The Crimes of Beverly Hills Lawyer Tom Girardi | Is Real Housewife Erika Jayne Also Guilty?
- Today's video is brought to you by Audible. To try on Audible for 30 days, go to audible.com/kendallrae or text kendallrae to 500-500. (uplifting music) Hey guys, and welcome back to my channel. Happy to have you here once again.
Hope you guys are all having a nice day so far. So, today we are diving into the legal world once again, which I guess we do every video, but today we are gonna be talking about some lawsuits. I am actually a big fan of reality TV. I find it really balances out all the true crime stuff I watch, all the time.
So when I'm trying to just turn my brain off and wind down, I love some good reality TV, some juicy drama. And honestly, the worst the better. And one of my favorite shows to put on, when I'm just in the mood to veg out is the Real Housewives.
And I kinda dabbled between casts and seasons. There are times where I've just gotten bored with some of them and I've moved on to a different one. There's like several different versions of this show all throughout the country.
Like there's Real Housewives of Orange County, Beverly Hills, Atlanta, which is my favorite. And now I think they even have Utah, they've got New York, New Jersey, there's a bunch of them. And one that I've been a little more interested in the last few years, is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. But most of the women, most of them on the show are housewives.
They have a lot of money due to their husbands and Erika Jayne, is definitely one of those people. She does make her own money but nothing compared to what her husband, Thomas Girardi, made. And you might be wondering why I'm talking about this on this channel. Well, holy shit, this guy, Tom.
Wow, they should call him dirty Tom, honestly. I mean, this guy was a total fraud. And there's a lot of questions about what Erika knew and what she didn't know, and it's all kind of unfolding right now in the courts. So I wanted to talk about this because there are actually a lot of victims in this case.
People need to hear this story and what has happened to tons of Tom Girardi's clients because of his selfish actions. And the whole story is, honestly, just mind blowing. I mean, what a facade. Now Erika Jayne is like her stage name, I'll explain that more in a bit. But Erika was born, Erika Renee Chahoy on July 10th, 1971 in Atlanta, Georgia.
She grew up in a pretty simple household. Her mother Renee was only 18 years old when she gave birth to her. And she ended up being a music teacher. Sadly, Erika's father abandoned her when she was very young. And so she and her mom moved into her grandparents' home in Conyers, Georgia. But her grandmother was more like a mother to her.
Erika seems to have gotten a lot of her strong qualities from her grandma, her confidence, her strength, her sarcasm. When Erika was young, apparently she vowed to never let herself become dependent on a man. She was gonna work hard for everything that she wanted in life. And she had big aspirations from a really young age. As a kid, Erika always loved singing and dancing. She was involved in musical theater and dreamed of working in the entertainment industry one day.
- I was the middle-class kid from Atlanta, Georgia. I had big dreams and I wanted to make them happen. - She used to say, "I'm gonna be a star when I grow up." But I knew the road was going to be hard. - In October of 1989, just a few months after her 18th birthday, she moved to New York City to go get that dream life. She got a job at a famous go-go strip club called Shakers in Lodi, New Jersey.
Around this time, she was meeting a lot of people making connections. She started doing some modeling. And in the early 90s, she landed a few small acting jobs and even landed herself on two episodes of "Law & Order." But what Erika really wanted to do all her life was sing and perform. And she was never gonna let that dream go.
When she was younger, she was a member of two different girl bands. One of them was called The Flirts, and she actually was just standing in for someone else who was on a leave of absence. She recorded a few tracks with them and at that point, she knew she had found her true calling in life.
However, her plans got a bit sidetracked because eventually she met this DJ, and his name was Thomas Zizzo. They hit it off right away and they ended up getting married in St. Patrick's Cathedral in December of 1991. Then Erika gave birth to her first son who's named Thomas in 1994. Around this time, Erika's manager was really pressuring her to leave home and move to Los Angeles.
Because there was way more opportunity for anyone who wants to be an actor or wants to be a singer, possibly. And Erika wanted any of it. So about two years later, she divorces her husband and she takes Thomas, and goes to Los Angeles to pursue her dream of being a pop star. She had a few more acting roles pop up when she got there in the mid '90s, but nothing huge.
