Erica Jane will have to hand over her $750,000 diamond earrings after a judge ruled that her ex-husband Tom Girardi bought the jewelry with stolen funds, Us Weekly can confirm.
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According to an article published by Law360 about the hearing, on Tuesday, June 28, Judge Barry Russell acknowledged that “the settlement funds from the trust account created for the class action, which was handled by Thomas Girardi Keese’s firm, were used to pay for diamond earrings. “The judge also noted that he does not believe that 50-year-old Erica “knew that the earrings were stolen,” although she still has to return them.
Tom, 83, allegedly bought the earrings in March 2007 with money from a client’s trust account and referred to the purchase as expenses in the case, according to court documents obtained by us in February. Although he initially claimed that the jewelry was stolen from their home, the earrings were allegedly found in a safe.
The trustee’s former attorney, Ronald Richards, reacted to the judge’s decision shortly after attending the hearing.
“The court found that the firm appropriated funds, and the earrings were recognized as the property of the Estate,” Richards, who previously oversaw the bankruptcy case involving Tom’s former law firm, told us on Wednesday. “Erica tried to argue that too much time had passed and that the claims should be made by former clients of the firm, not the Trustee. The court rejected this argument and stated that the Trustee can present an order on the turnover of the earrings and deprives Erica of all rights to the earrings.”
Erica’s lawyer also reacted to this decision and told how it will affect his client. “Once again, Erica is facing the consequences of past actions taken by Tom Girardi and Girardi Keys. Erica didn’t do anything wrong,” Evan Borges told us. “In fact, the judge specifically found no guilt or knowledge on Erica’s part regarding the actions of Tom Girardi and his partners in the law firm. Lawyer Tom Girardi did it.
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The statement reads: “From a legal point of view, the judge’s decision raises an important question about whether the law allows to review transactions of 15 years ago in order to take away a gift received by an innocent spouse. But it should be decided by a higher court.”
This news comes amid Erica and Tom’s ongoing legal troubles. In November 2020, the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star filed for divorce after 21 years of marriage. The following month, the former couple was accused of stealing $2 million of settlement funds from the families of victims of Lion Air Flight 610. The former lawyer also allegedly mismanaged money belonging to several of his clients.
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The Georgia native continues to claim that she knew nothing about her ex-husband’s alleged wrongdoing. Meanwhile, Tom was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease, and later in July 2021 he was placed under the care of his brother Robert Girardi, acting as the effective guardian of his personality and property.
Recently, Erica thought about her decision to continue filming in the popular TV series “Bravo”. “The previous season was a real failure. This season we are really trying to pull ourselves together and move on. It was hard, but eventually I’ll get to it, and it’s part of the human experience,” the singer explained to Us in May, revealing that she was “mixing alcohol and antidepressants” while the cameras were working. “You can’t go through what I went through in the previous season and not feel anything. I wanted to have some fun, and I wanted to not feel so heavy. That’s what I did.”
With a report by Diana Cooper