‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’: Erika Opens Up. Sorta.

The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills
“The Liberation of Erika Jayne”
June 23, 2021

Last we left these women, Erika was just arriving to Sutton’s shopping opportunity “Parisian” luncheon, fresh off of her shocking divorce announcement. The women are surprised she is out and about, and I’m surprised she is choosing to film. This can not possibly be on her lawyer’s advice.

Erika apologizes to Sutton for coming empty-handed, but she’s been a little preoccupied recently.

The women toast Erika for showing up at all, and they make their way to the dining room for lunch. Kyle notes that she feels lighter, that Mercury must be out of retrograde, before trying to blame that for her dust-up with Dorit. She compares her relationship to Dorit to a sisterly one, how one minute everything is great, and then in the next, your sister is snapping at you. Kathy Hilton is pretty sure this is a comment about her, and snaps at Kyle, demanding to know if she ever snaps at her. Kyle’s like, “I mean, yes, over the course of a lifetime, you have definitely snapped at me a couple of times …”

Garcelle interjects and suggests that they solve one problem at a time, and focus on this issue with Dorit. They agree that Dorit can be long-winded, while Kathy Hilton, hilariously, talks in “shorthand.” E.g.: “You know what I mean; you know what I’m saying; I was ready to, I’m telling you …” etc. Kathy Hilton admits that she does speak in code, because you never know who is listening.

Kathy Hilton, hitting hard with the stone-cold truths.

Lunch is served, and it appears to involve a baked potato with caviar? Which seems like an insane thing to add to a baked potato?

Garcelle asks Sutton if she’s going to tell the others what they did the day before, and Sutton announces she bought herself a new Bentley. Erika responds by saying that she’s driving a new car, too, and reveals that she’s downgraded from a Lamborghini to a Range Rover.

She sighs and is like, “Let’s talk about the elephant in the room,” and reveals that she’s moved out of her 16,000-square-foot home (although everything I’m seeing says that it was a little over 10,000 square feet, but OK). Erika explains that she gave her marriage every chance, but she finally left because Tom Girardi pushed her further and further away, and they barely even spoke to each other anymore.

Erika goes on to say that she didn’t tell any of them anything because it could put them in a tough position legally. She adds that it also doesn’t serve to talk about what is happening legally — UH, YEAH, AND IT MAY ALSO NOT SERVE YOU WELL TO BE RECORDING YOUR LIFE ON A REALITY SHOW — especially since she married someone really powerful in the legal world, but that she spent that last 30 days clearing out certain parts of her life. She tried to make it work out, she continues, but claims she was met with resistance. In an interview, she notes the power differential between herself and Tom Girardi: she was the single mom cocktail waitress who married a man 33 years her elder. If she tried to bring problems up, she was summarily dismissed.

Erika then reveals she filed for divorce on Election Day for very obvious reasons: in the desperate hopes that it would be buried under the mountain of much more important news happening that day. It was not buried under the more important news of the day. (My advice would have been to wait until the morning AFTER Election Day, but no one asked.)

The other women marvel that she didn’t reveal a thing during the Tahoe trip and she’s like, “Yeah, I couldn’t. Timing is everything, and I needed every advantage because he and his team will be coming for me.”

Erika explains that she moved into a “doll house” and when they ask if she’s furnishing it, she mutters under her breath that she stole the furniture. Erika goes on to clarify that she only took a couch and two chairs, and that she doesn’t even have a kitchen table at the moment.

Kathy Hilton then starts obliquely talking about magazine covers? and how being on one is a bad thing? and that’s why you never see “big people” on magazine covers?

Kyle laughs that this is “shorthand” by the way, and Kathy responds in kind, “God forbid I be ‘long-winded.” RIGHT, DORIT?

After dessert, Dorit and Kyle split from the group to talk things out, and it’s very boring and very stupid. Kyle promises to not interrupt Dorit so much, Dorit promises to not dominate every conversation.

More interestingly, Kyle and Dorit discuss the whole Crystal/Sutton mess because Crystal told Dorit that Sutton “violated” her when she walked in on her naked. Kyle defends Sutton, arguing that Sutton brought the coat in and left as soon as she realized Crystal wasn’t dressed, but Dorit’s like, “That’s not what Crystal told me …”

Meanwhile, Kathy notes to Erika that she seems remarkably unattached to the house, and Erika’s like, “yeah, because it was never my house, I’m the third wife to live there.” Sutton asks if Tom will stay there, and Erika is 100% certain he will stay there forever.

Spoiler alert: He will not.

So, Erika’s new place. It’s an airy bungalow in West Hollywood somewhere, and her glam squad help her hang some art. Erika explains that the day she left Tom Giradadi, she dropped him at work, went back to their house, and was moved out by the end of the day, before he came home. She then tells a story about how once Tom Girardi had her join him for a dinner with five other men. She was a little late because of traffic, and when she apologized, one of the men said, “If I were married to you, traffic would be no problem,” to which Tom Girardi replied, “If you think you can afford her, you can have her.” Which is both horrifying and sounds like something he would say.

Erika notes that when you’re a trophy wife there’s always a pressure to want to please the person who provides for you, and that she always felt like she had to shut up and be grateful.

Later, Erika and Rinna meet up for drinks — hot toddies to be specific — and plug Rinna’s lip line which is about to launch. Once that bit of business is taken care of, they move on to the topic of Erika’s divorce. Erika tells Rinna that she considered floating the idea of a trial separation, but that she knew Tom Girardi would never go for that. He’s old school: you’re in or you’re out, and if you’re out, you’re dead.