And she actually, spent most of her time working as a waitress. She worked at Chasen's in West Hollywood, which is a nice restaurant. Now the regulars at this place are normally pretty wealthy, powerful people and people in the entertainment industry and politics as well. So Erika was constantly waiting on famous actors and singers, business moguls, politicians, and people who could possibly help her out with her career. And the co-owner of this restaurant happened to be one of the most well-connected people in all of Los Angeles, Tom Girardi.
Now let's talk about Tom for a sec. Tom was born, Thomas Vincent Girardi. He was born on June 3rd, 1939 in Denver, Colorado. He graduated from Loyola High School, which is a private Catholic, all boys school in 1957. And he continued his private education at Loyola Marymount University for his bachelor's degree. And then he went to Loyola again for law school for his JD.
After this, he went to New York University for an additional year of studying and earned a postgraduate degree specializing in consumer law, which is called an LLM in 1965. And that same year he ended up starting his own law firm. And he partnered up with a friend of his, Robert M. Keese. So they became the Girardi Keese Law Firm. And the Girardi Keese Law Firm has been incredibly successful. They have recovered over $10 billion worth of settlements for victims of mostly corporations.
When he met Erika, he was already one of the most prominent trial lawyers in American history. And by 2003, he would be inducted into The Trial Lawyer Hall of Fame by the State of California. And this was very appealing to Erika.
And Tom, as soon as he saw Erika, he knew he had to have her. At the time, she was 28 years old, she's tall, she's gorgeous, she's blonde. They knew each other for about a year before Erika would even give him her phone number. And at first, his assistant tried to call and get it from her, and Erika was not having that. She said that he needed to call and ask for it himself.
And he did, and they went on a date and the rest is history. They started dating and they were actually married in just six months. At this time, Tom was over 30 years older than Erika, and had a lifetime worth of experience, but that didn't seem to matter much to either of them. Even Erika always would say at our show that she was not married for money, she would always say they were married for love. That was one thing she really always pushed is that she was not this gold digger, that a lot of people made her out to be. Erika said she was attracted to Tom's intelligence, his positivity, and of course his success, but he was also incredibly caring to her and supportive of her career goals.
So of course, it wasn't long until Erika quit her job as a waitress, stopped acting for the time being and moved into Tom's 1920s era mansion in Pasadena, California. And this place is just stunning as you can see in the pictures. Now before marrying Erika, Tom had already been married twice. "But this time it was different," he said, and he also really embraced his role as stepfather to Erika's son, Thomas.
So as a trial lawyer, Tom really tried to be the people's lawyer. He was there to represent the people who didn't have voices to represent themselves, represent victims. He was a champion of the people.
He would go head to head with the most powerful international corporations, pharmaceutical giants, and even seven major Hollywood movie studios. Tom's first major victory as a lawyer was actually back in 1970. He was one of the first lawyers in California to get a client over a million dollars in a medical malpractice lawsuit. And in his career, Tom won over $1 billion from the healthcare industry and over 30 verdicts of at least $1 million settlements for his clients. Including $785 million for the employees of Lockheed Martin Skunkworks, who had suffered personal injuries while on the job. He also won $45.5 million from Ford Motor Company
after a defective seatbelt paralyzed a six year old. So you can see why Tom got this reputation of the people's lawyer. That he was going to help victims and get as much money as he could from these greedy corporations. He also became a recognized public figure, when he represented the residents of Hinkley, California against Pacific Gas and Electric, PG&E. PG&E is a utility company, who was accused of contaminating people's water, leading many people to develop cancer and other diseases. This was a really serious lawsuit and in 1966, PG&E agreed to pay $333 million.
So Tom really seemed like the hero lawyer, the man who could really get it done and get you the help that you need. And the way that they were able to do so well, and Tom was able to accumulate so much wealth, is because they took on their cases under contingency. Basically, meaning if they are able to win the case for you, then they take a percentage of the settlement. But if you lose the case, they don't take anything. But because of the risk involved with taking on a case and not charging, if they lose, they get to charge a higher percentage out of the final settlement and they make a lot.
