Erika Jayne’s Legal Team Is Reportedly In Early Talks To Settle Her $25 Million Lawsuit
Erika Jayne has been fending off a $25 million lawsuit and has spent the entirety of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills spinning tales of wonder and excitement about her estranged husband, Tom Girardi‘s, many ills. There was Tom fighting off a burglar and needing surgery and. But while Erika seemed intent on making Tom look like a frail innocent old man and not the shady lawyer who stole millions of dollars from people who suffered losses of family members or personal traumas, he tossed her ass under the bus and said that he believes she knew about his schemes. Granted, Tom has been under conservatorship and is suffering from Alzheimer’s-related dementia and is currently in a care home, so he’s not the most reliable witness right now. But she is?
Erika may have hit a stroke of luck, though, as her lawyers and the lawyers of Tom’s victims are reportedly talking settlement, so she may have a new storyline next season on RHOBH after all!
When Tom was exposed as a thief and the financial experts went over the books, they found that the law firm where Tom was partner, Girardi Keese, had paid Erika’s company, EJ Global, $25 million stolen from clients, including the families of the victims of the Lion Air Flight 610 plane crash. Over the years, EJ Global used it on credit card bills, assistants, and a glam squad, and a judge ruled that Tom’s embezzlement victims could collect payments from Erika because of it. So they’ve been trying but as you can imagine the salary of a Real Housewife/Sugar Baby who recently lost her sugar is not really gonna pay off $25 million.
Girardi Keese is worse off and owes $101 million in mishandled funds. They held an auction of Erika Jayne memorabilia to help pay off debts. Us Weekly says the auction was expected to pull in $50,000 but managed to rack in $203,155 instead. But that hasn’t fully satiated the bankruptcy trustee’s lawyer, Ronald Richards, who has been coming after the firm and Erika.
The estate trustee is therefore asking the bankruptcy judge to approve cash collateral to keep the process going and to settle the estate’s finances. The outstanding funds will be used to pay off a variety of creditors, including some of Tom and his law firm’s former clients.
Ronald spoke to Us Weekly and said that while he wants to collect money from Erika, he’s ready to talk settlement. He said that he didn’t want to “waste any more money on legal fees or whoever is paying the fees,” and “would rather have her pay the victims than her lawyers.”
“I can’t get into the settlement discussion, but we are trying to resolve the case with her attorney. This is the $25 million that [Tom Girardi’s] law firm paid on behalf of Erika to cover her expenses over a 12-year period.”
Ronald told Page Six that he hadn’t had any “specific settlement negotiations” but he was “trying to resolve the case but we are not actively trading offers or going to mediation. I am trying to set up a process.”
Meanwhile, Erika’s team is wondering why Ronald is talking to the media. Her lawyer, Evan C. Borges, confirmed to Page Six that settlement talks were happening but said they were “supposed to be confidential between counsel” and that it was still in a “preliminary” stage but “nothing substantive is happening.”
“It appears that my opposing counsel Mr. Richards has been discussing publicly what he calls settlement discussions. Here’s the truth: Mr. Richards has reached out and told me that he and the trustee want to settle. I have listened and will continue to listen. That’s it… It’s also another example of a baffling statement by Richards on a subject that lawyers aren’t supposed to discuss publicly, which doesn’t help anyone and seems designed to promote himself.”
He went on, and added that Erika “has little in the way of assets and limited income” and that if a settlement happens, it would require “a drastic discount.”
“I can’t say enough that based on the evidence and law, Erika does not have liability for any of the claims against her. All the claims against Erika amount to efforts to blame her for the actions of others, including Girardi Keese and Tom Girardi. [Erika] depends on her [RHOBH] income to get by… There is no hidden treasure of assets. Everyone keeps piling on and trashing Erika for things she didn’t do. Keep in mind, Tom Girardi was a very powerful and wealthy attorney during his marriage to Erika. Erika has a 12th-grade education and was never involved in the management of the firm. Whatever happened with the firm and Tom Girardi is for them to answer.”
Poor Erika! Her lawyer said she’s only as smart as an American 12th grader! Pre-TikTok education, mind you–so she’s actually smarter than current 12th graders, I’d argue. Smart enough to pull off these financial schemes, I’d say probably not. If she was, how come her stories on Housewives are so all over the place? It’s called a cohesive narrative.
Pic: Judy Eddy/WENN