Tom Girardi used to be famous as the benevolent lawyer who won $333 million in the “Erin Brokovitch” case in 1996 on behalf of the citizens of the southern California town of Hinkley who drank water contaminated by the Pacific Gas & Electric company. It was the largest direct-action settlement ever at the time.
Later, Tom Girardi was famous because his wife, Erika Girardi, became a cast member of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills and their marriage was featured on the show. Soon, Erika Girardi became a pop star who bragged in her music, on the show, and on social media about the luxurious lifestyle her marriage to Tom afforded her. Even Erika’s t-shirts were $500 Moschino shirts. At one time she bragged about spending $40,000 a month on her appearance. Famously, Erika said Tom told her “Listen, I’ll buy you anything you want. I don’t care what it is. You name it.”
Erika’s anthem, as she sings in one of her singles, is “it’s expensive to be me”.
Now, Tom Girardi is famous for being a grifter.
A damning Los Angeles Times article outed the couple as not only broke, but as stealing money from the victims that Tom represented in lawsuits. These victims were the widows and orphans of a plane crash that Tom had gotten a settlement for. The victims never saw the money. He is also accused of embezzling money from a burn victim who was injured in a workplace explosion.
Erika is now divorcing Tom after 20 years of marriage. Tom, like many other men before him who have been outed as committing ghastly crimes, has suddenly become a feeble old man. He isn’t the whip-smart, energetic man we’ve seen on RHOBH year after year. Tom Girardi claims he now has Alzheimer’s disease and is unable to understand legal proceedings. He was then placed under the conservatorship of his brother. His lawyers have asked that Erika cover his attorney’s fees during their divorce proceedings.
For her part, Erika thinks she’s a scapegoat. This season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is currently airing and covers the time period when Erika and Tom were being outed. Now, Hulu has put together a documentary on the crimes that will air later this month. The doc will explore the multiple embezzlement scams the Girardis are accused of as well as their current lawsuits and legal problems.
The Housewife and the Hustler will be available on Hulu on June 14.