Audra Petrolle, Rose Law Group family law attorney and fan of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,’ comments on stars Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi being accused of a “sham” divorce announcement to hide from embezzlement lawsuit

Photo credit: Joe Scarnici/Getty Images

By Hannah Yasharoff | USA TODAY

Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi of “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” are being accused of a “sham” divorce announcement in order to protect themselves against a lawsuit for allegedly embezzling funds meant for families of the victims of the fatal 2018 Lion Air plane crash.

A month after Jayne, 49, announced she and attorney Girardi, 81, would be separating after a 21-year marriage, the two were accused of announcing their divorce as a “sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm,” according to legal documents obtained by USA TODAY filed Wednesday by Chicago law firm Edelson PC.


When dealing with high net with estates like the Girardi’s, as an attorney, you would often expect to see some sophisticated asset protection and planning measures. I would be surprised to learn that the Girardis had taken no predissolution precautionary measures to insulate the individual assets and/or marital estate from third party liability, especially given Erika Jane’s successful career as a musical artist and Tom’s successful law practice, although like any RH fan I am intrigued to see what transpires.

Audra Petrolle, Rose Law Group Attorney

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December 2020