Erika Jayne Accused of Being "Frontwoman" for "Criminal Enterprise" in $50 Million Lawsuit

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne's legal troubles are far from over as she's accused of being the "frontwoman" in ex Tom Girardi's "scheme" in new court docs.

By Allison Crist Apr 05, 2022 11:43 PMTags
Watch: Erika Jayne Says She's the "Whipping Girl" Amid Legal Drama

Erika Jayne's legal troubles aren't over yet.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and her company EJ Global LLC, along with the law firm founded by her estranged husband Tom Girardi and its lenders, were named in a new legal docs filed by Edelson PC on April 5.

According to court documents obtained by E! News, Chicago-based law firm Edelson PC is seeking no less than $55 million in damages from the defendants for alleged crimes that include racketeering, receipt of stolen property, unlawful business practice, deceit and more.

The 67-page lawsuit draft details the many allegations, calling Tom's law firm, Girardi Keese, "the largest criminal racketeering enterprise in the history of plaintiffs' law." 

"All told," the documents state, "it stole more than $100 million dollars from the firm's clients, co-counsel, vendors, and many others unfortunate enough to do business with the firm."

In order to pull off their alleged "scheme," Edelson PC claims that Giarardi Keese "was siphoning off millions to fund Tom's and Erika's all-consuming need to spend." 

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"The couple certainly played up the part of flaunting their wealth and the fact that Tom was a powerful attorney who wooed celebrities, judges, and politicians alike," the lawsuit states. "But that money was not earned by the firm or by Tom, but was stolen: from co-counsel, from vendors with long overdue bills, and—by far the most unforgiveable [sic] for an attorney—from the firm's own injured clients."


As for Erika's specific involvement, Edelson PC claims that Erika "acted as the 'frontwoman' of the operation, selling to the world (including unsuspecting clients) that Girardi Keese was successful." 

"And she was exceptionally good in the role," the documents continue. "With tens of millions of dollars backing her, Erika shamelessly displayed a nationwide showroom of the money they stole on Real Housewives, famously spending $40,000 per month on her 'look,' and releasing a song called 'XXPEN$IVE'—featuring the refrain 'It's expensive to be me.'"

Edelson PC is also accusing Erika of interfering with exposure of the fraud. As the lawsuit put it, "Erika uses her significant public platform to lie about her own involvement and to try to assist Tom and the others in getting away with it."

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Going into detail about her stint on the latest season of RHOBH—much of which was spent documenting Erika's legal issues—Edelson PC describes the Bravo star as not showing "any remorse or compassion for the victims." 

"Though it would have been understandable for Erika to withdraw from the show," the lawsuit reads, "or at least choose not to talk about her legal problems on national television, she instead made the cynical decision to leverage the scandal to further her career and stay relevant in the tabloids, meaning more exposure and a larger paycheck for her next season of performing on Housewives."

Edelson PC specifically cites several comments made by Erika on both RHOBH and Watch What Happens Live, including the story she told about Tom's 2017 car accident in Pasadena. 

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The lawsuit is also critical of Erika's social media antics. "On the same day that her involvement in the scheme was exposed in court filings, Erika tweeted a picture of herself on to her nearly 500,000 Twitter followers captioned 'High Drama,'" the documents state. "When a federal judge found that Tom had 'misappropriated' at least $2 million from his Lion Air Clients, she posted a scantily clad picture of herself on Instagram for her 2.5 million followers captioned, 'Got buffoons eatin' my pu$$y while I watch cartoons.'" 

E! News has reached out to Erika's reps for comment.

Filming for RHOBH season 12 is currently underway. Season 11 extensively documented both Erika's split from Tom—she filed for divorce in November 2020—and their subsequent legal troubles. She's previously been outspoken about her alleged innocence, insisting that if it weren't for her own status as a reality-TV star, the situation "would be a bad legal story and I think it would have gone away," she told E! News in February. "I do think that because I am on a reality TV show, it is magnified. I think that because of what I've done professionally, it is magnified."

(E! and Bravo are both part of the NBCUniversal family.)

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