Viewers and castmates alike are having a hard time keeping track of Erika Jayne's seemingly contradictory stories.
The one thing on which everyone can agree is that her and Tom Girardi's financial situation is all wrong, and has been that way for a while.
It's not just Erika, Tom, and Tom's alleged victims who know that -- even other Housewives, past and present, know that.
The Real Housewives of New York City alum Bethenny Frankel lived it. She says that Tom owed her late fiance half a million dollars.
Last week, Bethenny shared some illuminating details on her Just B with Bethenny Frankel podcast.
She told listeners that she has known for years that Erika's extravagant on-screen lifestyle is just a facade.
Bethenny didn't just have to guess -- because she knew through Dennis Shields, who passed away in 2018.
According to Bethenny, the Girardi household's financial troubles were readily apparent.
She said that Tom owed Dennis $500,000.
Dennis passed away from a tragic overdose in 2018, and was presumably never able to collect.
Bethenny shared with listeners who she remembers watching Erika claim to spend $45,000 each month just on her famous "glam squad."
She was astonished to hear that amount, especially since she can do that math.
That would mean paying $600,000 each year on nothing more than hair, makeup, and clothes.
To Bethenny, that seemed extreme.
Keep in mind that we're talking about Bethenny Frankel, here.
In addition to being a Real Housewife (off and on) herself, she is also a significantly wealthy woman.
Online estimates of net worth are infamously suspicious, but they can be a guidelines -- especially with more famous, wealthier celebs.
Bethenny's estimated net worth is $70 million.
Considering that she reportedly sold her liquor brand for $100 million in 2011, that number at least sounds right.
“You know, I was like, that’s rolling really deep," Bethenny commented on her podcast.
"And," she observed, "that’s just a number that would be hard to sustain."
That, Bethenny shared, is when Dennis shared with her what he knew about Tom's finances.
“And Dennis said to me, ‘He doesn’t have it like that. He owes me money,'" Bethenny recalled.
She continued: "'He owes me half a million dollars, I know this other guy he owes $1.5 million.'"
According to Bethenny, Dennis then told her: "'He doesn’t have money. He owes everybody money.'”
Almost anyone could find themselves going into debt, and there can be a tremendous amount of shame and stigma.
We can only imagine the pressures that a famous attorney might feel, particularly if his much younger wife is a celebrity.
It might be tempting to try to cover up financial shortfalls, especially if the appearance of affluence helps bring in real money.
But borrowing money from other millionaires is one thing. If someone can spare $1.5 million, then they can lose it.
Stealing money from victims of tragedies -- his own clients -- as Tom is accused of having done ... that's something else entirely.
We may not know the whole truth of many elements of this story, but it's clear that there were a lot of victims and plenty of poor choices.