Erika Jayne was complicit in estranged husband Tom Girardi’s alleged financial misdoings, so says Jay Edelson – the attorney who filed a class-action lawsuit against the embattled “Erin Brockovich” case lawyer.
“We believe we’re going to be able to prove that Erika was incredibly involved in not just the law firm, but also, he was loaning money to her company 10s of millions of dollars to her company,” Edelson said of the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star, 49, on the “Reality Life with Kate Casey” podcast on Wednesday. “And we think that money came from client funds.”
Edelson vowed that he and his legal team are “going to look into all of that,” adding, “that’s all going to be, you know, part of proof that we showed to a jury — that she was knee-deep in this fraud, and she can say, ‘Oh, she didn’t know anything about it.’ And I think that’s going be hard for [Erika] to convince a jury of.”
Girardi, 82, is a founding partner with the Los Angeles-based law firm Girardi & Keese, and over the years has amassed a wealth reportedly worth $30 million.
Girardi’s most famous litigation saw him take on Pacific Gas & Electric to the tune of $333 million dollars, which was awarded to 650 residents in Hinkley, Calif., as part of a class-action lawsuit. That case was the inspiration behind the film “Erin Brockovich,” which saw Julia Roberts take home the Academy Award for best actress.
Edelson’s Chicago-based firm Edelson PC is suing the couple and several co-defendants for allegedly embezzling millions of dollars allegedly intended as settlement money to family members of victims of the 2018 Lion Air crash.
Edelson PC claimed Girardi represented the family members and then pocketed their settlements to fund his and his estranged wife’s lavish lifestyles.
“She was basically taking client funds and using it to fund her lifestyle,” Edelson alleged to Kate Casey of the purported fraud. “And if we’re successful [in our case], that means that we’re going to be able to get whatever possessions she has back in order to pay off any sort of judgment.”
The lawyer also claimed that the besieged pair is “on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds.” He also called their divorce a flat-out “sham.”
“There’s no exception of, you know, this is a valuable piece of artwork. I mean, it gets really nasty when you get a judgment and someone doesn’t want to pay, you literally can depose them and say we want to go through your purse, take out the possessions in your purse, you know that is no longer yours,” Edelson explained of his firm’s intentions should their claims prove true.
In December, the couple was hit with another lawsuit for failing to pay an $882,715 judgment. The family has claimed Girardi is broke and that he is even suffering from memory loss due to his age.
According to Page Six, Jayne has not been formally charged with any crimes. The outlet recently reported that her attorneys – who were representing her in Girardi’s Chapter 7 bankruptcy case – dropped her following the recent release of a Hulu documentary, titled “The Housewife and the Hustler,” which examines the alleged fraud.
Reps for the couple have not responded to Fox News’ request for comment about the accusations or Edelson’s claims.
Fox News’ Melissa Roberto contributed to this report.