Unraveling. The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills teased how the cast learned about Erika Jayne and estranged husband Tom Girardi’s divorce.
In a preview that aired at the end of the Wednesday, June 2, episode, a shocked Kyle Richards read a group text and then FaceTimed her costars Lisa Rinna and Dorit Kemsley.
“What is going on? Did you have any idea?” Dorit, 44, asked, to which Kyle, 52, responded, “No idea!”
Lisa, 57, chimed in to defend Erika’s secrecy. “It’s Erika,” she explained. “She had to do it like this. She couldn’t tell anybody.”
However, Kyle still could not hide her surprise. “What the hell?” she remarked.
Erika, 49, has yet to hint at trouble in her marriage during season 11 of the reality series. Earlier in the Wednesday episode, she gushed over Tom, 81, saying “one of the things she loves most about” him is that “he lets me be myself.”
Despite the perception that everything was fine between the couple, fans know that the TV personality filed for divorce in November 2020 after 20 years of marriage.
“After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi,” she said in a statement at the time. “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 deserve. I request others give us that privacy as well.”
Us Weekly exclusively revealed in December 2020 that the split would be a story line during season 11. “Erika will address her divorce on the upcoming season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Legally, there is only so much she is allowed to say, but she has been advised on what she can put out there,” a source told Us. “Viewers will also finally hear the other Housewives’ thoughts on Erika and Tom’s divorce.”
There should be plenty to talk about too. A class action firm sued Erika and Tom in December 2020 for fraud and embezzlement. Court documents obtained by Us at the time claimed that their divorce was “simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK.”
Tom and his firm, Girardi Keese, were sued in a second lawsuit that month for allegedly breaching a written agreement and conversation with Wells Fargo Vendor Financial Services.
Amid the legal drama, Tom’s attorney claimed in December 2020 that he had been hospitalized “due to a serious illness.” Us confirmed in March that he was diagnosed with late-onset Alzheimer’s and dementia. His brother Robert Girardi was named the temporary conservator of his estate and personal matters in February.
A source told Us in December 2020 that Erika “was completely unaware of the very serious allegations” against the former lawyer and now “feels betrayed by Tom because she completely trusted him.”
Multiple insiders revealed in December 2020 that the “XXPEN$IVE” singer also believed Tom cheated on her during their marriage. She released text messages from his alleged mistress later that month, claiming via her Instagram Story that the woman was “f–king my husband.”
In the season 11 trailer, Erika broke her silence on the messy divorce, telling her costars that she “did not see it ending this way” and she originally intended to “hold that man’s hand until he died.” She later alleged that she “did not” receive a warning about the lawsuits.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET.