In a complaint filed on Wednesday, July 6, and obtained by Us Weekly, the 50-year-old Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star was one of several defendants accused of racketeering, conspiracy to commit racketeering, deceit, aiding and abetting concealment of stolen property and more.
“Tom and Erika Girardi purposefully portrayed themselves to the public as an extremely wealthy Beverly Hills power couple,” the suit alleges, claiming Erika’s company EJ Global “was created for the purpose of funneling money from Girardi Keese to benefit Erika.”
Edelson PC argues excessive spending was “a part of Erika’s personality” on the Bravo reality series, which she joined in 2015, frequently showcasing her “never-ending parade of designer clothes and high-end jewelry, her $250,000 Lamborghini Huracán, and her personal 24/7 ‘glam squad’ team that she paid $40,000 per month to pick out her clothes and do her hair and makeup.”
Though she’s asserted her innocence in the past, the new suit claims “Erika knew of the scheme” allegedly plotted by Tom, 82, to take advantage of families who lost loved ones in the 2018 Lion Air plane crash in Indonesia. The estranged spouses, who split in November 2020, were slammed with multiple lawsuits before Tom was stripped of his license to practice law in March 2021.
“Erika knew of the scheme, intended to participate in it and — critically — share in its profits, both directly and through her wholly-owned company, EJ Global,” the Wednesday filing alleges. “Despite her public claims that she and Tom were spending their own money, financial records show that more than $25 million of her own expenses were paid by Girardi Keese in furtherance of the Girardi Family Enterprise’s illegal scheme.”
As the reality star “was neither an owner nor employee of the law firm,” the payments were not “legitimate law firm expenses.” Edelson PC argues, “Erika had actual and specific knowledge that the credit card bills and invoices that she submitted to Girardi Keese related to her own personal expenses and had no connection whatsoever with the law firm. Erika had actual and specific knowledge that for at least 12 years, all her expenses were paid by the Girardi Family Enterprise through Girardi Keese as she was generating them.”
Edelson PC is seeking “punitive or exemplary damages in an amount no less than $55,000,000,” along with “an award of interest” and “the creation of a constructive trust” to make up for the “wrongful conduct” displayed by Erika and others.
Earlier this year, the “Pretty Mess” performer’s fraud and embezzlement lawsuit was dismissed by an Illinois court, but she and Tom remain locked in legal battles elsewhere. In April, Edelson PC accused Erika of using her platform to spread “lies” and “prolong” Girardi Keese’s “long-running criminal enterprise, spanning over a decade and stealing over $100 million.”
Erika has been candid about experiencing highs and lows amid her legal woes — and she still wishes the best for her estranged husband. “I still am mourning that marriage,” she exclusively told Us in May. “I think that gets lost in the sensationalized version of it all. This was someone I was married to for over 20 years and was with, like, 23 [years]. It’s difficult. There are real moments of sadness. … These things happen in life. They happen to everyone; everyone’s mourning something.”
At the time, the Broadway performer noted that she speaks to Tom every so often, telling Us, “He’s not well, and so he’s in a state of decline and sometimes it’s good and sometimes [he thinks] I’m someone else.”
With reporting by Diana Cooper
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