Lawyer suing ‘Real Housewives’ star Erika Jayne and her husband subpoenas Bravo for unaired TV footage

Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
Erika Girardi attends Rihanna's Savage x Fenty show at the Los Angeles Convention Center in October 2020—one month before filing for divorce from husband Tom. Photo credit Jerritt Clark/Getty Images
By , KNX 1070 Newsradio

The Bravo cable network has been subpoenaed by a Chicago attorney suing Tom and Erika Girardi in connection with the alleged embezzlement of settlement money meant for the families of plane crash victims.

Mrs. Girardi, professionally known as “Erika Jayne,” is a castmember of the Bravo reality TV show "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills."

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Jay Edelson, who previously worked with famed class-action attorney Tom Girardi representing families impacted by the crash of Lion Air Flight 610 in 2018, has alleged his former colleague siphoned off settlement funds for the couple’s personal use.

Tom and his L.A. law firm, Girardi Keese, “are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds,” Edelson’s complaint stated, claiming the “need to fund outrageous lifestyles for himself and his soon-to-be ex-wife Erika Jayne” was the reason the couple suddenly filed for divorce late last year.

Edelson claimed the divorce was a smoke screen, functioning to protect assets allegedly stolen by the Girardis by assigning them to Erika Jayne as part of a divorce settlement.

“We are very confident that Bravo has information that will be helpful in our efforts to recover client money stolen by Tom Girardi,” Edelson told The New York Post in a statement.

“This includes unaired footage of Erika and Tom. And it includes documentary evidence, including contracts Erika entered into to be on the Real Housewives and email and text correspondence with the Bravo team. We are hopeful that Bravo chooses a path of cooperation instead of using this tragedy to increase ratings and make a fortune for itself,” he said.

In a separate statement to Fox News, Edelson lambasted Bravo for continuing to showcase Erika Jayne’s luxurious lifestyle on the show, “eat[ing] caviar pie and drink[ing] specially-made vodka served by white-gloved staff” as castmembers “pay lip service to the lives Tom has ruined.”

“The victims have watched Erika cry crocodile tears as she is ‘forced’ to live in a $10,000-a-month apartment while she and her glam squad parade around in a lifestyle few of us will ever know,” Edelson added.

Erika Jayne’s attorney characterized the subpoena as a “desperation move” and “pile-on directed at Erika.”

“There is no hidden treasure, which we have supported by providing counsel for the bankruptcy trustee with all relevant bank account and financial information in Erika’s possession,” he said, referring to a separate bankruptcy lawsuit in which the reality star is accused of owing Girardi Keese clients $25 million in misappropriated funds.

“I realize it is not as sensational but it is time for everyone to direct their focus and questions to Tom Girardi and the Girardi Keese law firm,” her attorney insisted.

Erika Jayne has repeatedly asserted both on camera and off that she knew nothing of her husband’s alleged embezzlement activities.

Mr. Girardi, 82, who has been placed under conservatorship and is said to be suffering from Alzheimer’s and dementia, recently told a Post journalist that he believed his wife knew he was using client settlement funds for their own benefit.

Bravo has not yet publicly indicated whether it intends to comply with or challenge the subpoena. It is not the first time the network has had its footage yanked in the midst of legal troubles. In 2009, the FBI demanded raw video of the short-lived Real Housewives of D.C. after one castmember was implicated in gatecrashing a White House event.

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