Erika Jayne's legal issues were old news to Bethenny Frankel, who called they were a "well-known secret."
The Skinny Girl founder and former "Housewives" star dished about her knowledge of Erika and ex-husband Tom Girardi's financial woes, and she felt early on that something was off because the "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star was "flaunting" her money.
It turns out, it may have not been her money after all. Late last year, Erika's ex-husband, once a prominent lawyer, was accused of embezzling money from his law firm, and he was later sued by his business partners, resulting in a chapter 7 bankruptcy petition. The partners claim Tom used money he owed them for "personal gain." Because of this, Erika's finances are being questioned as she is allegedly refusing to hand over her own bank records.
On the podcast "Just B With Bethenny Frankel," the former New York housewife recalled meeting Erika a few year ago at a conference. Bethenny was attending with her late ex-fiancé, Dennis Shields, who was an attorney.
"My experience is — especially with the Housewives, but really, everywhere as well — if someone's flaunting their money, they don't really have it," Bethenny said. "The more that they flaunt it and the more that they brag about it, usually there's something wrong."
Erika, Bethenny alleges, was "flaunting it." Dennis noticed, too.
"Dennis said to me, '[Tom] doesn't have it like that," Bethenny recalled. Dennis then claimed Tom was in major debt with a slew of people.
"He owes me money. He owes me half a million dollars. I know this other guy he owes a million and a half dollars. He doesn't have money. He owes everybody money," Bethenny claimed Dennis said.
Bethenny, though, was initially perplexed and noted how Erika was always flying in private planes.
"And he said, 'It's because he's using people's money to support her lifestyle. He's using the company's money to support her lifestyle.' Dennis said this. … I said, 'Why would he do that?' He goes, 'He can't say no to her,'" Bethenny persists.
After hearing this, Bethenny claims she told friends, including Bravo scion Andy Cohen.
"I told [Erika's makeup artist] Kristofer Buckle about it. I told Andy Cohen about it, just to say, 'It's not what you think,'" Bethenny remembers. "When this came out … Andy called me and said, 'Holy s**t. You really do know it all. You told me about this years ago'. I'm like, 'Yeah, I told you.' … I knew about this whole thing. I knew since, yeah, probably 2017 and 2018, I knew about this."