Real Housewives of New York City alum Bethenny Frankel claims she has known about Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne‘s legal and financial trouble for several years now, even thought they were only exposed in the last several months. During the most recent episode of her Just B With Bethenny Frankel podcast, Bethenny claimed that she first heard about Erika’s wild spending from her late ex-fiance, Dennis Shields. Apparently, before he died in 2018, Dennis had gotten to know Erika’s estranged husband, Tom Girardi, while they both worked in law.
“I have a specific perspective on this,” Bethenny said on September 16. “This was in 2018, Dennis and I watched the show — the Beverly Hills Housewives. … I was aware of Tom.” Bethenny went on to say that she met Tom at a conference that she attended with Dennis and she found it odd that Erika was always showing off her expensive purchases. “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 claimed. “Particularly on Beverly Hills, there have been a lot of ‘all show and no go’ girls. The more that they flaunt it and the more that they brag about it, usually there’s something wrong.”
Bethenny said she used to think it’d be “hard to sustain” the lifestyle Erika had shown on TV, and after chatting with Dennis about it, he told her some surprising information. “Dennis said to me, ‘[Tom] doesn’t have it like that. 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,'” she claimed. “And I go, ‘What are you talking about? How is she flying around on [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 [Erika].'”
Bethenny went on to claim that Tom’s legal issues were “a well-known secret” to those who worked closely with him. And she’s not surprised it took this long for those issues to surface. “That’s just what happens. Things take a long time to come out — but everybody in that industry knew about it. All these major lawyers that I’m talking about around the country that are in this industry, they all knew about it,” she claimed on Thursday. “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 says she also told her good friends Lisa Rinna and Kyle Richards, who have been trying to support Erika on RHOBH Season 11, about Erika and Tom’s legal woes. “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.”