'Cause sometimes these cases settle for huge amounts. If people won their cases, Girardi Keese was keeping anywhere from 25% to 40% of the final settlements. Now, Girardi Keese was also known as the place to work, law students from all over want to get in there, because they had, not only did they pay really well and they have great connections, but they also gave employees tons of benefits for working for them. Literally things like luxury company cars and designer suits tailored to your perfect size. They even had their own box at the Staples Center that all their employees could use.
You get to go to all these parties, if you're in with the Girardi Keese Group, like super bowl parties and holiday parties. And you're mingling with a ton of high profile people. And every year Tom would have this big conference in Las Vegas for his employees and he would go all out for this. Tom was notorious for hiring really famous entertainment for his parties as well, such as Leann Rimes, Jay Leno and Penn and Teller. He was friends with people like Johnny Cochran, which you probably have heard that name before, if you're into true crime. But he worked on the OJ Simpson case, Governor Jerry Brown and onto Senator Harry Reid.
So you really never knew who you were gonna run into at these parties. Tom was also a trustee at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C. And he was on the prestigious James Madison Council as well. He also became the first trial lawyer to serve on the California Judicial Council. And Governor Gavin Newsom, appointed him to the Judicial Selection Advisory Committee, which is the people who get to evaluate potential judges and decide if they get a spot on the bench. This is a really big position.
Recently, a documentary came out on all of this called "The Housewife and the Hustler." And in it, there was someone talking about how Tom Girardi was kind of almost above the judges in a weird way. Like he could point to them and go like this, and they would just come on over to him.
He had a lot of power in the whole legal system in California. And not only that, he was a major donor in California politics. We know that he gave at least $7.5 million to various candidates over the years.
In 2019, Tom and Erika hosted a fundraising event for Joe Biden at the Johnathan Country Club, which is a very famous private country club in downtown Los Angeles. So as you can imagine, Erika had a very lavish lifestyle with Tom. They were constantly on trips, flying all over the world.
They have a international jet and then they also have a smaller one for domestic flights. Imagine that, two planes. But by 2007, Erika was a little bored being in Tom's shadow and she wanted to be in the spotlight once again.
And so it was around this time that she asked Tom to finance her music career. Tom loved Erika, he would do anything to help her achieve her goals and aspirations in life, and throw any amount of money at her that she wanted really. So this is when Erika becomes Erika Jayne. Her first single was called "Rollercoaster." And for the next several years, she released multiple singles, one after another.
And some that were featured in films like "Hit and Run" in 2009 and "American Summer" in 2011. And Tom was always cheering her on, trying to get her as many opportunities as possible. And one time, he planned a performance for her, but this wasn't at any event, this was at the Italian American Lawyers Associations Annual Supreme Court Night in 2011. Tom was the association's president and chose the evening's entertainment, which was a screening of his wife, Erika Jayne's music video. ♪ Party people lets take it away ♪ ♪ On my signal I'll cross USA ♪ ♪ Hey ♪ - This is a little awkward because this event is held at the Baltimore Hotel Ballroom and it usually featured really classy entertainment, such as an orchestra. Literally, they played this music video in front of a room of lawyers and judges, who did not know what to think.
People who were there said this event was a fiasco, but that didn't stop Erika. She continued to use Tom's money to help give her an edge in the entertainment industry. She ended up hiring Michael Jackson's choreographer, Lady Gaga, and RuPaul's costume designer, Andy's songwriter, who worked with big names like Madonna, Britney Spears, and Stevie Nicks. At one point she had nine hits on the dance club charts for billboard.
And that was kind of becoming her niche at that point. But despite her growing popularity, and how much she was enjoying it all, she wasn't really making much money. And Tom wasn't getting much of a return on his investment. And she was actually preparing to retire from the entertainment industry, when she was offered another job. And this is what most people know her from.
