As rumors swirl in regard to potential cheating between the two of them, a report is revealing what led up to the couple’s decision to split and sharing how Erika is coping with the end of her marriage as she prepares to get a “fresh start” as a single woman in 2021.
“Erika and Tom have led separate lives for years,” an insider told In Touch Weekly on November 4. “[She] would go off touring and doing her own thing, and Tom would do his. [They] were more like very close friends than husband and wife.”
According to the insider, Erika and Thomas “realized it wasn’t working during lockdown” amid the coronavirus pandemic.
“The pandemic is having a mental impact on everyone, and Erika’s been reflecting on what she wants moving forward. Being married to Tom isn’t part of her plan,” the source continued.
Erika, 49, confirmed her plans for divorce on Tuesday, November 3.
“After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi,” she said in a statement. “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.”
Erika and Thomas met in 1999 while she was working at Chasen’s restaurant in Los Angeles. As she recalled in her 2018 memoir, Pretty Mess, she slipped Thomas her number, and ultimately, he reached out to her through his secretary.
“I told her, ‘Tell Mr. Girardi if he wants to take me out on a date, he needs to call me himself and ask me and give me enough time to prepare,’” Erika wrote in the book. “You know how men are, especially if they are successful. They expect you to drop everything right away. That’s not how I work, I don’t care who you are.”
During the 10th season of RHOBH in April, Erika defended her marriage after questions arose about her and Thomas’ sex life.
“I’m tired of having to justify my 20-year marriage. