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Erika Girardi is forced to hand over one of her very expensive possessions after a judge ruled it had been bought with stolen money.
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star fought to keep a pair of $750,000 diamond earrings that her estranged husband Tom Girardi bought her in March 2007. However, at a hearing on Tuesday in Los Angeles, US bankruptcy judge Barry Russell ruled that the former trial attorney had bought the jewelry with money that would go to his clients, who had been injured by a circumscribed diabetes drug known as Rezulin.
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Judge Russell called it an “unfortunate case” and said that “trust account funds created for a class action handled by [Tom’s] firm Girardi Keese paid for the diamond earrings that Erika owned,” Law360 reports.
Not only did Girardi steal money from the GK customer account to buy the diamond earrings, he covered up the theft by describing the purpose of the check as a ‘cost’ of lawsuits made by the company,” a trustee for Tom’s law company said in its motion to force Erika to hand over the expensive earrings, the outlet said.
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Although the “XXPEN$IVE” singer is required to return the gift, the judge noted that he did not believe she knew the money used to purchase the earrings was illegal, Law360 reported, but that “she was still in the possession of stolen property”.
Erika’s attorney, Evan Borges, told the court that since Tom’s battle with legal issues, her life has changed dramatically.
“My client takes this very seriously, Your Honor,” Borges said, according to the paper. “My client left this marriage to move into a rented house, filed for divorce on her own, and all she took with her was her personal belongings, including jewelry, but all she has are those personal effects, plus her income from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills†
“It’s funny that people chuckle a little bit about it, but it’s all she’s got, as far as income is concerned.”
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Erika and Tom were married for 21 years before she applied in November 2020. She was previously married to Thomas Zizzo, with whom she shares 26-year-old son Tommy Zizzo.
Shortly after filing the paperwork for her divorce from Tom, Erika became entangled in his ongoing legal troubles, including a lawsuit in which they were both accused of embezzling money intended to go to the families of Boeing plane crash victims. to go. Erika has repeatedly denied having any part in Tom’s legal controversies.
The charges against Erika were dropped for the embezzlement lawsuit, but Erika now faces two other lawsuits: a $50 million racketeering suit and a $2.1 million lawsuit for “complicity to complicity”.
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At the same time, Tom’s health deteriorated. Amid his battle with dementia and late Alzheimer’s disease, the 83-year-old was placed under temporary receivership in February 2021, which became permanent in July. He currently resides in a “competent nursing facility” where he is cared for 24 hours a day.
As for how she’s coping with her new normal, Erika recently told E!’s Daily Pop that she is focused on staying present.
“Last year I woke up with this hopeless feeling,” she recalls. “There’s still a lot of sadness here, but there’s happiness in the form of having fun with some friends, having some sex, and just trying to stay in the moment and not the past.”
And now Erika said it’s all about a fresh start. “What I like most is that I have the chance to start all over again and be free from a 20-plus year marriage and wipe the slate clean in a way,” she said.