I’m not going to assume you’ve read the entirety of the Los Angeles Times article published in December 2020 about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’s Erika and Tom Girardi – it’s quite long and even Kyle Richards, who sometimes wears glasses, couldn’t finish it. The gist is that Erika flashed her lawyer husband’s wealth, mostly acquired (and allegedly stolen from) the victims of high-profile lawsuits centering medical malpractice, environmental hazards, and plane crashes, until the couple ran out of money. For at least a decade, Girardi was accused of running his firm like a Ponzi scheme, according to the Times.
Tom was actively being sued during the filming of RHOBH season 11. At that point, Erika had not been specifically named in any legal suits, even though Tom’s firm Girardi & Keese had transferred $20 million of possibly stolen funds into her company EJ Global LLC (which is, as far as I can tell, a dance studio? A chill space for her friend Mikey Minden to hang out at? It was never clear). Today, People obtained court documents that personally name Erika Girardi, as well as her company EJ Global LLC, estranged husband’s lawfirm Girardi & Keese, and its lenders in a lawsuit seeking no less than $55 million in damages.
A firm called Edelson PC filed the charges, accusing the defendants of “racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, receipt of stolen property, aiding and abetting concealment of stolen property, money had and received, conversion, unlawful business practice, consumers legal remedies act and deceit.” They are demanding a jury trial.
The lawsuit documents also claim that Girardi Keese operated “what we now know was the largest criminal racketeering enterprise in the history of plaintiffs' law," stealing more than “$100 million dollars from the firm's clients, co-counsel, vendors, and many others unfortunate enough to do business with the firm."
Erika is named as "the 'frontwoman' of the operation, selling to the world (including unsuspecting clients) that Girardi Keese was successful” by flaunting her massive wealth on television.” Indeed, she flaunted. That was her whole thing: It was XXpen$ive to be her. But prospective litigators be warned, you will have a hard time pinning this frontwoman down. After all, even Andy Cohen couldn’t get the steely former pop star, who is self-admittedly an enigma wrapped in a riddle and cash, to fess up.