Erika Jayne’s jewelry box will be a little lighter now… THREE QUARTERS OF A MILLION BUCKS LIGHTER!
It turns out that the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star is being forced to turn over a pair of $750,000 diamond earrings from her estranged husband, Tom Girardi. The court ruled the pricey accessories were purchased with stolen funds!
During a court hearing on Tuesday, Judge Barry Russell found that the “settlement funds from the trust account created for a class action handled by Thomas’ firm Girardi Keese were used to pay for the diamond earrings.” As Law360 reports, the court does not believe Erika knew the jewelry item was bought with embezzled money, but she is still obligated to return them all the same. Ouch.
According to legal documents obtained by Us Weekly in February, the 83-year-old former attorney allegedly purchased the earrings in March 2007 with cash from a client’s trust account and cited the purchase as costs for a legal case. While he first claimed the item was stolen from their home, they were allegedly found in a safe later on.
The former attorney for the trustee Ronald Richards reacted to the new court ruling, telling Page Six:
“The ruling was a major milestone in the quest to recover stolen assets by the Girardis. It does not matter whether Erika knew they were stolen client funds or not. This ruling will be used in the future aspects of the case and is now the law of the case.”
Meanwhile, the reality star’s lawyer, Evan Borges, slammed the fact his client is still paying for her ex’s crimes, saying to Us:
“Once again, Erika is facing consequences for past actions taken by Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese. Erika did nothing wrong. In fact, the judge specifically found no fault or knowledge on the part of Erika regarding the actions by Tom Girardi and his partners at the law firm. Tom Girardi the lawyer did this. Legally, the judge’s decision raises an important issue of whether the law allows revisiting transactions of 15 years ago to take away a gift received by an innocent spouse. But that’s for a higher court to decide.”
Sorry, but you aren’t allowed to keep stolen goods just because you weren’t the one who stole them. If she really didn’t know about Tom’s crimes, that’s obviously rough for her. But that’s a version of events a lot of parties aren’t buying.
As you know, this is the latest in Erika and Tom’s legal issues. After filing for divorce in November 2020, the former couple was accused of embezzling $2 million in settlement funds from the families of the Lion Air Flight 610 crash victims in 2018 and spending that money to fund their lavish lifestyle. While the Pretty Mess singer was originally named in the case, she vehemently denied the allegations and was later dismissed from the lawsuit.
But her legal troubles are not over just yet! A new lawsuit claimed she “aided and abetted” Tom in stealing a financial settlement AND then was shockingly accused of being the “front woman” behind a “criminal enterprise.” On top of that, she also owes a ton in California taxes. So this recent legal decision must really be hurting the reality star!
What do YOU think, Perezcious paralegals? Did she know? Is it fair she’s responsible for returning the profits of criminal activity?
[Image via Bravo/YouTube]