Due to the embezzlement accusations that have come to light about him, L.A. attorney Tom Girardi is now disbarred from practicing law, disowned by his partner of 20 years, Erika Jayne, and relatively penniless. Both he and his law firm Girardi Keese had to file for Chapter 7 bankruptcy as a result of the legal situation, in order to pay off creditors and former clients. The trustee appointed to the bankruptcy case has stipulated that one item from the estate in particular, a pair of diamond earrings reportedly worth $1.4 million, needed to be turned over toward that end.
However, Erika Jayne supposedly refused to hand them over – spurring a back-and-forth in court over who could claim ownership. In the latest development in the battle over the pricey jewelry, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills alum was hit with some bad news.
Judge Makes Decision In Case Over Erika Jayne's Earrings
The TV personality’s attorney had previously explained that his client wasn’t purposefully withholding the diamond earrings. Apparently, they had agreed jointly with the bankruptcy trustee to keep them in a lock box until a judge could make a decision. They also argued that the “statutes of limitations had expired” for the trustee to claim them, given how Tom Girardi had made the lofty write-off for them back in 2007.
Nonetheless, the judge ruled against the reality star in a hearing on June 28, according to a reporter for Law360. He didn’t believe that Erika Jayne knew directly of how Tom Girardi paid for the earrings – i.e. using funds meant for victims of a diabetes drug settlement – but it didn’t matter anyway because she was “still in possession of stolen property.” Consequently, she will have to turn them over as requested.
Erika Jayne And Others React To Court Ruling
In the wake of the decision, one who did speak out was the former counsel in the Chapter 7 bankruptcy case, Ronald Richards. He reacted on Twitter by writing that for "too long" the Bravolebrity has kept up the "defunct narrative" in her defense that she didn't have direct participation of stolen funds. Richards added "$25m next," a seeming reference to the huge amount she reportedly owes in asset hiding for Tom Girardi. But regardless, Erika Jayne isn't content with the ruling. In a statement from her lawyer to Us Weekly, Evan Borges shared,
Her representative had articulated to the judge that Erika Jayne took nothing when she left Tom Girardi besides personal items like the earrings in question and that she was living primarily off her paycheck for appearing on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. (Season 12 is currently airing on Wednesdays on Bravo and next day on Peacock Premium.) He added in the statement to the press that the judge taking back a “gift received by an innocent spouse” raises questions about law precedent in that regard. Ultimately, though, he said “that’s for a higher court to decide.”
Other Legal And Financial Woes For RHOBH Star
The earrings ruling is just another development in the string of bad news for the 50-year-old. Earlier this year, after escaping one civil lawsuit naming her as an accomplice in the reported schemes, Erika Jayne was hit with another major lawsuit. She’s also named in the $50 million suit that claims she was Tom Girardi's frontwoman for the supposedly biggest racketeering enterprise in history. To boot, she evidently can’t pay more than $2 million in back taxes owed by her entertainment company that Girardi allegedly managed the finances for.
Still, Erika Jayne has continued to maintain her innocence in connection to the alleged crimes. We'll keep you updated as the other issues continue to unfold.
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