RHOBH How Erika has contradicted herself about Tom Girardi’s 2017 car accident

A major part of the narrative Erika gives on Season 11 of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills about the fall of her marriage to Tom is that she says his personality changed after he had a car accident in 2017. On episode 11, Erika also confirmed, with the help of questioning from Garcelle, that she believed that brain trauma may have led Tom to do the things he’s being accused on doing in the multiple lawsuits against him from his own clients. However, after the accident initially happened, Erika told a different story about what happened than she’s telling now.

“Part of true brain trauma is making decisions that you wouldn’t normally make,” Erika said to Garcelle and Crystal in episode 11.

What Erika said about the 2017 accident soon after it happened

Erika shot some footage for RHOBH right after the accident. She was speaking with her “Erika Jayne” creative director Mikey Minden in the clip.

“Mr. Girardi had an accident and broke his ankle,” Erika quickly dished before adding “a car accident. He’s fine.”

“So, we just got back from Tokyo, when did you get this call?” Mikey Minden asks.

Erika replies that it was “right after we got home” and reveals that the accident was “close to home.” She then nonchalantly says that “it was fine,” before noting that it “could have been so much worse.” She then repeats “it could have been worse” multiple times while shaking her head.

In confessional, Erika says “People have had much worse accidents.” She then reveals that this accident has made her think about how one day she’s going to be alone, implying that Tom may die relatively soon and leave her with the house and all its responsibilities to take care of. “This could be taken away at any second, and things could change at a moment,” Erika says.

She does reveal that this is the first time she’s seen her husband as “not superhuman” and that he was in a lot of pain that he didn’t want to acknowledge.

In January 2018, Erika spoke with Michael Rapaport on the I Am Rapaport: Stereo Podcast about Tom’s accident. When asked how Tom was doing, Erika replied “Perfectly healed; he’s great. He’s good. Tom is a little superhuman in a way. He healed and he’s back at it, so there you go!”

In a March, 2018 interview with Jenny McCarthy on her podcast The Inner Circle Erika opened up to Jenny about Tom’s car accident the prior year. Jenny asked about Tom’s broken ankle, and Erika nonchalantly replied “He broke his ankle, he’s fine, he had three pins. He healed up so well he broke the pins so he’s good.”

“He broke the pins!” Jenny exclaimed.

“Yeah,” Erika replied. “So, the bones healed up.”

What Erika is saying now about Tom’s 2017 accident in 2021

On Episode 10 of Season 11, Erika tells her RHOBH castmates that the accident was way worse than she had previously shared and that she had not shared the details to “respect Tom’s privacy.”

At this point, Erika says the real truth is that Tom had been unconscious for 12 hours after his car crash, and Erika had been the one to find him. Along with a broken ankle, which everyone knew about, Tom broke his clavicle, his shoulder, and had a brain injury.

Erika shared that she had not worried about him while he was gone for so long because she just assumed he was out with other women. There were several, she said, so it could have been any number of women. According to Erika, at one point Tom gained consciousness enough to call Erika for help.

Erika now says that Tom’s personality and cognitive ability declined right in front of her after the accident. She says he repeats things, has memory issues and is quick to anger, but refused to admit that he was having issues.

In the above clip from the show at the time, Mikey speaks about how they were just in Tokyo prior to the accident. He asks when Erika “got the call,” but it’s unclear at the time if they were saying that Erika was still in Tokyo when Tom had his accident, or if she had just returned home. Whether “the call” was from Tom himself when he was injured or from someone letting Erika know what had happened is not made clear either.

Of course, it’s perfectly fair if Erika didn’t share how severe Tom’s crash was if he didn’t want it known to the public, but it is certainly very convenient to now share about brain trauma during a time when his lawyers are trying to prove that he is mentally unsound, and Erika is trying to explain what happened to make him embezzle money from his clients. Tom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year, and he has been placed under a conservatorship managed by his brother, but there don’t seem to be any mention of his car accident-related brain injury in court documents so far.

In addition, several of the other ladies brought up the point that there is some evidence brought to light by the L.A. Times article that the alleged fraud and embezzlement has been going on for far longer than the three years since Tom’s accident.

In June 2021, Tom’s brother Robert, who was initially made his temporary conservator, was granted a permanent conservatorship over him. 82-year-old Tom appeared in court during the hearing and told the court that he disagreed with the conservatorship and wanted to dissolve it someday.

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