Here's What We Know About The Lawsuit Against RHOBH's Erika Girardi

We were all shocked to learn Erika Gerardi and her husband of over 20 years, Tom Girardi, were divorcing. The star said in a statement last month, "After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage...This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved I request others give us that privacy as well."

Previously, it seems the writer and singer had nary a negative thing to say about her husband. In fact, she went to great lengths to defend her relationship, saying at one point, "I mean, I'm tired of having to justify my 20-year marriage" (via BravoTV). She added, "Yeah I married a guy that's 33 years older than me and yeah he's got a lot of money, but you know what? He's a f*****g good man. And that is the most important thing."

But now, shocking news emerges that the already-shocking divorce is actually a pretense to protect Tom's assets in the wake of massive debt — and that he may even be attempting to embezzle money from plane crash victims (via Page Six). We know — our jaws are on the floor, too.

More about the outrageous lawsuit against the Girardis

These wild accusations are part of a lawsuit brought by Edelson PC, which is a class-action firm that represents a number of Lion Air Flight 610 crash victims' family members (via Today). The suit, filed Wednesday, alleges Tom and his law firm, Girardi Keese, embezzled millions of dollars while settling claims for clients. According to the bombshell suit, Girardi Keese is "on the verge of financial collapse and locked in a downward spiral of mounting debts and dwindling funds."

And thus, the suit says to protect his assets, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills couple is engaged in a sham divorce. The lawsuit elaborates on this incredulous claim, alleging, "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" (via Today).

The divorce is also an attempt to make sure Tom "continues to use that money to fund his and Erika's lavish lifestyle, release personal guarantees, pay down loans, route the money to friends and family and satisfy other outstanding debts." 

Erika Girardi definitely leads a lavish lifestyle

It's no secret that Erika, known professionally as Erika Jayne, enjoys expensive things, with the star writing in her memoir, Pretty Mess, "After our engagement, Tom said, 'Listen, I'll buy you anything you want. I don't care what it is. You name it'" (via MSN). The lawsuit also cites the "opulent and expensive" lifestyle of the star couple, specifically calling out Erika's $40,000 per month spending habit, adding they brag about how rich they are, with assets such as a private jet, a $5,000 toilet (yes, seriously), and a $250,000 car.

Meanwhile, according to Meaww, Erika Girardi is worth somewhere between $5 million and $15 million — Tom is said to be worth $31 million before divorce proceedings begin, if they do at this point.

While we don't know the veracity of the lawsuit's claims, which are part of a federal suit according to Fox News, clearly they are extremely shocking. We also don't know if the eyebrow-raising drama will be part of any storylines on RHOBH episodes. While Erika herself hasn't publicly commented on the lawsuit, she did post to Instagram with what could be construed as a hidden message. "High drama," the blonde beauty captioned a shot of herself. That is for sure.

Erika Girardi may just want more independence

It's worth noting the Girardis do not have a prenup, with Erika telling Andy Cohen previously about her husband, "A prenup wouldn't stand in his way anyway... It's gonna be all Tom's way, I assure you. He'll rip that piece of paper to shreds in two seconds!" Also worthy of consideration is the fact that Erika asked for spousal support from Tom in the divorce filing, according to People. She also requested that she not have to pay support to him. 

Finally, a source told Us Weekly the divorce actually makes sense — so perhaps it isn't a sham. "They would travel separately," the "insider" claimed about the couple, adding, "Tom gave Erika a very lavish lifestyle, and she enjoyed it. Erika has gained independence and confidence from being on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. The exposure it has given for her singing career has given Erika a much larger fan base."