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Erika Jayne Reveals Why She Stayed On Real Housewives Even After Tom Girardi's Legal Troubles

screenshot erika jayne
(Image credit: Bravo)

L.A. lawyer Tom Girardi is in some very serious legal trouble. In November, news first broke that he evidently embezzled millions of dollars meant for creditors and clients, some of whom were airplane crash victims and their families. The spotlight quickly turned to Girardi's wife Erika Jayne, who had just started to film Season 11 of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills at the time. When the going got tough, she could have easily bowed out of the show, but the reality star says she's “not a quitter.”

On the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ first of Season 11’s four reunion specials, Andy Cohen didn't hesitate to start digging into Erika Jayne and her tumultuous legal issues this past year. In fact, he asked whether she ever considered quitting the show. She frankly said she thought about it and that her own lawyers advocated for her to quit. But apparently, she considered the prospect a lose-lose situation no matter what she did. She said,

I had nothing to hide. And [my lawyers] said, ‘Well, you know, that can get flipped around on you.’ … Everything can be parsed, twisted, turned, and yes, possibly used against you whether it is true or not. It almost doesn't even matter at this point…I'm not a quitter, and I wanted to honor my commitment. And I wasn’t going to run away from what's coming at me.

Some would argue, namely Andy Cohen, that Erika Jayne needed the Real Housewives gig after deciding to divorce Tom Girardi and give up their lavish lifestyle. (Reportedly, the reality star made more than $600,000 for this past season alone.) At the reunion, though, Erika Jayne shared that she wasn't even thinking about that while filming because she was just “trying to survive.” However, she said that needing that paycheck has “come more into consideration" nowadays.

When Erika Jayne inevitably didn't quit the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, many online actually called for her to be fired. She hasn't been formally charged with any crime, but the trustee in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case for Tom Girardi’s law firm has accused Erika Jayne of some culpability, which has resulted in her being sued left and right. Erika Jayne has also faced backlash for being provocative on social media and blasé on the show amidst mounting concerns for the victims involved. But the Real Housewives alum said at the reunion that the court of public opinion should hear her out:

Why should I be fired? Why are we presuming that I’ve done something? Why aren’t we letting the legal process play out? You’ve heard one side, and a lot of bullshit on that side. Give me a chance to defend myself. Watch me. I’m ready for the challenge. Watch me do it.

Erika Jayne said a lot of other things, too, at the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion, including that she told Tom Girardi to divorce her at one point. Plus, that she was disappointed by her co-stars reactions on the show, and that she’s in serious need of some “hot sex.”

This is only Part 1 of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunions. With three more to go, I wonder what other confessions Erika Jayne has in store. To see for yourself, the Bravo show airs on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. EST.

Lauren Vanderveen

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