Celebrity

RHOBH Star Erika Jayne Was Accused Of Filing For Divorce To Skirt Embezzlement Claims

She and her estranged husband were named in a new lawsuit.

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One of the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is facing a major legal issue amid her divorce. Erika Jayne's estranged husband, Tom Girardi, has been accused of fraud and embezzling money, according to a Dec. 2 E! report. Bustle reached out to Jayne's representative, as she is also named in the suit, but did not receive an immediate response.

Edelson PC, a nationally recognized plaintiff's firm, filed the civil suit against Girardi. The legal complaint alleges he and others embezzled money from settlements made to Illinois-based relatives of victims who died in a tragic 2018 plane crash off the coast of Indonesia. In October 2018, a Boeing 737 jet operated by Lion Air crashed into the Java Sea just 13 minutes after takeoff, killing all 189 passengers and crew members onboard.

Here's where Jayne comes in: The plaintiffs allege Girardi "resorted to embezzling the proceeds of settlements that should have been directed to his clients ... in order to continue funding his and Erika's lavish Beverly Hills lifestyles." The amount of damages sought by the plaintiffs and how much money Girardi is accused of misappropriating is currently confidential.

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The allegations come weeks after Jayne announced she filed for divorce from Girardi after 21 years of marriage. "This is not a step taken lightly or easily," the singer said in a statement to US Weekly on Nov. 3. "I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved." A week later, People reported Jayne had requested spousal support from Girardi and asked courts to not grant him spousal support.

However, this new lawsuit accuses Girardi and Jayne of filing for divorce to prevent complications stemming from it, stating it's "simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom and Erika's money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK."

The estranged couple have yet to respond to the allegations, but this story will be updated if they do.