She got cast on the sixth season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. And like I said, she really spiced up the show. She made it way more interesting, that show was getting dull. And Erika comes in and she's just interesting, she's sarcastic, she's entertaining, she's funny, she's witty. I don't know, she's got the entertainment to her.
She's just interesting to watch, which is prime reality TV. So the show started doing way better, once Erika was part of it and it was also beneficial to her because she was able to show her music off and get new fans. - Hold on one second, I wanna show you guys something.
- Okay. - Okay, there she is. - Oh my God. - Oh my God.
- And the thing with the Housewives shows is all of the women on it, constantly flex their wealth all the time. It's who can throw the biggest party, who has the nicest dress, who has the most team members on their glam squads, who's got a plane, who's got the nicest car. I mean, it is so over the top. And Erika just blew all the rest of them, right out of the water with her wealth. In her first episode, Tom and Erika show off their private garden, which was actually designed by the same people who did central park in New York City.
She showed off her giant wardrobe, her huge closet. She has all designer clothes. I think one item in her closet is worth more than everything in mine. And a huge part of her kind of persona on the show was that she was trying to continue her career as a pop star.
And in 2017, she released her probably biggest single that she's most known for today. And that is called, "It's Expensive To Be Me." ♪ It's expensive to be me ♪ - And it is expensive to be Erika Jayne. She was hiring full glam squads to do any type of appearance that she ever had.
Any event, any time she was on the show, she would have a full hair and makeup team, a wardrobe team. In the Hulu documentary, Heather McDonald, who has a podcast said that she came to her audio only recording of her podcast. So there's no cameras involved.
And she had a full glam squad with her, for hair and makeup and wardrobe, which according to Heather McDonald could cost up to like $2,000 a day. Within a few months, she was also cast on "Dancing With The Stars." So she gained kind of a new audience from that as well. And she continued to take some acting roles.
She was cast in the TV movie, "Sharknado 4" in 2016 and had a reoccurring role, on the "Young And The Restless" from 2016 to 2018. And in 2017, Erika did a famous tour for ABC News of her mansion that she shared with Tom. - [Erika] Yeah, those are fun.
- But those are fun and you can walk in them? - Yeah, I can. I can do lots of stuff in them. How do you think I got them? I love short shorts, I'm from the South, okay? I love Daisy Dukes. - You've got your Daisy Dukes. - Come on, I love my Daisy Dukes. - [Narrator] Oh my God.
- And the tour makes it painfully clear just how extravagant their life was. So over the years, people have watched Erika Jayne as she releases new songs, has the new performances, new outfits, and is just living her best life, spending all of this money. And meanwhile, Tom is out here working for victims.
People who were victimized by corporations and wealthy people that was Tom's whole career. So that's where this money is coming from. And people that knew Tom, or actually very concerned about Erika being on the show and flaunting their wealth, doing these video tours of everything she has, bragging about her private jets, doing songs called the "It's Expensive To Be Me."
When that's kind of frowned upon in this world of law, where you're making money off of victims. It's not really a good look. So let's talk about one of those victims that Tom represented, his name was Joe Ruigomez. His whole life changed on September 9th, 2010, which was the opening day of the NFL season. He was at his home with his girlfriend, Jessica Morales on Earl Avenue in San Bruno, California.
They were just sitting on the couch in the living room, watching the game when all of a sudden the ground started shaking. And of course they thought maybe earthquake at first, but it was only for a couple seconds. And then they heard what sounded like a jet engine on a plane outside. And within three seconds, this massive explosion went off and went through their whole house and multiple homes. And this scene was so horrific. Joe thought he was for certain going to die, but he somehow stumbled his way to the back door of the house, got out of the house.
And when he got out there, someone put an oxygen mask on him and saved his life. A few seconds later, he was completely unconscious. And this explosion was caused by PG&E the company we talked about earlier that had contaminated the water. It was caused by their gas line erupting and Joe's house and dozens more were completely leveled, it was insane. And his girlfriend Jessica's body wasn't even found for a few days. She had somehow gone in this shed in the backyard and had died there.
It was truly miraculous that Joe even survived. The chances of him surviving were very, very low. He was in the hospital in a coma for a long time. He had burns all over his body, at least 80% of his body actually.
