Erika Girardi's Hong Kong meltdown was one of the most shocking moments in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills history — but at the reunion, she revealed there was more to it than seen on TV

By Dave Quinn
April 11, 2017 09:30 PM

It was the episode of the season and one of the most shocking moments in Real Housewives of Beverly Hills history.

During a trip to Hong Kong, “Ice Queen” Erika Girardi snapped — breaking down in tears and lashing out at Eileen Davidson over an unfortunately ill-worded analogy during an already-tense dinner.

The scene gripped RHOBH fans and instantly became iconic Housewives viewing. But as Girardi revealed during part one of the three-part reunion on Tuesday, there was a lot more to the story than what the cameras captured.

To understand what fans didn’t see, one must first recap what was shown. At dinner, Davidson had made the mistake of trying to reason Girardi into forgiving rival Dorit Kemsley, putting things into perspective and suggesting Kemsley hadn’t “committed some horrible heinous crime.”

Erika Girardi and Eileen Davidson
Noel Vasquez/Getty; Rodin Eckenroth/Getty

“I don’t think [Dorit] really understood what she was getting into,” Davidson said. “I don’t think she’s evil. She’s already saying ‘sorry’ — what do you want then? There’s nothing she can say or do that can make it okay? She didn’t kill your child.”

That last line was the straw for Girardi, whose 25-year-old son, Tommy Zizzo, is a police officer.

“Don’t every bring up killing my child again because my child could get killed,” Girardi shot back through tears. “Your kid doesn’t put on a uniform every day and night and put his life out on the line for people he doesn’t know. Don’t ever talk about my f—ing kid again. Shut the f— up. You don’t know what I deal with every night.”

“That’s really insensitive,” she continued. “Your kid’s not out there. Don’t you ever talk about anyone that puts on a uniform and defends and serves their public. F— you for that. My son is under fire every night — especially in this climate. And I’m not going to tolerate that s— from any of you. My kid can very easily be killed and that is the truth that none of you face here.”

Despite Davidson’s attempt to apologize, Girardi couldn’t be calmed down and each left the dinner in tears. And while it seemed like they left Hong Kong still not speaking, Girardi revealed on the reunion that the two had made steps towards reconciliation the next day.

“What never aired is that the next day, she offered me her fabulous glam squad for the dinner we were having that night,” Davidson said, implying the act of kindness was Girardi’s way of building bridges. “I knew what that was.”

She was right. “I would never want to explode on someone who was good to me,” Girardi said. “That was just a moment of meltdown — I had a meltdown. Not my finest moment for sure.”

So why exactly did Girardi get so angry? That too was because of things not shown on TV.

Turns out, moments before dinner, Girardi learned a friend of her son’s had died. “I texted my boy before we had dinner and he was attending the funeral of a police officer who was murdered,” Girardi said. “So when [Eileen] said that, it was the perfect storm.”

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“I didn’t want to break down like that and lose control, but I really did. Because that is something that could possibly happen and that is something I think of from time to time,” Girardi continued.

“It’s not just me — I think that anyone whose son, daughter, or husband or wife is in law enforcement, you know you worry,” she added. “You know that anything is possible. That is my greatest fear. I don’t want to overstate it and make it more dramatic than it should be. And this child has wanted to be a police officer since the time he could walk and talk — I knew this was his life path, and I’m very proud of him. But it is scary at night time. That’s why I’m happy he lives with me. I hear him pull up and it’s a little weight off my shoulders.”

Ultimately, Girardi did apologize to Davidson again on Tuesday. “I felt terrible,” she said. “And I’ll apologize again.”

Though she was the subject of Girardi’s wrath, Davidson understood. “It was shocking in the moment for me, obviously because there’s a lot of energy coming at me and sadness and big stuff,” she explained. “But I never felt like she was personally attacking me. When I took a couple of breaths, it felt like something else was going on.”

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One thing Girardi’s flip-out did do was put a spotlight on her son, who has yet to appear on the show.

She explained why Zizzo — who also hasn’t been to see his mom perform on Dancing with the Starshas been (and will remain) absent from reality TV.

“He prefers it that way,” she said. “He needs to remain in his private space.”

That doesn’t mean Zizzo’s not supportive. “He’s proud of his mom,” Girardi said. “He says he doesn’t watch, but somehow or another he tends to know what’s going on. And he gets it at work — they know his mom is at work.”

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Tuesdays (9 p.m. ET) on Bravo.

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