Which is it?
When it comes to Erika Jayne… her estranged husband’s very messy legal situation … and the reality star’s alleged role in what appears to be an enormous embezzlement scam, this is the question.
Which is it:
Was Erika Jayne an accomplice and did she help Tom Girardi steal money from his client? Or was she just another victim of his greed?
This was the main topic of debate among cast members on Wednesday’s episode of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.
"Is Erika being honest with us?" asked Sutton Stracke in a confessional, referring to Jayne’s constant claim that she has never tried to help Tom hide any assets.
Once Erika chose to leave the La Quinta cast trip and return to Los Angeles amid her and Tom’s legal woes and ongoing lawsuits, meanwhile, her co-stars really hunkered down and the gossip got underway.
"Here’s the thing: I mean, it’s hard but we kind of got to get back up on our feet and pray for her and help her win when we can," Sutton said, while Lisa Rinna added:
"I don’t think it’s going to get any better anytime soon and I’m so sad that this just happened, to be honest with you."
From there, the women discussed a Los Angeles Times article that detailed how former Tom was "accused of improperly funneling more than $20 million in loans to [Erika] Jayne’s entertainment company."
Stracke noted how "complicated" the article was and how they "used the word ‘Ponzi scheme’" to describe the ordeal.
"Is someone going to jail?" Kyle asked, prompting Sutton to respond:
"If he’s found guilty, yeah. He’s going to jail."
Jayne herself has trashed her ex as being mean and cruel and dismissive.
She had continually tried to distance herself Tom as often as possible of late — for obvious reasons.
On Wednesday’s episode, Kyle wondered about Erika’s fate amid the embezzlement scandal, and Sutton said that "there’s going to have to be some reconciliation where she goes to court."
"If she did receive $20 million from the firm, that money should be going back to all the victims [of the embezzlement case]," Sutton said, adding that she thought "the money is gone."
It certainly seemed as if Jayne peaced out of the cast trip because she knew the expose was about to come out.’
"I mean, this article is implying that Erika was complicit and knew everything," Kyle said on air.
"I hate to be devil’s advocate here. Maybe she didn’t know. But if her name is on that LLC, she is responsible for that LLC. She’s responsible for where the money comes from."
She also had to question whether they’d all "been slightly duped by the lies," while Dorit said she had "a hard pill to swallow" since she’d known Erika for five years.
"It’s almost as if we don’t know her at all," Dorit said.
When the women got back to Los Angeles, Sutton called for the group to meet — without Erika around.
The gatherring kicked off with a discussion regarding Erika’s Instagram posts, calling attention to Tom’s alleged infidelity ahead of the pair’s November 2020 divorce filing.
Even Garcelle, a close pal of Erika’s, asked in a confessional whether Erika was "not telling us everything."
"I think we are being placed in a bad position," Sutton said. "I think that we have heard stories that, to me, don’t add up. I left yesterday very concerned.
"And then I started thinking, and my alarms went off, and red flags started flying everywhere. I’m like, what have we gotten ourselves into?"
Kyle chimed in as follows:
"It basically sounds like you’re saying, ‘I don’t believe you, Erika, and I think you’re guilty.’"
"I have questions," Sutton said in response.
"I am not sure how much I want to be around my friend during this time."