After Erika flees La Quinta, Sutton sees “red flags” — while Dorit is left saying, “It’s almost as if we’ve not known her at all.”
Are “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” about to turn on one of their own?
That’s the question left hanging at the end of tonight’s new hour, after a bombshell article in the Los Angeles Times painted a very problematic picture of Erika Jayne and her estranged husband Tom Girardi. It got so bad, Sutton Stracke questioned how much she even wanted to be around Erika amid her legal war over money Tom is accused of embezzling from clients.
Before we get to that cliffhanger though … let’s back it up a bit.
The episode picked up with Garcelle Beauvais in the hot seat, after her question to Erika about Tom continuing to call her after she filed for divorce was met with straight fury from her costar. When Erika returned from the bathroom, she said that this was a “hard time in my life,” while Lisa Rinna said Garcelle’s questions were “f—ed up.”
What nobody’s talking about here, however, are the claims that production was “baiting Garcelle to ask” about Tom, even though she had expressly said off camera to a producer and Crystal Kung Minkoff she didn’t want to discuss his calls further. It should be interesting to see whether any of that comes up during the reunion or in cast interviews to come.
With Garcelle ticked that she was getting heat for asking a question about something Erika freely spoke about earlier, she got up to leave, only to get talked into staying by Kathy Hilton. She then addressed Erika, saying, “You’re important to me and it’s not worth it for me, for anything for you think I was doing this intentionally. You shared so much.”
Erika said it was okay, told her not to worry about it and the two hugged it out.
It was here that the first signs of doubt from some of Erika’s cast members started to sink in. In a confessional, Sutton said she felt Erika’s brutal reaction to Garcelle was “a little much” and the whole thing left her asking herself, “Is Erika being honest with us?”
At that point, Erika decided to leave La Quinta so she could deal with everything on her own at home. Kyle Richards, Rinna and Dorit Kemsley all walked her out, where Rinna continued to harp on Garcelle by asking, “Why push it?” Inside the house, meanwhile, Garcelle felt a division in the group between the newer cast members and “the ones who have been friends” longer.
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When Rinna got back in the house, she said she was “so sad” the whole Erika-Garcelle moment happened, as Beauvias reiterated that she had no inkling Erika didn’t want to talk about it and, had she known, she never would have asked. Rinna wouldn’t relent though, asking Garcelle why she felt that was an appropriate time to ask the question and saying, “I don’t think it’s our job to ask her questions unless she wants to share it.”
“Does it bother me that Erika got upset? Absolutely. But I know where I was coming from, so my conscience is clear,” Garcelle said, before Rinna asked if there’s anything about the situation she can “own.”
“Absolutely not. I’m not going to s— on her when she’s at her bottom, that’s not who I am, I’m just not that person,” she said, “I wish I had been told not to say anything, because I wouldn’t and I wasn’t and I overstepped.” With that, Rinna was appeased.
The next morning, as all the women sans Erika continued their La Quinta getaway, the Los Angeles Times dropped an article titled “The Rise and Fall of Tom Girardi and Erika Jayne.” The piece laid out everything Tom has been accused of, including stealing from cancer patients, a burn victim and the families of plane crash victims. The article also said that $25 million from the firm went into EJ Global LLC, “the company set up for Jayne’s performing career.”
As the article made the rounds in Kyle’s house, they were shocked.
“Here’s going to be the tricky part. If Erika’s business is under her name and accepting those funds … not good. This is not good,” said Sutton. Garcelle, meanwhile, felt there was no way Erika didn’t know the article was coming because the L.A. Times would have reached out for comment. She also believed that’s why Erika flipped out on her the previous day, while they all agreed the article dropping was why she actually left and went home.
“How do you have a business and not know? Maybe she didn’t know, but if her name is on that LLC, she is responsible for that LLC,” said Sutton. “She’s responsible for where the money comes from. If this is her company and her name is on it, it’s going to not be good. She could go to jail.”
While Rinna continued to defend Erika and say she believes Tom ran the show, Sutton just kept pointing out how important it is to know where the money in your accounts is coming from.
“It’s almost as if we’ve not known her at all,” said Dorit. “It feels a little unfair, because of course we want to support Erika. We’re blindsided. We don’t know how we’re supposed to fill in the blanks or what questions to ask.”
With the getaway coming to a close, the women all returned home, where the article just didn’t sit right with Sutton.
“I’ve re-read this article … Erika probably knew more about this than she let on,” she said in a confessional. “There’s no way that we have all left this weekend not wondering what the consequences are for Erika and or us.”
Kyle and Dorit made it clear they still had a lot of questions about Erika’s situation too, before Sutton set up a meeting for them all to talk … without Erika. When Sutton arrived, she got straight to the point.
“I have a lot of reservations about what happened in La Quinta and what was said. I left La Quinta thinking something’s amiss … I think we are being placed in a bad position,” she told the other women. “I think that we have heard stories that, to me, don’t add up.”
“I left yesterday very concerned and then I started thinking,” she continued. “My alarms went off and red flags started flying everywhere, what have we gotten ourselves into.”
“It basically sounds like you’re saying, ‘I don’t believe you Erika, you’re guilty,'” said Kyle, before Sutton dropped her own bombshell. “I am not sure how much I want to be around my friend during this time,” she said, as the show cut to a “To be continued” slate.
The preview for next week shows Sutton saying she doesn’t think “ignorance is an excuse” in this situation and adds that she’d say the same thing straight to Erika’s face. When the two do finally meet up for a dinner party, Sutton asks her, flat out, “Why is the paper saying $20 million went into your LLC?”
“Did you know any of this?” adds Kyle.
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” airs Wednesdays on Bravo.