The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and her estranged husband have faced a slew of controversies, including allegations of embezzlement

By Ally Mauch
June 02, 2021 12:00 PM
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Erika Girardi and estranged husband Tom Girardi's recent legal controversies will be explored in a new ABC News Originals documentary, PEOPLE can exclusively announce.

In a teaser for the special, titled The Housewife and the Hustler, various legal experts, those accusing Tom of embezzlement and Real Housewives stars speak on the scandals surrounding the former couple, all of which came to light following Erika's divorce filing last year.

"Tom Girardi was L.A. law — so powerful," one legal expert says in the teaser, as another participant adds, "They were just blowing money left and right, but then…"

News clips roll describing the allegations facing Tom, 81, and Erika, 49, including a claim that they staged their divorce amid his legal troubles.

"I think the biggest question is: Did she know?" actress and comedian Heather McDonald concludes.

The documentary, which will begin streaming exclusively on Hulu June 14, will also feature voicemail messages, court records and a never-before-aired deposition tape of Tom, according to ABC News.

RELATED: Andy Cohen Says Erika Girardi Will Discuss Divorce from Estranged Husband Tom on RHOBH

the housewife and the hustler
Credit: ABC

The news of the documentary special comes as Erika is set to address her and Tom's split on the current season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, which premiered last month. 

The reality star filed for divorce from Tom in November, telling PEOPLE at the time that it was not "a step taken lightly or easily."

In the filing, Erika — also known as Erika Jayne — sought spousal support and requested the court to terminate its ability to award spousal support to Tom. Tom responded by asking the court to terminate its ability to award spousal support to Erika, requesting that the Bravo star pay his attorney fees and costs. 

Erika Jayne, Tom Girardi
Erika Girardi and Tom Girardi
| Credit: Steve Eichner/AP

A month after she filed for divorce, Tom and Erika were sued for allegedly using their split to embezzle money. Erika declined to comment on the case when reached by PEOPLE at the time and Tom did not respond to multiple requests for comment.

In December, Tom and his law firm, Girardi & Keese (GK), were held in civil contempt and had their assets frozen by a judge.

Also in December, Tom was hit with another lawsuit, this time from his partner, Robert Keese, and fellow business partners, Robert Finnerty and Jill O'Callahan, to dissolve their venture together. In a complaint previously obtained by PEOPLE, the men claimed that Tom never paid them approximately $315,000 in income, instead keeping the money for himself, and that he took out loans against their property without their knowledge for his "own personal gain, benefit and use." (Tom has not responded to either lawsuit, publicly or in court.)

RELATED VIDEO: Erika Girardi's Husband Tom Sued by Law Firm Partner amid Divorce, Embezzlement Case

After Tom's lawyers claimed that the once-famed attorney "has had issues" with mental competence," it was later announced that he had been diagnosed with with dementia and late-onset Alzheimer's disease.

He underwent a mental assessment on Feb. 26 as part of his younger brother Robert Girardi's petition to become his permanent conservator. Robert was granted a temporary conservatorship in February until March 30.

Amid multiple lawsuits filed against Tom, Dr. Nathan Lavid, a Long Beach forensic and clinical psychiatrist, wrote a sworn declaration submitted to the Superior Court of California on March 10 stating that Tom was medically unfit to attend any court proceedings "for the foreseeable future," according to a capacity declaration previously obtained by PEOPLE.

"Dementia impairs his ability to understand the hearing," Lavid wrote. "His emotional distress is directly related to his dementia and exacerbated by his confusion."

The Housewife and the Hustler premieres June 14 on Hulu.