The saga continues. Tom Girardi, the estranged husband of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne, is another celebrity who was approved for a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program, Us Weekly can confirm.
The news comes after Bachelor Nation alums Tayshia Adams, Colton Underwood and more were revealed to have accepted loans from the government’s PPP initiative, designed to help small business owners retain their employees during the coronavirus pandemic.
Girardi, 82, is in the midst of a legal battle surrounding his former law firm, Girardi Keese. According to data released by the PPP, the firm was approved for a $1.5 million loan on April 15, 2020. The money was supposed to be used to pay the firm’s 84 employees, but it is not clear if the firm ever received the loan or if it was distributed to workers.
In The Housewife and the Hustler documentary, released earlier this month via Hulu, Girardi was shown admitting that he was broke during a deposition just five months after the firm applied for the PPP loan. “At one point I had about $80 million or $50 million in cash,” he said in September 2020. “That’s all gone. I don’t have any money. I also had a stock portfolio of about $50 million, and that’s all gone.”
Jayne, 49, abruptly filed for divorce from the former lawyer in November 2020 after 21 years of marriage. The following month, the pair were hit with a lawsuit alleging that they embezzled money intended for families of victims in the Lion Air Flight 610 plane crash.
Class action firm Edelson PC claimed at the time that the estranged couple’s divorce was “a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom and Erika’s money” and that they “are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds.”
An Illinois federal judge issued a $2 million civil judgement against Girardi and his firm in December 2020 after the disgraced attorney’s clients claimed they never received settlement money paid by Boeing in connection to the Max 8 crash in Indonesia in 2018. That same month, the Los Angeles Times reported that the Pretty Mess author was called in to testify in the fraud case the previous May and September, months before she filed for divorce.
Throughout it all, the reality star has maintained that she didn’t know about her estranged husband’s legal woes. “Erika was completely unaware of the very serious allegations that were being made against Tom in court,” a source told Us in December. “Tom always handled all of the finances and that was how they handled things. Erika feels betrayed by Tom because she completely trusted him.”
During season 11 of RHOBH, currently airing on Bravo, the singer has repeatedly told her castmates that she didn’t know what was going on with Girardi.
After the release of The Housewife and the Hustler, Jayne’s attorneys filed a motion to be removed from her bankruptcy case, claiming that “the relationship of trust and confidence” between the lawyers and their client had “broken down.” Three days later, however, the attorneys filed to dismiss their original petition and asked to stay on the case.
“Obviously, I disagree with the conservatorship altogether,” Tom said during a virtual court hearing. “I think that we should put together the reasons why the conservatorship should be dissolved, and then we’ll address it, address the court. Right now, I have nothing to say to the court.”
With reporting by Marjorie Hernandez