On Wednesday, host Andy Cohen, 53, asked the reality star, 50, why she chose to be married to the former attorney, 82, for as long she did during the four-part special of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
She Had No Access
Erika claimed that she had no control over her money.
“I was not in control of my finances,” she said. “I walk out with two credit cards, they get cut. … Who am I going to go call?”
However, the TV host pointed out that Erika had a job as she was “on a hit TV show.”
Cohen even said that her salary from the reality show “ain’t bad,” but Erika dismissed the idea, claiming that her earnings went straight to her husband.
She Gave Her Earnings To Tom
“I gave every paycheck to my husband. I’ve handed every paycheck I’ve ever made over,” the “Lowball” actress said.
Erika was also asked whether she stayed in the marriage for security, to which she replied, “I stayed because I had no access.”
Erika also talked about how she trusted Tom to an extent that she had her money kept at the firm Girardi & Keese.
“I’ll say this. I was 27 when I went in [to the marriage]. He was 60. The power balance is way out of whack,” Erika explained. “I trusted this man. All of my finances were kept down at the firm, and everything was kept there.”
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According to People, Erika filed for divorce from the high-profile lawyer in November 2020, but the finalization of the process has been delayed due to Tom’s conservatorship.
The outlet also reported that Erika’s estranged spouse was previously diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. That said, authorities named Tom’s brother his temporary conservator in February and later made permanent in July.
The former attorney is currently facing multiple lawsuits, including the case accusing him and Erika of embezzling settlement money intended for the family of Boeing plane crash victims. In addition, his business partners brought on a lawsuit regarding his chapter 7 bankruptcy case.
How She Was Treated
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Cohen then asked Erika whether she felt like Tom was a “liability” before leaving him, especially since he has so many legal issues.
“I felt like he was sinking, not necessarily the ship [was sinking]. There was no talking to this person, trying to get him to answer my questions, being shut out completely. Anger, personality changes,” she said. “And you can see now, look — the man is in a home. He’s in a memory care facility. We’ve all seen the pictures of him with a black eye. We’ve seen how disheveled and how absolutely horrible he has deteriorated since I left in November.”
She added, “So, what I have been saying is true. It’s not unusual in Tom’s business for him to be sued. But when Erika Girardi started ending up on lawsuits, that’s when my ears were pricked.”