“After a year of working in the restaurant, one night I decided to slip Tom my telephone number,” she recalled in her 2018 memoir, Pretty Mess. “We were standing in front of the giant fireplace. ‘Did you hear I was single?’ I asked.”
After the attorney, who is 32 years her senior, reached out through his secretary, however, Erika shut him down.
“I told her, ’Tell Mr. Girardi if he wants to take me out on a date, he needs to call me himself and ask me and give me enough time to prepare,’” Erika wrote. “You know how men are, especially if they are successful. They expect you to drop everything right away. That’s not how I work, I don’t care who you are.”
After six months of living together, he proposed at their home in Pasadena.
“He presented me with a beautiful diamond engagement ring. Of course I said yes,” she wrote. “After our engagement, Tom said, ‘Listen, I’ll buy you anything you want. I don’t care what it is. You name it. But I’m not wearing a wedding band. I never have, I never will. I don’t like it. It’s uncomfortable. Please don’t ask me to.’”
Erika agreed to Tom’s request, noting in her book that wedding rings “don’t have magical powers.” The twosome tied the knot with two witnesses in the clubhouse of their country club in 1999.
“After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi,” she said in a statement. “This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved I request others give us that privacy as well.”
Before their split, the “Painkillr” songstress was often forced to defend their marriage due to their age difference. While Tom rarely appeared on RHOBH, she has opened up about their relationship over the years:
Scroll through to read Erika’s most candid quotes about their marriage: