Erika Jayne found herself in the hot seat yet again on Wednesday’s episode of ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.’
Erika, 51, was confronted more than once about those $750,000 earrings that her estranged husband Tom Girardi gave her 15 years ago with money allegedly owed to his clients.
After a day of skiing and snowmobiling, Erika, along with Kyle Richardsand her husband Mauricio Umansky, Lisa Rinna, Dorit Kemsley, Garcelle Beauvais, Crystal Kung Minkoff, Sheree Zampino, Sutton Stracke, Diana Jenkins, and Kathy Hilton, all went out for a cozy dinner.
However, the friendly banter quickly turned toxic when Garcelle, 55, asked Erika why she wouldn’t return those controversial earrings.
Earlier that evening, Garcelle brought the topic up with Crystal, 39, when they were getting ready to go out. “That whole earring thing is, like it’s everywhere,” she said.
“Clearly, her position is that she is also a victim,” Crystal added. “But the things that you’re wearing, the things you own is an ill-gotten gain. And, like, I wouldn’t want it.”
At the group dinner, the women were talking about various designer items they own and Erika brought up an Alexander McQueen Python coat that she hasn’t worn. She then pulled out a $1,800 Bottega Veneta Clutch that she bought 15 years ago and doesn’t use but brought on the trip.
Garcelle seethed as Erika showed her the clutch. “Erika is just so used to a certain lifestyle that she’s not even putting together that, given the situation with Tom, this is not the time to be talking about these expensive bags or how much money you spent. This is not a good look. Like, what the f—?” Garcelle vented in a confessional.
Back at the table, she asked Erika what $750,000 earrings look like. “They’re $1.3 [million],” Erika quickly corrected her. She then clarified that she doesn’t know the total value but said she’d show the earrings to Garcelle the next day.
When asked if she had them with her on the trip, Erika said “of course.” Garcelle then asked if she’d want to return them. Erika looked stunned at first and replied, “If they [are] deemed not mine, then that’s the truth,” she replied.
At first, Garcelle tried to keep it light. “Well, don’t you just think you should give them up anyway?” she asked.
Erika tried to say she would return them if the court ordered her to do so, but Garcelle insisted that she should do it regardless. Erika stood her ground and said she “wanted to do what’s right” under the letter of the law. “If a judge says you should, I will.”
Garcelle countered and asked why Erika needs a judge to tell her what to do when she should just naturally do what’s right for the victims.
“Am I the one who represented them? Am I the one who signed those checks?” Erika asked in her own defense, to which Garcelle argued back, “You have something that could maybe help.”
Erika continued to defend herself, claiming that it’s a property fight.
“How do you separate the two? I couldn’t do it,” Garcelle said back. “Why wouldn’t you just go, ‘F— it. Let’s pay the victims.’ It’s not saying ‘I’m guilty.’ It’s saying, ‘I have compassion. I have a heart.'”
“Are they stolen?” Erika asked, refusing to back down. Garcelle said she didn’t know the answer to that question.
“You know what I say? I’m not guilty and how f—ing dare you to say that s— about me,” Erika said. “And I’m fighting like a f—ing devil.”
Garcelle then asked Erika if she cares the earrings are stolen and Erika said she did. “It needs to be a final order. It needs to be justice under the law and guess what? If I’m a liar, it’ll be proven I’m a liar,” she said.
The topic was temporarily dropped until the group went back to the rental house that a few of the women were staying in. Garcelle rehashed her conversation with Erika to a few of the women before calling Erika over to join the chat.
“Everybody is acting like only Erika can do something about it but guess what? If you are so passionate about it, put your money where your mouth is. Take out your earrings and donate,” said Diana, 49, in a confessional. “We can all help.”
Erika again defended her stance on wanting to go through the legal system. “I’m not going to do anything that is not required of me under the law,” she said.
“Is there something that you might want to do outside of the law?” Crystal asked.
“No, absolutely not,” Erika firmly replied. “People sued me. I have my response. Until a judge decides, that’s it.”
Garcelle questioned if Erika refusing to return the earrings was because she felt that might make her look guilty. “I’m not guilty,” Erika immediately said. “That’s why I fight as hard as I do.”
“It’s about trying to make people whole,” Crystal interjected.
“There is a place to make people whole and it is in a court of law,” Erika yelled at Crystal. “Not in the court of public opinion. You’re not letting the legal process play out.”
“Whether or not… your husband has been convicted of the crimes. Why can’t you show empathy? It’s asinine to me. I don’t understand,” Crystal said in a confessional.
Continuing, Erika yelled, “The law matters and if you don’t understand that, you’re an amateur, and get the f— out. Just because someone alleges that you did s—, you’re going to throw your hands up and say, ‘I did! Oh my God, I feel so bad! People are thinking I’m terrible!’ Hold on a f—ing minute. That’s one side of the story. Let’s tell the other f—ing side.”
Erika then asked what facts Crystal has and she replied, “That there’s dead people that money was stolen from.”
Erika argued that the class action suits have yet to be proven. “I understand that these people have passed away and I feel terrible about that,” Erika said in a confessional. “We need to find out what did or did not happen to their settlement money. That is a different fight.”
She then told the group that it’s a civil lawsuit, not criminal, and is therefore not an issue of guilt or innocence. “I’m not saying I don’t feel for the potential victims,” she said.
When questioned by Garcelle about the word “potential,” Erika stood her ground. “Yeah, because who knows if they’re true or not,” she argued. “Because someone said something does not make it true.”
In a confessional, Garcelle said with disgust, “For two decades, Erika was living this lavish lifestyle off the backs of these victims. Even if Erika is innocent, her refusing to give anything back is beyond me.”
Added Kyle, 53, in her own confessional: “If it were me in her shoes, I would be making a statement about how I do care about the victims and please be patient with the process… something along those lines.”
“I don’t give a f— about anybody else but me!” Erika said to the group after the victims were once again brought up.
She also clarified that the “real question” is whether these people were defrauded by her husband’s law firm or by her, and that she didn’t work for the firm and had no control over what was done there. Additionally, she argued that the case was still in litigation (at the time the episode was filmed.)
“Why am I catching the sins of somebody that I divorced?” she asked as the women refused to back down. “They’re not my victims.”
“Honey, I’ve been a wife that’s been left in ruins,” Erika concluded.
“People died and the families are left in the aftermath,” Kyle argued. “You’re not showing any compassion!”
Since the episode was filmed, Erika was ordered to return the earrings and a tentative ruling has since found that she had no knowledge of her estranged husband’s alleged financial crimes.
‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ airs Wednesdays at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo.