Erika Jayne may be doing her thing on the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, but her estranged husband, powerhouse lawyer Tom Girardi, sure doesn’t have it so good right now.
The longtime vaunted Los Angeles trial lawyer, who has previously been a regular on RHOBH, is at the center of a seemingly endless series of damning accusations that he allegedly skimmed settlement money from burn victims, inflated costs on client expense accounts, abandoned clients, and cheated colleagues.
And through it all, he and his law firm Girardi Keese somehow managed to keep a “pristine” record with State Bar of California — the government agency that regulates attorneys — through what a new report alleges was improper ties to officials within that agency.
On Saturday, the Los Angeles Times published a massive, damning report on Girardi’s alleged wrongdoings, and it’s a beast.
Journalists Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton write about massive Vegas parties, boozy lunches with celebrities, and other eye-opening gossip within the report, while also noting the more serious accusations, as well, centered on serious wrongdoing with clients’ settlement money and expenses, and other allegedly unethical and nefarious problems. The main focus of the Times’ investigation is the question of how Girardi managed to stay in the Bar’s good graces for so long despite numerous complaints against him. His “pristine” record flies in the face of that from other attorneys who were reprimanded, suspended, or even disbarred after being accused of similar wrongdoing.
But for the powerhouse attorney, the newspaper reviewed months of interviews and thousands of old documents showing how Girardi “cultivated close relationships with bar officials that at times appeared improper.” That included “over-the-top parties” for Bar officials at the Wynn Casino in Las Vegas, which featured Jay Leno and other celebrity entertainers. At the center of the controversy regarding the Bar is an investigator named Tom Layton who, according to the Times, “forged a particularly tight relationship” with Girardi in the decade and a half he worked for the state. That included endless high-end meals and events, rides on Girardi’s private plane to various places, and jobs in Girardi’s law firm for two of Layton’s children! And this man is supposed to be impartial enough to investigate the accused lawyer for potential wrongdoing?! Yeah, right.
Then, in 2000, after Girardi won a $128 million settlement for workers at a Lockheed facility in Burbank, questions arose about massive checks being doled out to “a huge number of persons” unconnected to the settlement fund or related litigation. Accounting records also show five- and six-figure amounts of money from the litigation being transferred to businesses and law firms that had nothing to do with the case, and people who did absolutely no work on the case, including some that were known to be very close friends of Girardi. Holy s**t…
The Times also notes that Girardi allegedly made “unethical requests” of local Los Angeles politicians after donating more than $7.3 million to several of their campaigns. Some of those favors, the journalists allege, included “backroom deals for his firm, and strong influence over judicial appointments.” So brazen!!!
Now, after the apparent improprieties of Girardi’s law firm have become too big to ignore, and the firm itself has collapsed under the weight of these investigations, the allegations really continue to come to light and shock the legal world. The Times calls the dissolution of Girardi’s firm as one of the biggest legal controversies in the history of California. Wow!!
For eagle-eyed RHOBH fans, this may not come as a total surprise; in her own memoir, Pretty Mess, Erika Jayne previously mentioned several notable run-ins with politicians. To that end, reality TV fans are now wondering whether her documented memories in the memoir may be only the tip of the iceberg regarding Girardi.
Of course, the couple is currently in the midst of their own divorce, which was initiated back in November 2020, after 21 years of marriage. Since that time, Girardi has been ordered by a Los Angeles judge to appear in court on embezzlement charges after being faced with a lawsuit that accuses him of stealing money from airline crash victims in order to keep his and Erika’s ostentatious lifestyle going unabated.
For her part, Jayne hasn’t publicly said anything regarding that lawsuit, or the other allegations against Girardi levied in the Times bombshell. Instead, she’s currently filming the new season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
Still, this is a major, major scandal, and the Times‘ reporting this week continues to push that to the forefront. Crazy!!! Reactions, Perezcious readers? You can read the full report in the Los Angeles Times HERE. Share your thoughts on everything going on here in the comments down (below)…