Erika Jayne‘s legal woes are far from over.
“The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star and her company, EJ Global, LLC, are now being named in a $2.1 million lawsuit that claims she “aided and abetted” her estranged husband Tom Girardi in his law firm Girardi & Keese’s alleged embezzlement activities, according to legal documents obtained by E! News.
Jayne, meanwhile, is denying any wrongdoing via her attorney Evan Borges.
“The complaint is another misguided effort to blame Erika for the conduct of others in which she had no part,” Borges told E! News in a statement. “Erika has no law degree and never worked at or managed her former husband’s law firm. Whatever Mr. Girardi or others at his law firm did or said to the plaintiffs in this case, Erika had no knowledge or role in any of it.”
Borges said the “focus” should be on Girardi, his law firm and “anyone else who enabled what he did,” adding, “Piling on Erika may generate publicity, but it’s without any basis in law or fact.”
Filed on Feb. 17 by attorney Manuel H. Miller and Kathleen Bajgrowicz — a former client of Girardi’s and the mother of late NFL star Chuck Osborne — the complaint alleges that Jayne not only “knew about the scheme” in which Girardi allegedly withheld money meant for his clients and co-counsel, but that she was also aware victims were “funding her notoriously lavish lifestyle chronicled on The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”
Miller and Girardi jointly represented Bajgrowicz when she sued the NFL over her son’s 2012 death from repeated head trauma.
A settlement was ultimately reached with the league, and though Girardi was meant to distribute the funds to Bajgrowicz and Miller, they allege he “lulled Plaintiffs into believing that the funds could not be distributed to anyone until various issues were first resolved.”
“Unknown to Plaintiffs,” Bajgrowicz and Miller added in the lawsuit, “Girardi had already taken their money and breached his and the firm’s fiduciary duty to distribute the funds to Plaintiffs.”
The complaint also accuses Jayne of being “intimately involved in Girardi & Keese’s business dealings,” and saying she “assisted or encouraged” Girardi because it “benefitted them financially.”
“Defendants knew that Plaintiffs were fraud victims but did nothing to protect them and instead prioritized their own financial gain at Plaintiffs’ expense,” the suit read. “Defendants should be required to compensate Plaintiffs for the harm they have caused and should be punished for aiding and abetting Girardi’s breach of fiduciary duty and their financial elder abuse of Plaintiffs.”
The new filing comes after Jayne was dismissed from Girardi’s embezzlement and fraud lawsuit in Illinois, according to court documents filed in the state on Jan. 29 and obtained by E! News.
The original civil lawsuit accused the former couple — Jayne split from Girardi in Nov. 2020, a month before the lawsuit was filed — of embezzling $2 million from a Boeing 737 airplane crash settlement fund made to Illinois-based plaintiffs whose family members were among the accident victims.
Despite the dismissal, Jay Edelson, an attorney for the plaintiffs in the case, vowed to refile in California.
Jayne, meanwhile, is currently filming the 12th season of RHOBH alongside returning co-stars Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Dorit Kemsley, Garcelle Beauvais, Sutton Stracke, Crystal Kung Minkoff and Kathy Hilton and newcomers Diana Jenkins and Sheree Zampino.
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