According to court documents filed by the estate trustee on Wednesday, September 29, the auction was expected to raise roughly $50,000, but brought in $203,155 in total sales. The earnings are four times the original estimation.
Despite making more money than anticipated, attorney Ronald Richards exclusively told Us Weekly that there are still “hundreds of millions of dollars” yet to be recouped by the estate in this bankruptcy case.
The estate trustee is therefore asking the bankruptcy judge to approve cash collateral to keep the process going and to settle the estate’s finances. The outstanding funds will be used to pay off a variety of creditors, including some of Tom and his law firm’s former clients.
Us confirmed in July that 82-year-old Tom, who lost his law license in March after he was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and dementia, was selling “the firm’s office furniture, business machinery and equipment, as well as furnishings and decorations comprised of art, oriental rugs, sports memorabilia, wine, music memorabilia, statues, vintage law (and other) books, a vintage piano, a Cadillac DTS and much more.”
Some of the memorabilia, described as “Erika Jayne collectibles,” included framed photos of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 50, alongside Tom, as well as a Billboard plaque for her 2009 song, “Roller Coaster.” The items, which also featured a signed magazine cover, were listed for $350.
The auction is the most recent way the estranged couple are trying to settle their debt after they were accused of embezzling settlement funds meant for victims of a 2018 airplane crash.
Erika, who filed for divorce from Tom in November 2020, has maintained that she didn’t know anything about her estranged husband’s alleged actions. Tom, for his part, testified in court saying he didn’t have “any money” left.
As a result, a judge ruled in July that Tom’s former clients can pursue a collections lawsuit against Erika to try and obtain the $11 million they are owed from him.
The Pretty Mess author was then sued by the trustee for $25 million. According to court documents obtained by Us in August, Erika was named in the lawsuit because she allegedly knew Girardi Keese (the law firm) had been paying her expenses for at least 12 years.
Earlier this month, Richards told Us that Erika was given a week to “voluntarily return the money, but she never did.” The attorney said on Friday, October 1, that he is still “trying to resolve the case” with Erika’s legal team to recoup the $25 million that Tom’s firm allegedly paid to cover the TV personality’s past expenses.
The Bravo star’s lawyer, Evan C. Borges, however, maintains that Erika is not legally responsible for the money. “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 told Us in a statement on Sunday, October 3. “All the claims against Erika amount to efforts to blame her for the actions of others, including Girardi Keese and Tom Girardi.”
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez