In a preview clip for Part 2 of the Season 11 Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion, Erika Girardi explains why she felt she could not have left Tom earlier than she did. She says she had nowhere to go because she did not control her own finances and she gave Tom all of her paychecks, including her Bravo salary.
In the above clip, Andy Cohen asks Erika if she “went too far” trying to protect Tom’s image on RHOBH. Erika replied that she highlighted “the best” of him. Andy then digs in by asking why she didn’t leave Tom sooner. These questions are referencing the fact that she’s painted Tom to be cold, controlling, and condescending towards her over the years, which is a stark contrast to the high opinion of him Erika has had for him in the prior seasons of the show.
“Where was I going?” Erika asks in response to Andy’s question about why she didn’t leave Tom before now.
“Where weren’t you going? You’re on a hit TV show, you have a career,” Andy explains, pointing out that Erika has been building a career outside of Tom for years.
Erika claims that if she had walked out, her credit cards would be cut and she had no access to money and no one to call for help. “Am I gonna call you?” she asks Andy as part of her rhetoric.
Andy replied that he knew how much money Erika makes on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, noting that “it’s ain’t bad.” The New York Times has leaked Erika’s supposed salary from RHOBH, and she was reportedly paid $600k for her appearance on Season 11 of the show. It’s unknown how much she was making in previous seasons.
This is when Erika reveals that she was giving Tom all of her money, including her RHOBH fees.
“Since you’ve been making money?” Garcelle Beauvais asks.
“Yes,” Erika answers. “I’ve handed every paycheck I’ve ever made over.”
“I’ll say this, I was 27 when I went in. He was 60,” Erika says. “The power balance was way out of whack. I trusted this man.”
This lines up with what she has previously claimed about her financial arrangement. During Season 11 of RHOBH, Erika has claimed that she didn’t even have control over the finances of her own LLC and that she didn’t know how to open a bank account. She’s said she paid for all of her expenses with credit cards that Tom paid for her.
Erika has her own business, EJ Global LLC, which received $25 million from Tom Giardi’s law firm Girardi Keese over the years. The millions were spent on Erika’s glam squad, American Express bills, and other expenses associated with her “Erika Jayne” persona. The company spent $1.5 million alone on talent agency McDonald Selznick Associates Agency.