A Chicago law firm is claiming that Erika Jayne and Tom Girardi's divorce is nothing more than "a sham" with the purpose of embezzling money from the families of victims of a deadly plane crash.
In a class action lawsuit last year, Edelson PC represented the family's of the victims of Lion Air Flight 610, which crashed in 2018 during a flight from Jakarta, Indonesia, to Pangkal Pinang, Indonesia, killing all 189 people aboard. Tom's law firm, Girardi Keese, was also involved in the lawsuit against Boeing, as the fateful plane was a Boeing 737 Max 8.
In early 2020, Boeing quietly reached individual settlements with the families of the crash victims. Now, Edelson claims that Tom has been embezzling money from the settlements to support his and "The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star's lifestyle.
The lawsuit, filed in court on Dec. 2 and obtained by the Chicago Sun-Times, claims Tom and his law firm "are on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds."
The sudden divorce, the lawsuit alleges, was done so that Tom, 81, and Erika, 49, can "project a public image of obscene wealth at all times, and at whatever the cost."
"While Erika publicly filed for divorce this month, on information and belief, that 'divorce' is simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom's and Erika's money from those that seek to collect on debts owed by Tom and his law firm GK," the lawsuit continued.
Edelson alleges that Tom and Erika "route the money to friends and family and satisfy other outstanding debts." The court filing also brings up Erika's comments in multiple interviews in which she acknowledges that she spends $40,000 a month for her look. It also brings up Tom's daily standing reservation at Morton's The Steakhouse in Los Angeles.
Edelson claims it became aware of potential issues after the firm contacted Tom to check on the status of the Boeing settlements being paid to the families. Tom, the firm says, was less than forthcoming.
"We're doing good on this thing, getting things squared away and sh—," Tom allegedly said in a voicemail attached to the court filing. "Don't be mean to me, be nice to me. I'm doing good. It was because of me that we got this by the way. … I'll be in touch, don't worry about everything, we're friends, things are going to work out good."
In another, Tom allegedly said, "We screwed up here a little bit. … We had three different air crashes and they got a little screwed up. I'll get everything worked out by Thursday. I'm so sorry, this never happened before, anyway, everything will be smoothed over on Thursday."
According to Page Six, the lawsuit asks a judge to create a trust to first benefit Lion Air clients before paying money owed to Edelson.