And his lungs were severely burned inside as well his mother Kathy got to the hospital as fast as she can. And she was just overwhelmed by everything and did not know what to do, but she knew that Joe would need a lawyer. His doctor said that his injuries were so severe that he was gonna need medical care for the rest of his life. So she actually got connected with Tom Girardi and she was connected through a friend of hers named Kim. Kim was like her best friend, they'd been friends since they were three years old, they've raised their kids together, they were very, very close.
So she trusted anyone that Kim recommended and Kim thought that Tom was the man to go to for this type of thing. And Kim was actually a legal consultant. So that's how she had the connection to Tom. Tom had already fought PG&E twice and won both times. So they thought they were in good hands with him. Tom actually visited Joe in the hospital, and Joe said that he was the first person he remembers seeing when he woke up out of his coma and that he just made him feel like everything was gonna be okay.
About a year and a half after the explosion, Kim, their friend who connected them when Tom actually started working for Tom. Tom kind of took her under his wing and taught her everything he knew about law, and helped her propel her career for the next seven years that she would be with his firm. He treated their family really good. And of course, Joe and his mom, Kathy as well, he would tell them that they were his favorite client all the time. He would take them to dinner all the time.
To them he seemed intelligent, funny, very caring, they really liked Tom and they had trusted him. Now that turns out that the explosion had been caused by a faulty pipe. And so PG&E was definitely responsible.
So it was gonna be a pretty much slam dunk case. And before the trial even started, they were brought in for a mediation. And when they got there, Tom told them that the case had already been settled. There was no trial, it was all done, which was relieving for Joe.
He didn't have to live through the trauma again. He said he was happy with the settlement amount, which we're not sure exactly what that is, but it would be enough to cover his future medical costs and then some. So after Girardi Keese took their cut of the final earnings, the rest of it was put in a trust account. It's supposed to just be held there, separate from the law firm, until it is all released to the client. Now in these types of situations, lawyers are not allowed to touch this money for any reason.
It is one of the biggest rules. If you do get caught taking any of this money that belongs to your client, you can get disbarred very quickly. So Tom ends up talking to Joe and tells him, "Hey, instead of us just giving out all the money to you, I can take it and invest it into something." He personally guaranteed Joe, a 6% return on the investment. And he said there was absolutely no risk of loss. So Kathy and Joe believed him, this was Tom, they'd trusted him.
They didn't really know what the investment was, but when it came time to collect on the investment, Tom started giving them the run around. He started telling him about this judge Justice Panelli and he was the mediator who settled the case. He told Joe that Justice Panelli was worried about him and wanted to make sure he was taken care of. According to Tom, this Justice Panelli wanted Joe to take his settlement in smaller amounts, because it would be better for him in the long run.
But then eventually the payments to Joe just stopped coming in. And Tom started again using the excuse of Justice Panelli. "Justice Panelli won't let me give you the money. I don't know why?" But he would always end it by promising to send it to him by the end of the week. And he would say things to Joe like, "You're not mad at me, are you? And it's all Justice Panelli's fault." Joe said, sometimes the money would come the following week, sometimes it wouldn't, but he got the vibe that something was seriously wrong.
And Tom would just leave him these voicemails, I'll play one for an example. - [Tom] Well, this is Tom Girardi calling. I don't want you to be mad at me. I'm working like a dog to try and get this thing resolved. As you know, there's part of this was that the messy cases have to be signed like in this, in various groups together. I managed to cut you out of that group because the others are not resolved yet.
And although the bankruptcy court was great, I gotta get approval of the regular court of the whole thing the courts are closed as you know, it isn't my fault. I mean, I would more than anything like to see you get your money and get outta here. And like me and everything to be sweet. - He was just trying to convince him that everything was okay, but Joe knew something was very wrong. So he contacts Kathy who works for Girardi Keese and she tries to help them figure out what's going on. As she looked though, she couldn't find any legal reason why the money wasn't being given to Joe.
