Erika Jayne’s legal team appear to be open to the possibility of settling her ongoing legal case regarding the $25million the RHOBH star was paid by estranged husband Tom Girardi’s legal firm.
Girardi, 82, has been accused of embezzling millions of settlement money that was meant for plane crash victims, and recently claimed that Jayne, 51, knew about the alleged situation – though she has claimed otherwise on the show.
Following his firm Girardi & Keese filing for bankruptcy – a payment of $25m that was paid to Jayne over the course of a decade has been called into question, as they struggle to pay back $100m worth of debt to creditors.
Attorney Ronald Richards – who has already urged Jayne to ‘voluntarily’ pay back the $25m she received from Girardi’s law firm – has now claimed to UsWeekly that he has been ‘actively talking’ to Jayne’s attorney about settling the lawsuit.
Ready to settle? Erika Jayne’s attorneys ‘actively talking’ about negotiating a settlement in her $25 million lawsuit (star pictured above in West Hollywood, last month on Sept. 29)
‘I gave her a week to just voluntarily return the money, but she never did,’ Richards told the outlet on Oct. 1,’ adding, ‘I can’t get into the settlement discussion, but we are trying to resolve the case with her attorney. This is the $25 million that [Girardi’s] law firm paid on behalf of Erika to cover her expenses over a 12-year period.’
Jayne’s attorney, Evan C. Borges, then confirmed to the outlet that he has been discussing the idea of a settlement, though he made it clear at this point her team are just ‘listening.’
Borges said: ‘Regarding settlement discussions, those are supposed to be confidential between counsel. It appears that my opposing counsel Mr. Richards has been discussing publicly what he calls settlement discussions.’
‘Here’s the truth: Mr. Richards has reached out and told me that he and the trustee want to settle. I have listened and will continue to listen. That’s it.’
Firing back: Erika Jayne’s attorney has said that she is not responsible for the $25million paid to her for expenses by estranged husband Tom Girardi (Pictured above on RHOBH)
But Borges stressed in his statement that Jayne is not legally responsible for the $25m.
‘I can’t say enough that based on the evidence and law, Erika does not have liability for any of the claims against her,’ he said. ‘All the claims against Erika amount to efforts to blame her for the actions of others, including Girardi Keese and Tom Girardi.’
In August, it was revealed that Jayne is being sued for the $25m by the trustee’s attorney Ronald Richards, who is handling Girardi’s firm’s bankruptcy case.
The reality star was accused of ‘knowingly allowing’ the firm Giardi & Keese to pay for her lavish lifestyle and frivolous expenses over the course of a decade.
Accountable: The trustee wants the court to rule that the reality star should pay back the $25 Million she spent plus interest and the suit alleges that she ‘feigned willful blindness’ to the financial wrongdoing the whole time
Jayne was named in the original August court documents, that alleged she knew Girardi & Keese had been funding her lavish lifestyle, and therefore should repay the amount she allegedly spent, with interest added.
While the Real Housewife has continued to maintain that she was ‘kept away from the books,’ the trustee said that even if that were to be the case ‘it would be a miscarriage of justice if [she] was allowed to simply walk completely free of owing over $25,000,000 to the Estate.’
The lawsuit alleged that she had spent $25m of the firm’s money from 2008 to 2020 — funds that were allegedly transferred into her personal company EJ Global LLC.
‘The evidence is undeniable. The law firm paid out over $25,000,000 in expenses which were approved and generated by one person, Erika Girardi,’ Richards suit claimed.
He said the lawsuit was filed ‘to provide a come to Jesus moment,’ for the reality/pop star who needs to ‘come down the mountain from a place of privilege.’
Where did it go? Jayne allegedly spent $14,259,012.84 on her American Express card and $1,417,587.50 on unknown purchases – as well as $1,532,774.88 on an agency for dancers
‘We are hopeful that Ms. Girardi comes down the mountain from a place of privilege and obscene wealth and returns some of these expenses so the former clients and creditors of this law firm can mitigate the horrific and unfair losses perpetrated by her husband and others,’ Richards added.
The news comes just days after it was revealed that ex Girardi’s firm owes more than $100M to creditors.
Girardi has since moved into a senior living facility – while Jayne has also scaled down and moved out of their mansion in Pasadena following their split and money troubles.
His firm Girardi Keese has now begun to auction off a handful of Jayne’s personal memorabilia and collectibles including art and furniture to pay creditors amid the bankruptcy case.
In June, Erika was ‘ordered’ to turn over financial records from her accountant, lawyer and landlord as part of the embezzlement investigation and a bankruptcy trustee is documenting the couple’s assets.
Claiming innocence: Erika has repeatedly claimed on this season of the hit Bravo show that she was ‘kept away from the books’ and said that their whole life existed on credit cards
Per Page Six, Jayne allegedly spent $14,259,012.84 on her American Express card and $1,417,587.50 on unknown purchases – as well as $1,532,774.88 on an agency for dancers and choreographers, the McDonald Selznick Associates Agency.
Among the unknown purchases, her company reportedly paid $102,596.77 to Kim Kardashian’s former executive assistant Stephanie Shepherd.
Other bank statements show that $17,415 was paid to Opus Beauty – a management agency that represents make-up artists, stylists and costume designers – and $1,000 to influential makeup artist Mario Dedivanoic.
At this time nearly $1.3 million is still unaccounted for with regards to personal spending.
Assisted living: On August 23 Tom was pictured touring Belmont Village, an assisted living facility in Burbank, California
Downsizing: The cost of admission is said to be between $4,545 – $4,750 a month for a private suite and the facility features round the clock care
And despite claiming on the current season of RHOBH that she was ‘kept away from the books’ — even with regards to financial dealings of her own LLC — the suit read that she ‘approved the charges.’
‘Mrs. Girardi signed under penalty of perjury the return and personally approved the charges allocated to the breakdown,’ the letter read in excerpt.
However, Janye’s attorney fired back: ‘No money whatsoever went to Erika’ and maintained that she never had a role in managing her now bankrupt husband’s company.
On one the most recent episodes of the show, Jayne claimed to her co-star Kyle Richards that she now has ‘zero dollars’ in the bank, as they both enjoyed champagne on a luxury holiday.