The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills are officially back for a 12th season on May 11 and we have a feeling it’s going to be one of the most dramatic runs yet. That’s because all of the returning ladies have been featured pretty heavily in the headlines since the last reunion show, and now we get to see how so many of those stories played out in real-time.
This season it seems like Erika Girardi’s ongoing legal issues will continue to play out while drawing even more criticism from her co-stars, something Erika can’t be too thrilled about. But you can’t blame us for wanting to know what’s going on, especially now, with the latest earring twist. Read on for all you need to know about Miss Jayne’s most recent legal updates—including those XXpen$ive diamonds.
Earlier this year, Erika’s fans were thrilled when a judge dismissed her from the fraud and embezzlement lawsuits filed against her and her ex-husband, Tom Girardi. That drama was a large storyline in Season 11, especially after Tom claimed his ex-wife was indeed in the know. Although Erika wasn’t allowed to talk about her case too much on the show, she definitely opened up more when Andy Cohen grilled her about it during the reunion.
Not in the clear yet
It’s important to note that just because a judge cleared Erika, for now, doesn’t mean she’s free and clear from these charges. Following the Jan. 29 decision the legal team prosecuting the case revealed it plans on filing new charges in California to avoid jurisdiction issues. The team also claims to have a ton of evidence against Erika.
“The suit is being refiled in California (to avoid fights over jurisdiction),” lawyer Jay Edelson tweeted. “No chance we are letting @erikajayne off the hook, especially given the evidence we have found. All money will go fully to the victims until they are made whole.”
The earrings twist
Around the same time Erika was cleared of the charges (at least for now), a bankruptcy trustee filed a claim against the RHOBH star asking for her $750,000 earrings. The diamond set, which she has worn before on the series, was supposedly paid for with stolen money back in 2007. Reportedly, Tom claimed them as an expense at the time.
“The evidence filed in court by the trustee shows a clear money trail to the purchase of these earrings,” a lawyer overseeing the bankruptcy case told Us Weekly earlier this year. “Erika should return them immediately. They were purchased with estate funds. She will not be able to hide behind her attorney in her response. She will have to provide testimony under oath and be subject to a deposition if she persists.”
Related: 25 Looks only Erika Jayne could pull off.
An innocent gift
It didn’t take long for Erika’s lawyer, Evan C. Borges, to shoot back. “I am disturbed by everyone jumping to conclusions about Erika, who is innocent, and trying to blame her for the actions of others,” he said in his own statement to the publication.
“If the law matters, the trustee’s motion is completely out of bounds. Even based on the incomplete hearsay evidence filed with the motion, the trustee has no claim based on Erika innocently receiving a gift of earrings 15 years ago from her now estranged and then-extraordinarily wealthy husband.”
Agreeing to wait
At the time of the initial accusation about the earrings, Erika’s lawyer revealed she had agreed to give the diamonds to a third party to hold in trust until the investigation was complete. Furthermore, she agreed she would not sell or transfer them until the courts made a decision.
Another housewife speaks out
The fact that Erika didn’t turn over the earrings immediately as a sign of good faith to the victims in this situation didn’t sit well with Garcelle Beauvais, who has never been afraid to speak her mind and ask the hard questions when it comes to Erika’s legal situation.
“There’s so much more she could do, even if she’s not guilty of knowing everything that Tom was doing,” Garcelle said on an episode of The Real. “This is a way of saying, ‘I have compassion for you and therefore take the jewelry, take the earrings, take the necklace.’ I would give up the diamonds quickly. I believe she’s giving them to a third party until it’s decided if she does have to give them back.”
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Erika surrenders the earrings
Shortly after all this drama (as in days later), Erika was ordered to surrender the earrings to the court. While that may sound bad, what it actually means is Erika agreed to give them to a third-party as a sign of good faith and legally signed off on that — as per her lawyer’s earlier statements.
Garcelle blows off Erika’s party
Days after this whole earrings fiasco, Garcelle reportedly failed to attend a hair extension launch party Erika threw to promote her latest business venture. Whether Garcelle had plans or simply didn’t want to associate herself with her co-star remains to be seen, but given how much tension there was between these two last season, it’s safe to say we’ll see more of the same this year.
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And the drama continues
Radar Online, which has been known to whip up all kinds of stories about the Housewives franchises over the years, reports this is the season Lisa Rinna turns on Erika too. The publication reveals production had to step in during a scene in Aspen, when Rinna went off on Erika (who actually wasn’t there) and crossed some serious (but mysterious) lines. Whether that drama plays out or if Rinna really does turn on her friend remains to be seen…
Related: Erika Jayne’s earliest red carpet looks.
Yet another lawsuit
As if that weren’t enough to keep track of in the off-season, Erika was hit with a new lawsuit in mid-February. The mother of deceased NFL star Charles Osborne Jr. named Erika in a $2.1 million lawsuit, claiming she knew about her ex-husband’s scheme to withhold money from his clients — including them.
And so the drama continues…
Watch the premiere of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills May 11 at 9 e/p and stream all your favourite Slice shows through STACKTV with Amazon Prime Video Channels, or with the new Global TV app, live and on-demand.