None of it made sense, but meanwhile, Joe's medical bills are piling up and he's scheduled for more surgery soon. So he needs this money, but Tom would continue to assure them that everything was fine, they would get the money soon. He would just continue to blame it on Justice Panelli. But then a statement came out from Justice Panelli that he hadn't been involved in this case, since the settlement.
He had not been telling Tom anything about what Joe should do with his money or how the settlement should be doled out or any of that. But around this time, Kim's son, Paul died in a motorcycle accident. So all of them kind of had to put everything going on with Girardi Keese on the back burner for a little bit and focus on her son.
And because of how Paul had died, she actually wanted to file a wrongful death suit. So she talked to a bunch of lawyers, but none of them would take the case except for Tom Girardi. But around the time that she hired Tom for her son's case, her best friend's son is still having issues, getting his settlement money from Tom.
And eventually the payments just stopped altogether. The last check came in January, 2017, and then there was nothing more after that. And they knew that something bad had definitely happened. Now, there are a ton of other people that were affected by Tom Girardi and have not gotten settlements that they were supposed to have gotten by now. There are more people that are talked about in the documentary, but for sake of time, I'm just gonna focus on Joe's case. But word started spreading around to other lawyers in the firm that clients weren't being given their settlement money and that there were all these issues going on.
So people started to jump ship. And around this time, Kim had to completely abandon the lawsuit for her son, the wrongful death suit. Because she had to focus on Joe and getting his settlement money, because Joe was still alive.
He was having surgeries and he needed this money. So she ended up leaving the firm and they went and hired another lawyer who was going to help them get the settlement money from Tom. They filed a lawsuit against Tom and Tom agreed to pay them $12 million. They set up a payment plan, it was broken into 12 payments, a million dollars per month. The first payment came through, but the second one did not.
So they needed something called enforceable judgment. So they had Tom come back to court and be deposed on the record. And Tom's deposition actually took place on zoom and it is wild. He looks like a shell of who he used to be. And he basically just says that he's broke. - Do you have any personal banking? - At one point I had around $80 million or $50 million in cash, that's all gone.
I also had a stock portfolio of about $50 million investment vessels. - That's right, Tom says that he had about $50 to $80 million in cash. And that is just all gone. Did it really all go to Erika's lifestyle? Was Tom putting money elsewhere that we don't even know about yet? But the most shocking part about this zoom deposition is that all of the money that he had earned for people in settlements for victims was gone.
He estimates that he has a few thousand bucks in his bank account now, and he added that he also hadn't taken a salary from the firm in two years. And it seems like Tom can't explain where the money went. So the court needed to get to Erika. They needed to get her to talk on the record about their assets.
And Erika has been subpoenaed twice, once in May of 2020, and then again in September of 2020, but she was out of town both times. So the hearing was rescheduled a third time for this past January of 2021 and she never testified it turns out. And what's crazy about all this, is it's all just playing out on the current season of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
In the show before all of this blows up, all the women go on one of their trips, they go on like a trip every season. And because of the pandemic, they went to Lake Tahoe and Erika, and it seems completely fine. She says that her marriage is good. And then the next episode, I believe it's the next episode. Everyone's getting ready for the 2020 election when they all get the news that Erika and Tom are getting a divorce.
And the women on the show are talking about how shocked they all are, that they thought they had this great relationship, that they were fine. They had no idea there were any issues in their marriage. So it seemed a little random. And Erika talks about it on the show as well and talked about how she did everything she could to save her marriage, but Tom pushed her out. So at this point there's still a lot we just don't know, but there have been rumors swirling for a long time that Erika could possibly leave Tom due to financial issues. One source has even reported that Erika believes Tom cheated on her, but I don't know about that.
It doesn't really matter, but things got really complicated in December of 2020, when a Chicago lawyer named Jay Edelson filed a lawsuit against Tom. And the details of this case were available to the public and the media. And many people believed that these details that came out and it's pretty shocking, just prove that Tom was a fraud all along. On October 29th, 2018 Lion Air Flight 610 took off from an airport in Jakarta, Indonesia. And 13 minutes later, the Boeing 737 Max 8 Aircraft crashed into the Java Sea. And all 189 passengers and crew died in the crash.
