Thursday, August 5

Erika Jayne Details How She Pre-Planned Split, Left Tom Without Telling Him

For the first time since filing for divorce in November 2020, Erika Jayne is giving new insight into her marriage to and subsequent split from Tom Girardi on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.

“Let’s discuss the elephant in the room,” the 49-year-old reality star told costars Lisa Rinna, Kyle Richards, Dorit Kemsley, Garcelle Beauvais, Sutton Stracke, Crystal Minkoff and Kathy Hilton on the Wednesday, June 23, episode of the Bravo show. “My life drastically changed this week. I let go of my Lamborghini, I let go of my 16,000 square foot home, I let go of my marriage, I let go of everything. I literally made a decision that I had to.”

In a confessional, Erika further explained, “I left because he pushed me further and further out. The conversations that I used to have were now reduced down to a sentence or two. I just kept walking around that house and knowing that this marriage was headed down a really s—ty path. I had to make a choice to do what was right for me. I couldn’t live that way anymore.”

Erika, who admitted that she filed for divorce on Election Day to try to bury the story, told her castmates that she kept them in the dark on purpose.

“It would put you in a bad position to give you information that you had to hold,” she said. “It also doesn’t serve me to talk a lot about what is happening legally — or will happen legally — because I am married to somebody who is very good in that area. …  I thought about this and tried and tried and tried to talk and tried to work it out and I was met with such resistance. Such resistance. I can’t do this by myself. I can’t convince someone of anything and so I said, ‘OK, well I have to take this step on my own.’”

Later on in the episode, Bravo cameras capture Erika walking around her new home, pointing out that her house with Tom was 16,000 square feet, four bedrooms and nine bathrooms while her current place is 2,015 square feet, three bedrooms and two bathrooms.

“After finding a place to go to, I dropped Tom off at work and I went home and moved out. So I was out within the day,” she said in a confessional. “It’s frightening, you know, when you think about. It’s the uncertainty and instability of being, really, out of on your own. … Just getting up the courage to leave is a big deal. This was my home for over 21 years.”

Us Weekly confirmed in December 2020 that Tom and Erika were being sued for allegedly embezzling settlement funds from the families of plane crash victims. Jay Edelson, who filed the class action lawsuit against the spouses, alleged that Tom gave Erika’s company “10s of millions of dollars” over the years.

She has yet to explicitly address the lawsuits on the show but hinted that “something is coming” for her on Wednesday’s episode. During a different chat with Lisa, Erika added, “He left me no room, and that’s the only way I can say it right now. … We’re not playing games over here. And he’s not going to be playing games with me. … He’s got some real challenges ahead of him.”

In previews for the upcoming episodes, Erika seemingly says Tom is the “only one” who knows the truth about the legal woes and claims she was unaware of his alleged actions. Tom, meanwhile, revealed in a 2020 deposition that he has “no money” left. During a June court hearing, the former attorney, who has been stripped of his law license, told the judge that he objected to the conservatorship he was placed under after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s earlier this year.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET. Scroll through for the biggest bombshells dropped by Erika on the series:

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The Plan

“I struggled for a long time knowing that I had to leave. But once I made my decision, I spent a good 30 days closing out certain parts of my life,” Erika said in a confessional before the show cut to footage of Erika selling 18 rackets of clothing. “I cried every day. This was the end to a massive part of my life and stepping into basically a void.”

During a chat with her costars, she noted, “I did not see it ending this way, I was going to hold this man’s hand until he died, but you know, life.”

Erika added that she “stole the furniture” for her new place. “I didn’t take a lot of things. … Took a sofa and two chairs. I still don’t have a kitchen table.”


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“My marriage was always unconventional. He was successful, 33 years older. You’re the cocktail waitress that made good with a young son,” Erika said in an interview on the June 23 episode. “In my marriage, if I wanted to open up and say, ‘Tom, you hurt my feelings,’ there was none of that. It was always dismissed. In my marriage, everything was great, everything was perfect and ‘I don’t know what you’re f—king complaining about, Erika.’”

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Red Flags

“I’ll never forget one time I was joining Tom and five other guys for dinner and I said, ‘I’m sorry I’m late, I was in traffic.’ And one of them said, ‘Well, if you were married to a better man, traffic wouldn’t be no problem.’ And Tom straight looked at home across the table and said, ‘Well if you think you can afford her, you can have her.’ And it flew right out of his mouth,” she explained on the June 23 episode.

The performer added that she didn’t tell anyone about Tom’s comment because “he supported me when there was nothing,” referring to meeting the then-lawyer when she was a single mother.


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The Pressure

“There’s always that underlying pressure of wanting to please someone that’s provided from you. I felt, always, I should shut up and be grateful to some extent,” she said on the June 23 episode. “Look, is it great to be able to wear this jacket? Is it great to be able to live in a big house? Is it great to be able to have a Lambo? Is it great to be able to do other s—t? Yes, but at what human cost at some point.”

Michael Tullberg/Getty Images

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Making the Move

“I almost floated the idea of trial separation, but I knew it wouldn’t work,” Erika told Lisa on the June 23 episode. “I didn’t leave a note.”

After Lisa asked, “You just left?” Erika nodded her head. The Melrose Place alum then inquired, “[And] he got served?” and her costar nodded again.

Erika explained, “I drove him to work, I told him I loved him and he said, ‘Thanks, hun.’ Like I was an employee. … I went home and started putting everything in the moving van. I drove off, went to my new place, spent the night there and he was served the next morning.”

During a teary confessional, Erika added, “He turned around and walked into the firm. That’s the last I’ve seen of him.”

Gregory Pace/Shutterstock

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Tom’s Reaction

“I think that he’s probably just like, ‘F—k it. She’s on her own then. She left me. F—k her. You want to be big time? You want to go out on your own? F—king go.’ That’s what I’m guessing.”

Sara De Boer/; Damian Dovarganes/AP/Shutterstock

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What’s Next

Erika said during the June 23 episode that she is going to wait 90 days to have sex again. “It’s the last thing on my mind, but in 90 days, I’m sure I’ll feel different,” she told the group. 

After Garcelle offered her dating coach, Erika said, “I’m not doing it. … I’m probably just going to have a lot of anonymous sex.”

Charles Sykes/Invision/AP/Shutterstock

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