Kate Aurthur-Wed, July 28, 2021
Over the years, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” — more than the other installments in the Bravo franchise — has struggled to produce story arcs that aren’t dull and drama-free. Its cast, several of whom are actors who know how to exert self-control, have often been overly guarded, and have abstained from orchestrating the unbridled, potentially life-ruining shenanigans offered by some of the other cities. Instead, the women of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” have had season-long fights about, to use a particularly bleak example, a dog named Lucy Lucy Apple Juicy, or whether Denise Richards cheated on her husband with former cast member, current shit-stirrer Brandi Glanville.
But not this time. In the 11th season of “Beverly Hills,” the story of Erika Girardi — whose persona over her six seasons on the show had previously been the most carefully managed — has proven to be riveting television. Erika, who has been brought low by the legal and financial collapse of her estranged husband, Tom Girardi, 82, once a towering figure in the California legal community, is being sued into smithereens. And Bravo’s cameras have been there to capture the collapse.
Erika filed for divorce against Tom on Election Day, hoping to draw as little attention as she could, she told the other women. But that would prove to be impossible. Tom’s legal empire disintegrated the following month amid lawsuits filed against him and his law firm, Girardi Keese, which led to Tom being put into involuntary bankruptcy. Several lawsuits against both Tom and Erika have alleged that Tom has stolen millions of dollars from his clients — and that she was a part of the scheme. And because Erika has been married to Tom since 2000, and she has been clear on the show that he has funded her life and career, she may have few assets of her own.