Erika Jayne has a big legal mess following the release of The Housewife and the Hustler documentary on Hulu. Erika hasn’t been formally charged with a crime and thus doesn’t require representation to protect her during defense proceedings. But she did want representation. Her former counsel has decided to withdraw, which – at a very minimum – will create many headaches for the Housewife.
According to her former lawyers, “the relationship of trust and confidence that is essential to a properly functioning attorney-client relationship has broken down and, in the good faith assessment of counsel, the relationship is irreparable.” It’s certainly incriminating from the outside looking in, as lawyers will drop clients for concealing parts of a story that are essential to building a case. It doesn’t look good for the reality star that her counsel, which is supposed to protect her guilty or innocent, refuses to represent her.
The withdrawal of counsel was filed amid Erika’s ex-husband, Tom Girardi’s bankruptcy case. Dinsmore & Shohl LLP had formally represented Erika during the Bankruptcy case, and notified Erika on Monday about the withdrawal, filing the official paperwork on Tuesday.
Without timely representation, Erika could face “potential consequences” and therefore should secure “replacement counsel,” according to the Dinsmore & Shohl LLP. Since the withdrawal Tuesday, Erika has not identified new representation.
The news of her counsel’s withdrawal and the startling revelations in the Hulu documentary could spell trouble for Erika Jayne’s alleged innocence, as new evidence hones in on the truth. The ABC-produced documentary presented interviews with Tom Girardi’s clients, who allege that he stole money from them. Those clients pointed out that Erika, who’d been married to Tom at the time, was listed as a secretary for one of his LLCs, and claim she was funneling money into her company, EJ Global.
Erika Jayne, who filed for divorce in November 2020, is accused of using the divorce to protect Tom and Erika’s assets, amid potential illegal activity. A month after she filed, she and her husband were sued, accused of embezzling money and using the split to cover it up. The accusation alleged that they embezzled settlement funds meant to help victims of Lion Air Flight 610 through their divorce.
“While Erika publicly filed for divorce … on information and belief, that ‘divorce’ is 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,” claimed the December lawsuit.
Erika Jayne denied any wrongdoing or knowledge of Tom’s illegal activity, though in the documentary, Brandon Lowrey, a Law360 features reporter, said that “[Tom and Erika are] together in these bankruptcy proceedings. A lot of these debts that they owe in bankruptcy proceedings, [they] owe together, possibly. It’s going to be hard for her to say she didn’t know that anything was going on.”
The question remains whether Erika Jayne was present and knowledgeable of Tom’s crimes, and she said in the Season 11 trailer for The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills that “no one knows the answer but him.” Now that her lawyers have dropped her, it’s certainly possible that Erika knew more than she’s letting on, having “broken down” the “relationship of trust and confidence” between her and her attorneys.
As the proceedings continue, the truth will likely continue to unravel. Erika Jayne will need legal counsel sooner rather than later if she is going to stand a chance at proving her innocence.