Disbarred L.A. attorney Tom Girardi and his former law firm filed for bankruptcy back in 2020. They are facing a mountain of civil lawsuits as a result, from previous clients, partners and lenders who were purportedly not paid settlements and fees owed to them. (Reports indicate that more than half a billion dollars of funds were embezzled by Girardi et al to bolster their own pockets.) His now-ex-wife Erika Jayne, of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fame, has also been named in these suits, due to allegations that she helped the schemes by funneling money from the firm to her entertainment company, EJ Global. The latest in the situation is that the formerly married couple are being forced to pay back a huge chunk of money they owe via another auction.
The John Moran Auctioneers & Appraisers group is overseeing the auction of more than 200 items on September 21, with online bidding open a few days prior to, per RadarOnline. Apparently, a handful of pricey personal possessions of the Girardis are up for grabs. This includes an estimated $60,000-worth Steinway piano, some rare paintings and their library collection of first editions (such as a first edition of Niccolò Machiavelli's The Prince).
It is believed that the entire lot will bring in about $280,000 for bankruptcy allocation. Obviously, that’s no where near the alleged nine figures in total that is in question. However, 80 percent of the auction sales are slated to go directly to one of Tom Girardi’s lenders, California Attorney Lending II Inc., who already filed a $6 million claim against the 83-year-old and his firm. The other 20 percent will supposedly go to unsecured creditors with similar claims.
Nevertheless, Tom Girardi’s family had seemingly fought against certain items being part of the auction. Radar Online reported in July that his brother filed for exemptions on his behalf. He wanted to keep most of his furniture sets out of the lot, as well as the Steinway. But clearly that didn’t pan out in his favor.
This isn’t the first auction effort, though, to help the ex-attorney pay back money owed. Back in August of 2021, several other high-ticket items were up for sale, such as a Julie Roberts-signed poster of the 2000 film Erin Brockovich, which was based on the now-defunct Girardi & Keese law firm, as well as other memorabilia. But it was the lingerie pieces also included in the lot that confused Erika Jayne at the time – because she claimed they weren’t even hers.
There’s also the matter of Erika Jayne’s $1.4 million earrings she reportedly refused to hand over to the trustee who was appointed to deal with the bankruptcy claims and auctions. (A paper trail allegedly showed Tom Girardi had taken funds from a drug settlement at the firm to purchase them.) The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum fought for the earrings in court, but ultimately, a judge ordered her to turn them over because they were technically considered “stolen property” whether she knew they were at the time of receiving them or not.
The lawsuits are continuing to pile up elsewhere against Erika Jayne and her ex. Actor Nicolas Cage’s ex is suing the couple for hundreds of thousands of dollars. There’s also that $5 million civil suit, which the TV personality has said she’s being extorted in. Likewise, she got served in the $50 million class action suit on the way back from vacation. And she apparently owes several million in back taxes, to boot.
So, overall, it looks like things are still largely unsettled in these legal woes. Although you wouldn’t be able to tell too much in the currently airing twelfth season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Erika Jayne called the situation a “shame” in one episode, yet has also insinuated that certain claims have been or will be proven wrong. For more, check out new episodes airing on Wednesday nights on Bravo or next day with Peacock Premium.
Your Daily Blend of Entertainment News
Freelance writer. Favs: film history, reality TV, astronomy, French fries.