“We just didn’t know how snake it was going to be on the road.”
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne and her husband Tom Girardi were put under the microscope for a new ABC News special that premieres today on Hulu. “The scammer and the housewife”.
The hour-long documentary comes after the reality star’s attorney husband was accused of misappropriating settlements in several cases, including money owed to the families of the victims of a 2018 Boeing plane crash in Indonesia. Erika filed for divorce in November 2020, and many wondered how much she knew about her husband’s supposedly shady behavior … while Tom has been bankrupt, reportedly diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is under guardianship.
While “The Hustler and the Housewife” didn’t contain a ton of new revelations, it did include interviews with some of Girardi’s alleged victims, as well as a very random appearance by “Real Housewives of New Jersey” alum Danielle Staub. .. who intervened with some spikes thrown at Erika.
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Staub and Erika worked at the same strip club back in the day, though not at the same time. Danielle said that their interactions were mainly during appearances on “Watch What Happens Live”. “I didn’t get the best vibe from her, but I know a lot of fake people and it turns out that she’s just one of them,” Danielle told the camera.
Of Erika’s pop star career, Staub also added: “I liked that even though she can’t keep the tune, she was singing. She was entertaining. She is entertaining.” Regarding “Housewives” in general, he added: “Ladies have a tendency to brag and still do, far beyond their means.”
Tom and Erika’s wealth on the Bravo reality show was a big talking point throughout the special, as the two were criticized for their very open and quirky lifestyles … lifestyles that May they have been financed with money that was not theirs to spend.
“I can’t imagine being a victim and watching any episode of Real Housewives and seeing Erika Jayne go through her extensive shoe collection, her closet, her house, her private plane, go on a trip and flaunt all this wealth without wondering where. it came from, “ABC’s Sunny Host said during the show.
Former OJ Simpson prosecutor Chris Darden expressed surprise at seeing Tom on “Housewives,” while attorney Brian Kabateck said the couple’s conversation about their private jets on the show was “most gruesome.” He added: “That’s, I think, crossing the line in what we do. We represent people who are victims of big corporations and rich people, and here he is saying that he is super rich and that he is basically the man. We are suing the man, you don’t want to be the man and he’s showing people that he’s the man. “
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Kim Archie, who used to work as a legal consultant for Girardi’s firm, also criticized Tom’s lack of “decorum” when it comes to his wealth. “There are a lot of lawyers who have private jets and beautiful houses, but there is a way to do it and a way that is basically like a middle finger to people,” he said.
Most of the special focused on a handful of Tom’s alleged victims, including the Ruigomez family. Joe Ruigomez was only 19 years old when a gas pipe exploded under his home in San Bruno, California in 2010. While escaping hell with burns all over his body, his girlfriend was found dead. The Ruigomezes hired Girardi’s company to take over Pacific Gas & Electric.
“We just didn’t know how snake it was going to be on the road,” Joe’s sister told ABC. Joe, meanwhile, said that Tom often talked to him about Erika and even showed the music videos he financed.
Girardi apparently settled the case without informing the Ruigomez family, although they were happy with the amount. “The number Tom got, he agreed with that number,” Joe said. “Simply put, it was a good amount and it made me feel comfortable, it made me feel like it would cover any problems in life and something else.”
But when it came time to get the money, Girardi was slow to deliver and claimed he had to give them monthly payments as ordered by the court. However, the court denied that this was the case. The Ruigomez family even shared voicemails from Tom on the special, which overheard him say how he cared for the family more than in any other case he has fought in the past. “When I hear the voice, my stomach hurts because I know it was all a lie,” Archie said.
Joe, who will need surgeries for the rest of his life due to his injuries, said Tom would always try to act calm when pressed for money. “He would call me back and say, ‘Oh, are you mad at me?’ I’d put some butter on me, ‘You know what, Joe? You’re a whining guy,’ “Joe said,” That’s something he’d say. ‘You’re a whining guy, honey.’
The family eventually sued him to get the remaining settlement, and Tom agreed to pay $ 12 million in increments. The money stopped after the first payment. “It’s very disappointing to know that his lawyer basically robbed him, to know that he knows everything that he’s been through. I just don’t get it,” Joe said.
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The other big case examined in the special was Edelson PC’s lawsuit against Tom and Erika, which fell a month after Erika filed for divorce. The Chicago law firm claimed the couple used funds from victims of the Lion Air Flight 610 crash to finance their “lavish” lifestyle. The lawsuit also alleges that Erika filed for divorce to help him hide her assets.
Bias Ramadhan, whose mother Hasnawati binti Nawazar died in the accident and who has not received his payment, was interviewed for the special.
“This is a tragedy, right?” said Ramadhan from Indonesia. “And then the lawsuit is also emotionally draining and there is hardly a night that someone like that isn’t crying.”
Ramadhan shared his emails with Girardi, including one that said “Mr. Tom never responds to my email.” We wait and wait, “Bias continued,” Here we are the victims. Not him, not Tom, not his wife. It’s just me and three of my brothers. We just want to know, can we get our money? And when we will get it. If it’s a month or two months, we don’t even know, we don’t even know yet. “
In a 2020 videotaped statement shown, Girardi admitted that he is broke. “At one point, he had $ 80 million, or $ 50 million in cash. That’s gone,” he said. “He also had a portfolio of stocks of about $ 50 million and that was over.”
As noted in the special, Girardi is currently ineligible to practice law in California and the State Bar is pursuing disability. Erika, meanwhile, was also summoned to testify, but both hearings have been delayed.
“I can say that Erika Jayne is a very strong woman,” Staub said near the end of the stage. “She’s a warrior and she’s a bitch. Me too, it’s okay to be a bitch. My advice would be to shut up, sit down. Pay attention to what’s happening in your case and don’t worry about the television.”
The show ended with Kathy Ruigomez, Joe’s mother, and Kim Archie watching an episode of RHOBH together. “Being penniless sucks and being rich is so much better,” Erika exclaimed in the footage. “Difficult days for Erika,” Archie said with a laugh.
Both Girardi and Jayne declined to comment on the special.
AP / Getty
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