There’s nothing like a multi-city Housewives feud. Erika Jayne’s attorney fired back at Bethenny Frankel after the Real Housewives of New York City alum alleged that “everybody knew” about the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star’s estranged husband’s Tom Girardi’s legal trouble.
“Erika has no knowledge of the alleged loans or the conversations referred to by Ms. Frankel, which even per Ms. Frankel, didn’t involve Erika,” Evan Borge told Us Weekly in a statement on Friday, September 17. “To me, this is another example of people trying to throw dirt on Erika based on alleged conversations (this time, with an individual, Dennis [Shields], who I understand is deceased) where even the perpetrator of the gossip says Erika wasn’t involved.”
Frankel, 50, made claims about Tom, 82, on the Thursday, September 16, episode of her “Just B With Bethenny Frankel” podcast, alleging that her late fiancé, Shields, told her to be wary of the lifestyle Erika and Tom portrayed on RHOBH.
“My experience is — especially with the Housewives, but really, everywhere as well — if someone’s flaunting their money, they don’t really have it,” Frankel said. “Particularly on Beverly Hills, there have been a lot of ‘all show and no go’ girls. The more that they flaunt it and the more that they brag about it, usually there’s something wrong. … Dennis said to me, ‘[Tom] doesn’t have it like that. He owes me money. He owes me half a million dollars. I know this other guy he owes a million and a half dollars. He doesn’t have money. He owes everybody money.’”
The Skinnygirl founder continued: “And I go, ‘What are you talking about? How is she flying around on [private planes]?’ And he said, ‘It’s because he’s using people’s money to support her lifestyle. He’s using the company’s money to support her lifestyle.’ Dennis said this. … I said, ‘Why would he do that?’ He goes, ‘He can’t say no to [Erika].’”
One month after Erika filed for divorce from Tom in November 2020, the spouses were accused of embezzling money intended for the families of victims in a 2018 plane crash. Tom, who has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, has since lost his law license and his former firm, Girardi Keese, is $101 million in debt, per court documents. Erika, who has denied knowing anything about Tom’s legal woes, allegedly received $25 million in misused funds from Girardi Keese over the years.
Frankel went on to allege that Tom’s money woes were a “well-known secret,” claiming that she told Erika’s makeup artist, Kristofer Buckle, Andy Cohen and fellow RHOBH stars Lisa Rinna and Kyle Richards about Dennis’ claims.
“When this came out … Andy called me and said, ‘Holy s–t. You really do know it all. You told me about this years ago,’” Frankel alleged. “I’m like, ‘Yeah, I told you.’ … I knew about this whole thing. I knew since, yeah, probably 2017 and 2018, I knew about this.”
Amid the drama, a source close to Frankel tells Us, “If you listen to ‘Just B with Bethenny,’ she compliments Erika. This is about Tom and the deception he perpetuated throughout the legal industry, which was widely known for years.”