On tonight’s episode of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, the ladies react to the bombshell article from the L.A. Times that dropped December 17, 2020. Titled “The legal titan and the ‘Real Housewife’: The rise and fall of Tom Girardi and Erika Jayne”, the piece revealed some shocking information and broke down what was happening with Erika and Tom into an understandable narrative. Although Erika had just snapped and broke down at Garcelle over something that seemed inconsequential, up until now all the women were giving Erika the benefit of the doubt. After they read this article, however, most of them started to question everything they knew about their friend and RHOBH cast mate.
“It’s implying that Erika was complicit,” Kyle says.
“They used the word ‘ponzi scheme’” Sutton pointed out.
According to the FBI, Ponzi schemes “promise high financial returns or dividends not available through traditional investments. Instead of investing the funds of victims, however, the con artist pays “dividends” to initial investors using the funds of subsequent investors. The scheme generally falls apart when the operator flees with all of the proceeds or when a sufficient number of new investors cannot be found to allow the continued payment of ‘dividends.'” The largest Ponzi scheme in history was a multi-billion dollar fraud run by Bernie Madoff for almost two decades.
While Tom Girardi’s alleged fraud doesn’t have to do with investing per se, Jay Edelson, attorney for the Lion Air crash victims families compared how Girardi ran his law firm, and the settlement payouts for his clients, like a “Ponzi scheme.”
Because Tom was allegedly skimming money from his clients, he was running out of money quickly, and would use any new money coming in to pay old creditors. Furthermore, burn survivor Joe Ruigomez stated in The Housewife and The Hustler documentary that Tom told Joe that he would invest his settlement money for him instead of paying it all out to him upfront, which makes the situation sound more like a traditional Ponzi scheme.
“It’s almost as if we’ve not known her at all,” Dorit says, shocked.
Meanwhile, Sutton is spooked enough by the article to start keeping her distance. “I’m not sure I want to be around Erika during this time,” Sutton says.
“I think we’re starting to hear more and more about this case, and I’m starting to get more and more uncomfortable, legally speaking. That was just my feeling,” Sutton recently told ET about why she said she didn’t want to be around Erika anymore after reading the LA Times article.
Sutton goes on to point out that trust is a big deal for her in relationships, and at the time she felt like she and Erika were building trust, but that got compromised as they learned more information about Erika’s situation.
“It takes me sometimes days, weeks before I can actually speak on something,” she explains. “But I’ve been thinking about the moment at Crystal’s house, after we made the dumplings. And I say to all the girls, ‘Trust is one of my biggest, it’s a big thing for me,’ and it’s something that I work on in all of my relationships. Relationships with men, with anybody, with girlfriends. And so I really was feeling like Erika and I were building a trust in our relationship. And so, I think that’s what’s starting to tilt my head a little bit.”podcast host Sarah Galli on Andy’s Girl
Two RHOBH castmembers who support Erika during this time are Crystal Kung MInkoff and Lisa Rinna.
Crystal has recently gone on a podcast called Andy’s Girlsh withost Sarah Galli. On the podcast Crystal explained she got to know the “whole person” privately behind the Erika Jayne persona the audience sees on the show and social media. She also thinks that Erika may be a victim in all of this as well.
Lisa Rinna has also shown support for Erika, and it looks like her husband Harry Hamlin is #TeamErika as well. This weekend Lisa shared a photo her husband on her Instagram Stories with the caption “Harry Hamlin is #TeamErika.”
Erika will participate in a reunion at the end of the second, and it looks like she may have some backup in Crystal and Lisa.