, Lisa Rinna vs. Garcelle Beauvais and Sutton Stracke vs. Crystal Kung Minkoff, will start to fall to the wayside as this new drama takes center stage.

Lauren Vanderveen
Movies and TV News Writer

Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.