The TV personality’s legal troubles first made headlines in November 2020 after she filed for divorce from Tom Girardi. Erika, who joined the Bravo series alongside her then-husband in 2015, was later named in a fraud lawsuit that accused her and Tom of embezzling $2 million in settlement funds from plane crash victims.
The Georgia native continued to film RHOBH throughout the court battle, using the show as a way to assert her innocence. “Please understand, there are some things I cannot answer. But I will do my best to give every part of the story that I can,” she explained during the season 11 reunion in November 2021. “This is the toughest part of my life. And I asked for patience with the ladies — and got some and some I didn’t. I asked for an understanding that these things are complicated, that I was finding them out in real time myself, and I don’t have all the answers and still do not have all the answers to this day.”
Tom, for his part, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and later placed under a conservatorship amid his legal woes. The former attorney’s brother Robert Girardi was named the effective conservator of his person and estate in July 2021.
In May 2022, Erika opened up about having her personal issues be dissected front and center on RHOBH. “I am the face of this instead of the lawyers that worked at the firm and referring attorneys and, you know, law funding people — instead they point to me,” she exclusively told Us Weekly about dealing with the courtroom proceedings. “For my mental health, it’s been hard. No doubt. But again, I couldn’t lose and I was just going to fight it out every way possible and still am.”
The “Pretty Mess” performer noted that she struggled with handling the challenges on her own. “The season before was a real fallout. This season is about really trying to pull yourself together and go on. It was tough but ultimately, I’ll get there and it’s part of the human experience,” she added, telling Us that she “mixed alcohol and antidepressants” while cameras were rolling. “You can’t go through what I have gone through the previous season and not feel something. I wanted to have some fun and I wanted to not feel so heavy. So that’s what I did.”
Scroll through for a breakdown of all the lawsuits Erika has been mentioned in: