A federal judge in Chicago on Tuesday told an attorney for “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne to make sure she knows her estranged husband’s assets are frozen “without question.”
U.S. District Judge Thomas Durkin otherwise took no action against Jayne during the latest hearing prompted by at least $2 million in missing money owed to people who lost loved ones in the Lion Air Flight 610 crash.
The Chicago law firm Edelson PC on Friday asked the judge to order Jayne to stop selling designer clothing. It also argued she should be forced to deposit with the federal court any money she made from her clothing sales since the judge froze the assets of her lawyer husband, Thomas Girardi, and his Girardi Keese law firm.
Girardi Keese helped represent families in litigation stemming from the Lion Air crash.
Edelson withdrew its request Tuesday, a move apparently prompted by the filing of involuntary bankruptcy proceedings in California against Girardi and the firm.
Durkin has made clear his objective is to recover $2 million in settlement money owed to people in connection with the October 2018 crash of the Boeing 737 Max 8. Girardi’s attorneys have said he can’t pay the money. They have also failed to explain what happened to it.
Last week, the judge held Girardi and Girardi Keese in civil contempt, explaining the “simple way to cure all of this” is to pay at least four clients who are each owed a half-million dollars. He also froze their assets at the time.
Then, on Dec. 16, Jayne promoted designer clothing for sale on Twitter. That prompted the request from Edelson PC, which noted that a link in Jayne’s tweet connected users to the French company Vestiaire Collective. Jayne is also known as Erika Girardi.
Brand new items available on @vestiaireco ! ️— Erika Jayne (@erikajayne) December 16, 2020
Use the code ERIKA10 for 10% off... right in time for the holidays!
Download the app to shop my pre-loved pieces: https://t.co/rIejHw5MOI pic.twitter.com/g4SYE29k1u
“While Edelson is unaware of the exact relationship between Vestiaire Collective and Erika Girardi, Erika Girardi may be attempting to move Tom Girardi’s assets outside the United States by selling them through a French company,” lawyer Jay Edelson wrote.
Durkin on Tuesday told Jayne attorney Matthew Wasserman that Tom Girardi’s “assets, without question, are frozen right now. So I think you need to convey that to your client.”
Wasserman said he would let Jayne know. He also said Jayne only learned of the asset freeze through an email to her divorce attorney. He added, “I question whether she’s subject to this court’s jurisdiction.”
The revelations about the missing money came in a separate lawsuit filed earlier this month by the Edelson firm that also named Jayne as a defendant. It said Boeing, headquartered in Chicago, had reached individual settlements with clients and families represented by Girardi Keese and Edelson, with primary terms reached early in 2020.
The lawsuit outlined multiple attempts by Edelson to determine whether the clients had been paid, resulting in mixed answers. It also accused Girardi and Jayne of leading “opulent” and “notoriously lavish lifestyles,” pointing to $40,000 per month Jayne reportedly spends on her “look” and Girardi’s daily standing reservation and exclusive table at Morton’s The Steakhouse in Los Angeles.
“Erika even performs a song called ‘Exxpen$ive,’ featuring the hook ‘it’s expensive to be me,’” the lawsuit noted.
It alleged a publicly filed divorce between Girardi and Jayne “is a sham proceeding,” designed to shield assets from creditors. And in the filing Friday, Jay Edelson wrote that “Erika Girardi could not be more closely associated with Tom Girardi. The property she is attempting to sell likely belongs, in part, to Tom Girardi.”