A US court has ordered reality star Erika Jayne to turn over a pair of diamond earrings she received as a gift from her estranged ex-husband and lawyer Tom Girardi. The judge found that Girardi purchased the earrings for Jayne with funds he stole from a trust entrusted to him.
While the judge found that Jayne was unaware the gift was bought with stolen funds, the court was unable to allow her to keep the earrings. The decision is part of a trial investigating Girardi for embezzlement of a client’s trust.
Jayne and Girardi are divorced, and the reality star was dismissed from the embezzlement lawsuit. She is now facing two separate lawsuits, one for racketeering and one for aiding and abetting Girardi’s crimes. Read on to find out more about the trial.
Erika Jayne Is Obligated To Return The Earrings
During a court hearing this week, Judge Barry Russell noted that the stolen “settlement funds from the trust account created for a class action handled by Thomas’ firm Girardi Keese were used to pay for the diamond earrings.”
The judge added that he didn’t believe that Jayne was aware that Girardi had bought the earrings with stolen funds but despite her lack of knowledge, she is obligated by law to return them to the rightful owners, whose money was embezzled.
83-year-old Girardi allegedly paid for the earrings in March 2007 after he embezzled money from a client’s trust account. Ronald Richards, the former lawyer for the trustee, told Page Six that “the ruling was a major milestone in the quest to recover stolen assets by the Girardis.”
He said, “It does not matter whether Erika knew they were stolen client funds or not. This ruling will be used in the future aspects of the case and is now the law of the case.”
She Had No Knowledge Of The Crime
Evan Borges, Jayne’s attorney, spoke to US weekly after the hearing. He said, “Erika is facing consequences for past actions taken by Tom Girardi and Girardi Keese. Erika did nothing wrong. In fact, the judge specifically found no fault or knowledge on the part of Erika regarding the actions by Tom Girardi and his partners at the law firm. Tom Girardi the lawyer did this.”
Borges continued, “Legally, the judge’s decision raises an important issue of whether the law allows revisiting transactions of 15 years ago to take away a gift received by an innocent spouse. But that’s for a higher court to decide.”
Girardi was also accused of stealing from the settlement funds meant for the widows and orphans who lost family members in 2018’s Lion Air Flight 610 crash. He allegedly spent the funds from their class-action lawsuit on his lavish lifestyle with Jayne. A lot of their lifestyle was documented and showcased on “Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills” for many years.
Erika Jayne Is Facing Her Own Lawsuits
49-year-old Jayne was originally named as Girardi’s partner and co-defendant in the 2018 lawsuit. However, she denied the charges severally, and after further investigation, she was dismissed from the embezzlement lawsuit.
The reality star is now facing two separate lawsuits, a $50 million racketeering lawsuit and a $2.1 million “aiding and abetting” lawsuit. She spoke about her legal troubles to Page Six back in May and said, “I like where I’m going to end. It’s going to be fine.”
Jayne also stated that she has put in a lot of effort to stay positive and hopeful through it all. She said, “Even if I didn’t feel that way, I’d still tell you I felt good about it. But I really do. It’s going to be just fine.”
She Divorced Tom Girardi
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Jayne filed for divorce from Girardi in 2020 after being married to him for 21 years. She spoke to E! about her decision and said, “After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi. This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together.”
The “Real Housewives Of Beverly Hills” star also said, “It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved. I request others to give us that privacy as well.”
In 2017 Jayne revealed that she and Girardi did not have a prenuptial agreement when they got married in 1999. She said, “But let me tell you something, let me be very clear. I’m married to a very powerful lawyer. A prenup wouldn’t stand in his way anyway.”
She continued, “So it doesn’t matter whether you had one or you didn’t, it’s gonna be all Tom’s way, I assure you. He’ll rip that piece of paper to shreds in two seconds!”
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