RHOBH: Erika Girardi Denies That Her Divorce Is a 'Sham,' Breaks Down While Addressing Lawsuit
"The only thing I have is my name and the hope that this is not where this ends for me," Erika Girardi said
After Erika, 50, filed for divorce from Tom, 82, in November, the pair were named in multiple lawsuits. Wednesday's episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills primarily focused on the embezzlement lawsuit, beginning with Erika speaking to costars Kyle Richards and Lisa Rinna over FaceTime about how "f------ horrible" she felt. (The entire cast entered a two-week quarantine after Kyle, 52, Dorit Kemsley and Kathy Hilton were diagnosed with COVID-19.)
"This sucks so bad. The things that are being said are just wrong," Erika said. "People are believing [the allegations] and they're everywhere and it's terrible. I'm here, by myself, and what's being said, I mean, it's insane that my divorce is a sham. But nobody cares about the facts."
Erika denied the validity of the "sham" divorce claims, noting to Kyle and Lisa, 58, that she "wouldn't f------ know" how to hide assets. "Divorce is very painful and then having it called a sham is even more painful," Erika said in a confessional. "It took a lot of courage to leave and it took two seconds for some ass---- to say it was a sham and [for] everybody to believe it."
As Kyle asked Erika whether she was "totally in the dark" about what was going on, Erika said: "You have to remember: it is the firm that they're dragging in. So they're suing the firm, and I'm being attached to it."
Asked in a confessional about how she learned about the embezzlement case, Erika declined to answer and was unable to explain why she was named in the lawsuit. Erika then told Kyle and Lisa that the lawsuit "means a lot of things" and that she had "more lawyers than [she] can afford," explaining that Tom hadn't supported her financially since she left him.
"I wake up every morning and I think about what I need to tackle on a legal front every day," she said. "It's just one of those things."
Erika surmised that the legal issues could continue for more than one year, to which Lisa said in response that Erika was "strong" and will "get through this." To that, Erika said that "it's a lot" and it was "depressing," especially as she was in lockdown by herself.
She then began to cry as she said, "I didn't do this."
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After the quarantine period ended, Lisa and Crystal Kung Minkoff visited Erika at her new home. Over drinks, Erika admitted that she was "not good" and had reached out to her psychiatrist as a result.
"It's too much pressure. So painful when you read things about that lawsuit that says that my divorce is a sham so I could hide assets," she said. "That has big implications and unfortunately people want to believe that."
Erika then said that Tom was "really a piece of s---" who "steals from widows and orphans." When Crystal questioned why someone would do that, Erika said that everyone is capable of "sadistic" tendencies.
"People think that Erica Jayne brought down Tom Girardi. Tom Girardi brought down Tom Girardi," Erika said in a confessional. "I don't want his actions to absolutely kill what I have created. I fear starting over. The only thing I have is my name and the hope that this is not where this ends for me."
Erika told Lisa and Crystal that she wasn't sure what was coming next, but that it was only "mile one of a marathon." Asked by Lisa about what she would do differently in her marriage, Erika said: "I don't know that there [is] anything I could have done anything differently, because I kept asking and I was continuously shut out."
Toward the end of the episode, Kyle reunited with Erika in-person. From the moment she arrived, Erika burst into tears and said she felt "overwhelmed" as her "hands are literally tied" due to the legal issues.
"This is so hard, what's happening is so hard," Erika continued. "I have such a story to tell. I can't tell it, because it's not the right time."
Kyle, through tears, told Erika that she felt "so bad" for her pal as she was not used to seeing her so emotional. "There's nothing I can do except wait to tell my side of the story," Erika said. "[Having] the feeling of just not knowing and then these huge things being alleged, and just having to defend yourself, it's just a lonely, lonely place to be because, God, Kyle, my divorce is not a sham. It's just not. I mean, nobody wants to be in the position I'm in right now."
"It is really unenviable. Being the possible target of the Federal Criminal Investigation is, like, not cool. To have all those things said about you, which are not true. And then to have everyone, basically, question everything is lonely and it's quiet. And you would be shocked at how quickly people turn on you, how quickly people distance themselves from you. Automatically, they turn because they don't want to be involved. They were there when it was good though," she added.
Erika said she hoped someone was checking in on Tom because he was "not good" amid the legal trouble. The reality star said that she hadn't been in contact with Tom amid the scandal.
"Tom is a proud man. One of the reasons that I filed for divorce is the resistance to anything," Erika explained. "The resistance to a conversation, the resistance to, 'Hey, you know, I've noticed that you can't see well.' 'What are you talking about? I'm fine.' 'No, you can't see well, you can't hear. You're f------ degrading in front of me, and you're ignoring it.'"
In a confessional, Erika admitted that she believed Tom "resented" her in "every step" she took toward finding her own success. Erika also claimed that "it wasn't that great" at home, to the point where she would try to hug Tom and he wouldn't reciprocate the gesture.
"Tom is in the place that he's in, which is his own personal hell, and I cannot help him. I cannot help him," Erika said to Kyle. "This is the end. It's not the end that anyone wants because it's torture to see someone just melt."
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs Wednesdays (8 p.m. ET) on Bravo.