This was the deadliest crash in Lion Air's history, and the surviving spouses and children of the crash victims were represented by Girardi Keese and the Chicago based class action firm Edelson PC. Boeing quickly reached settlements with individual victims and family members in early 2020, and sent the money to who else but Tom Girardi. Jay Edelson said that he tried for months to contact Tom and get his client's money, but he would never pick up or he would make up an excuse. And just like he has done with previous clients, he would call Jay Edelson and like butter him up and say really bizarre things to him. He would say, "Be nice to me, it's because of me that we got this anyway."
So when they saw Erika file for a divorce from Tom in November, 2020, they knew something was up. They gathered their legal team and tried to figure out their next move. They knew that Tom was definitely in financial trouble, but they didn't realize how bad it really was. But as soon as Jay and his team looked through everything, it was clear what had happened. Tom had stolen millions of dollars from creditors and loan companies. And when that wasn't enough, he stole from his clients too.
He probably felt pressure to keep up Erika's career. That she really wasn't making any money at her career, but she wanted the world. She wanted to be that next pop star and that was gonna cost money. Not only that, but her entire persona on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills was becoming about her wealth and her extravagant life. What can we show Erika Girardi spending money on next? Jay, like many of us who have followed this believe that Erika's divorce from Tom is nothing to do with love and only to make the best move for them next financially. But Tom's entire career now is basically a joke.
He was built up, like I said, as the lawyer for the people. And it turns out he was screwing the people, over and over again, people he pretended to be friends with. Tom had stolen money from the widows and orphans of plane crash victims. It is as bad as it could possibly get.
And so Jay knew that he had to file a lawsuit against him meanwhile, surviving victims in Indonesia are just waiting to get their settlements. Recently he spoke with a judge and the judge asked him on the record, what happened to the settlement money? And Tom's lawyer said that he shouldn't answer that. So at this point, we have no idea. Also he referred this case, to the U.S. Attorney's Office and federal prosecutors have requested access to sealed filings in the case, which could mean that this might be a criminal investigation, it should be.
And it's quite possible that Tom could face jail time, and I hope he does. Now court documents have not been made public just yet. So all we have right now is this documentary and what the media is putting out, what Wendy Williams is saying on her show, but it's definitely not looking good for Tom and for Erika. It's possible that Erika was more involved in this than we may think. One of the lenders suing Tom claimed that he gave $20 million from a loan given to his law firm, to Erika's company, which is called the EJ Global, LLC.
This is her entertainment company, and so this allegation directly links Erika to the case. So the big questions that everyone has now are where did all this money go? Are people ever going to get their settlements? And what did Erika know about where the money that Tom was giving her was coming from now? Now Tom's defense attorney has claimed conveniently that he is now mentally incompetent. He told the judge that he doesn't think Tom understands how serious the allegations being made against him really are. And he's acting like all of this is just no big deal. It was also revealed that Tom was hospitalized for a serious illness in 2020. And he was out of work for weeks.
His brother believes that Tom suffers from short-term memory loss and isn't capable of making rational decisions anymore. And as of February, 2021, Tom is now under a legal conservatorship and his conservator is his brother Robert. And in March of 2021, a psychiatrist diagnosed Tom with Alzheimer's, which could affect his charges as well. A lot of the public, even his own friends and colleagues are very suspicious about this sudden diagnosis. They said that Tom had been hosting multiple social events up to all of this and seemed completely fine. Just months before the conservatorship even started he was still speaking at events, so who really knows.
Tom's business partners, Robert Keese, Robert Finnerty and Jello Callahan have also filed a lawsuit against Tom, just to add to it for $315,000 of unpaid income. And his partners that claim, they had no idea what Tom was really doing and where he was taking money from. Their partnership has obviously been dissolved at this point, but Girardi Keese is still being sued by Wells Fargo as well for $882,000, which is all from unpaid taxes, fees, and rent on their firm's office.
