Is the Real Housewives TV’s Newest Courtroom Drama?

In her 2018 memoir, Pretty Mess, Erika Girardi wrote glowingly of her relationship with her husband. "Tom is 33 years older than me," she says. "It was always a bigger deal to everyone else than it was to either of us. All a couple really needs is to have the same life philosophy. If you see things the same way, then age, race, religion—none of that comes into play."

For decades, Tom Girardi was the famous one, the lawyer who shot to stardom in the 1990s when he helped the real-life Erin Brockovich secure a $333 million settlement for Hinkley, California residents whose groundwater had been contaminated. But in 2015, when the public trained their eyes back on the Girardi family, it was to watch the televised exploits of Erika Jayne, his wife's leather-and-latex pop star alter ego. That December, Jayne began a seven-season (and counting!) run as a cast member on Bravo's hit reality series, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. Her songs—loud, sweaty, horny tracks with retrospectively ironic titles like "How Many Fucks?" and "XXPEN$IVE"—were crafted by pricey hitmakers like Justin Tranter (Selena Gomez), Sarah Hudson (Dua Lipa), and frequent Britney Spears background singer Myah Marie. A private jet was flaunted as frequently and matter-of-factly as the designer brands spilling out of her closets. Money, her actions revealed, was no object, making Jayne the perfect fit for a franchise built on excess.


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