Erika again tells the story of how she drove him to work that day, and told him she loved him. In response, he said, “thanks, Hon,” like she was an employee. That was the last time she saw Tom Girardi. Erika went home, packed the van, drove to her new place, and served him in the morning.

In an interview, Erika speculates that he probably thought, “She left me? Fuck her. Want to be big time and be on your own? Fucking go.” Erika tells Rinna that she’s expecting nothing but the worst, and hoping for the best before, intriguingly, noting that Tom Girardi’s “got some real challenges ahead of him.”

And I just happened to pause the video in this moment, but right after she says that, Erika looks directly into the camera:

OK, SO, AND HERE’S WHAT IS INTERESTING ABOUT ALLLLLLLLL OF THIS. We are watching all of this from a place where we know everything about Erika’s divorce, and we know that she’s not telling the entire truth in this episode. Erika clearly knew at this point that Tom Girardi was facing an enormous civil and potentially criminal legal battle over the Lion Air lawsuit, and she might have known that he was suffering from Alzheimer’s.

The lawyers suing Erika and Tom Girardi believe the divorce is an elaborate ruse to try to protect their ill-gotten millions by putting money into Erika’s businesses and then separating themselves financially. And who knows, maybe. I’m not willing to rule it out.

What is interesting is that here Erika neglects to mention Tom Girardi’s looming legal issues or his Alzheimer’s, and instead leans on a story that makes her look like the poor little trophy wife who decided to finally stand up for herself. I don’t know that it’s entirely a lie, she very well might have been fed up with being neglected and dismissed, but I certainly don’t think that’s the primary reason why she chose November 2020 to file for divorce from Tom Girardi. If it weren’t for Tom Girardi’s legal mess, I’m sure she would have been willing to stay with him through the Alzheimer’s and all of the humiliations.

And the photo above, I believe, is a moment where Erika is — without meaning to — breaking the fourth wall, in perhaps an unconscious acknowledgment that she is not telling the entire truth.

What I don’t understand is why she didn’t quit The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills the moment she found out all of this was going down, and that if she was going to be willing to film her way through this mess, why she wasn’t more forthcoming from the get-go? She had to have known that all of this was going to come out, so why not get ahead of it?

It’s baffling and the fans aren’t having it:

As for what is going on with other Housewives, Garcelle meets with a matchmaker in an attempt to get back in the dating game as “Chocolate Michael” didn’t exactly work out. The matchmaker explains that she doesn’t bring fish, she teaches her client how to fish. OK, but Garcelle hired a matchmaker, not a therapist? In any event, Garcelle ends up crying about her childhood, and talking about her inability to relinquish power and she seems to really get something out of the session, even if it isn’t a date.

Elsewhere, Sutton gets her first mammogram after being bullied into it by Kyle. She’s fine.

Kyle uses this time together to also reveal that Crystal is out there telling people that Sutton “violated” her in Tahoe, andn Sutton is like, “well, that’s some bullshit. When discussed it on the last day we were there, she said, ‘I’m not going to bring it up to the other girls.’ And what you’re telling me is that she’s out here bringing it up to all the other girls. Well, huh.”

As for Crystal, she’s planning a dumpling-making party for the women and has pressed her cousins into service to prepare ingredients, because the most anyone can expect from these women is that they pinch closed some dumpling wrappers and then pat themselves on the back for having “cooked.”

The women arrive, Erika in what can only be described as An Outfit: a short, red zebra print suit, with thigh-high patent leather boots. “Sex in Heels,” as one of the other women describes her, which, to be fair, has always described Erika Jayne.

Erika then informs Kyle that she used the present Kyle gave her, the intimate oil infused with THC, and she put it all over her “clit and vajayjay.”

Good news, it’s working.

At some point, Crystal pulls Sutton aside to say that the women are still discussing their coat conflict, and Sutton’s like, “Yeah, stop talking about it behind my back.” Crystal insists that she promised she wouldn’t, and Sutton’s all, “Right. And you broke that promise.” Crystal, realizing that Sutton knows more than she thought, claims that the other women kept asking her what happened. And sure enough, there is a montage of women asking her what happened. But, as Sutton points out, just because they were asking doesn’t mean she had to tell them anything

The two decide to go outside — where Erika is telling the others about her 90-day sex-free plan — and discuss the situation with the other women to put it to bed once and for all. Sutton announces that in Lake Tahoe, she and Crystal had an “awkward moment” when she returned Crystal’s coat to her. They’ve discussed it privately, and Crystal declares it’s over. “But see if it’s over, you have to stop talking about it,” Sutton pointedly responds to Crystal. “Because it’s pretty defamatory to go around telling people I ‘violated’ you.”

Crystal explains, again, that she felt like she had no boundaries in that moment, and Dorit pipes in to add that Crystal was “crouched down on the ground…” before Garcelle and Sutton are like, “And when did you get invited to this conversation, Dorit?”

Dorit doesn’t really have an answer to that, but explains that she’s only heard Crystal’s side of this story, and that every experience Crystal has had with Sutton has been negative.

“It’s over!” Crystal insists.

“Sure,” Sutton responds, “but while we’re on the subject, calling me crazy and manic is uncool, especially after what I told you about my father’s suicide.” Sutton adds that she had a bad two days in Lake Tahoe, to which Crystal replies, “I am going to believe you,” which is hardly an apology for calling her crazy.

With that, Crystal says she wants to move forward, and she leads them inside to make some dumplings. They make dumplings, they eat dumplings, Garcelle encourages Erika to meet her matchmaker, Erika declines for now. In an interview, Erika adds that she knows these women want to be supportive of her, but that she has so many challenges ahead of her, and there is so much they don’t know.


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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Bravo.

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