Even Tom's first wife came forward and renewed a decades old lawsuit against Tom for failing to pay her $10,000 per month in spousal support. The court forced Tom into involuntary bankruptcy and his assets are being liquidated now, but he's still being allowed to stay in his mansion for the time being. Erika moved out in Fall of 2020 and had to downsize her life majorly, majorly.
And I'm sure it's been pretty hard on her, but when you think about where all that money came from, from victims, from people who are just trying to pay their medical bills, it's hard to muster up an ounce of sadness for Erika Jayne. I mean, she's still living in such a nice place more than most people would ever spend on rent. So I think she's gonna be okay, unless we find out that she knew a lot more than she says she does. In March, the California State Bar filed charges against Tom.
And this is the first step towards disciplinary action and disbarment. When the divorce was first filed Erika actually filed for a spousal support from Tom, but it turns out she now makes more money than him. So that's not gonna happen. And Tom actually has requested that Erika pay his legal fees now, so that's fun. And these two do not have a prenup. So it'll be interesting to see how all of this ends up playing out.
Erika has claimed that anything that she still has from Tom was a gift. A lot of these are her assets like clothes, shoes, handbags, things like that. At this point, the court could still take those things.
It's still being decided whether or not these things are gonna be considered gifts. Her recent court documents revealed that Erika has been refusing to turn over bank statements and company records for the bankruptcy case. And she also started a new company called Pretty Mess Incorporated. And millions of dollars are still unaccounted for.
And some people suspect that she's now using this new company to hide assets while quietly selling clothes on a public website. So what's gonna end up happening with Erika is a complete mystery for right now. She may get off easy or she might go down really hard. Jay Edelson, that lawyer from Chicago who broke open, all of this thinks that she was involved. He is convinced that not only does she know about all the fraud going on, but that she was an active participant in it.
And going back to Joe for a second, I wanted to say that he is now among the first in line to collect his settlement money. And hopefully all the other clients that he got screwed over the families of the Boeing crash, all the people who are hurt by Tom Girardi we'll receive what's rightfully theirs. I mean, let's hope. Right now it's really hard to say what's gonna happen with any of this, but I just think it is so mind blowing that all of this wealth that was being flaunted around and turned into music videos and glam squads and Erika Jayne's appearance, just to keep her being her was costing like $40,000 a month for her glam squad, for all her clothes and everything. All of that is coming from victims settlements, people who lost their spouses, their children. I mean, Joe lost his girlfriend and a lot of his life he's living with all types of medical issues due to what he's been through.
And he can't even afford to keep up with the bills, because Tom's giving it to Erika to spend on more clothes and bags and shoes, I just, wow. Some people are just truly evil and I will leave it at that. I want to know your thoughts below. If you want me to do an update on all of this, once we get more information should be in the next year or so, let me know.
But before I go, I wanted to thank today's sponsor Audible. You guys know that I have been a fan of Audible for a really long time, longer than they've even been sponsoring these. And if you guys haven't heard about Audible's Plus Catalog, you are really missing out. They have tons of audio books, podcasts, audible originals, guided fitness, and meditation programs, sleep tracks for better rest and more. And every month Audible members get one free audio book and full access to the plus catalog all month long, which is awesome.
Normally I recommend a true crime book for you guys, but today I wanted to switch it up and tell you about a book that I've really enjoyed this year. And that is called "The Body Keeps Score." It's a really interesting read and it taught me a lot about myself. It's all about how trauma and things that we go through in life are physically stored within our bodies and how that affects us and how we can kind of work through some of that and move on. And of course, Audible is offering my audience a free 30 day trial.
So if you wanna check out "The Body Keeps Score," you can actually get that for free. There is a link below to get that, or you can just go to audible.com/kendallrae, or you can text kendallrae to 500-500.
But that is it for me today guys, be sure to thumbs up this video, if you enjoyed learning about Tom Girardi and Erika Jayne. This one was really, really interesting to look into. Let me know if you guys would like to see more about lawsuits. I have been really enjoying making content like this over the past two months or so. I think you guys really have enjoyed it as well. I hope you have a good day.
Stay safe out there and I will see you next time. (uplifting music)