- Court documents claim that Erika Jayne’s husband gave her $20 million in loans from his law firm.
- Tom Girardi, 82, is accused of embezzling millions from widows and orphans of plane-crash victims.
- In a never-before-aired deposition video, Girardi said he lost $50 million in cash.
- Visit Insider’s homepage for more stories.
A lawsuit claims that Erika Jayne’s husband, Tom Girardi – who has been accused in a separate lawsuit of embezzling money from the widows and orphans of plane-crash victims – gave her $20 million in loans from funds taken from his Los Angeles law firm.
Court papers state say Girardi, 82, transferred the money from the firm Girardi Keese to the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star’s company EJ Global, according to the new ABC News special “The Housewife and the Hustler.” Insider has not been able to independently view the court filing.
Representatives for Girardi and Jayne didn’t immediately respond to Insider’s requests for comment on these claims.
‘The Housewife and the Hustler’ follows Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi’s complicated web of legal troubles
In addition to the newly publicized allegation that Jayne received a $20 million loan from Girardi’s firm, the ABC News Original special, now available on Hulu, features a never-before-aired deposition video in which Girardi – who was known for winning multimillion-dollar settlements as a personal-injury attorney – acknowledges he’s broke.
“At one point I had about $80 million, or $50 million in cash – that’s all gone,” he says in the clip. “I also had a stock portfolio of about $50 million, and that’s all gone.”
Another lawsuit highlighted in the special revealed that Jayne, 49, was subpoenaed twice to give a deposition about the couple’s assets, once on May 28 of last year and again on September 28.
The hearings were postponed for undisclosed reasons, and Jayne never sat for questioning. She filed for divorce from Girardi less than two months after the second subpoena, citing “irreconcilable differences.”
After the split made headlines, the class-action law firm Edelson PC filed a complaint claiming that the couple’s divorce was a ‘sham’
In October 2018, a new Boeing 737 Max plane crashed into the Java Sea just 13 minutes after taking off from the Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta, Indonesia, killing all 189 passengers and crew members on board.
Girardi Keese represented “nearly a dozen families” of victims of the crash in their subsequent litigation against Boeing, according to a complaint by the class-action law firm Edelson PC.
The complaint, which was filed December 2 and viewed by Insider, claimed Girardi was embezzling money from the “widows and orphans” of victims of the crash.
In its complaint, Edelson PC claims that Boeing transferred “substantial, but confidential,” settlement amounts to Girardi Keese for the victims’ families once a settlement was reached in early 2020 but that those funds were never distributed to the victims’ families. It alleges that Girardi instead kept the money “for his own purposes and doled it out to his friends and family,” including Jayne, and that the couple were using their divorce – which the complaint called a “sham” – to hide the funds.
“At the heart of this deception is Defendant Girardi and his need to fund outrageous lifestyles for himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife Erika Jayne,” the complaint continues. “To keep up their celebrity status, Tom and Erika must project a public image of obscene wealth at all times, and at whatever the cost.”
Neither Girardi nor Jayne responded to Insider’s previous requests for comment regarding Edelson PC’s lawsuit.
Bias Ramadhan, whose mother died in the Lion Air crash, spoke out against Girardi and Jayne in ‘The Housewife and the Hustler’
“We are the victims here. Not him, not Tom, not his wife. It’s only me and three of my siblings,” Bias Ramadhan, whose mother died in the crash, said in “The Housewife and the Hustler.” “We just want to know, can we get our money? And when will we get it?”
The special also featured interviews from the former “Real Housewives” cast members Danielle Staub, who starred on “The Real Housewives of New Jersey,” and Dana Wilkey, who appeared on “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Both discussed the wealthy image that stars of the franchise must display.
“There’s a huge amount of pressure to maintain the lifestyle on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,'” Wilkey said.
“The ladies, they had a tendency to always – and still do – flaunt well beyond their means,” Staub added.
Jayne has maintained she didn’t know about the lawsuits before splitting from Girardi
Jayne, who appears on the current season of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,” has discussed her legal drama with fellow cast members. In an April trailer for the new season, a fellow cast member appears to ask Jayne whether she knew about Girardi’s legal troubles; Jayne says she didn’t.
Insider’s Stephanie Clifford reported in March that Jayne had since been listed in “at least five lawsuits” against Girardi. She’s been listed as a codebtor for personal payments to American Express and the Bel-Air Country Club, and as co-owing money to Girardi Keese clients who had yet to receive their settlement money from cases.
Meanwhile, Girardi has been forced into involuntary bankruptcy
The bankruptcy trustees are now liquidating his assets to pay back creditors, according to “The Housewife and the Hustler.” They’re also asking for special counsel to recover assets from Jayne, who, according to the documentary claims that many of the items were gifts to her and thus separate property.
A judge held Girardi in civil contempt in December after he declined to explain why he couldn’t pay $2 million to four of his clients in the Boeing case.
Girardi is currently ineligible to practice law and is also facing charges of misappropriating client funds by the State Bar of California. A Los Angeles psychiatrist has since concluded he has late-onset Alzheimer’s disease, as part of his brother Robert’s petition to be named Girardi’s conservator.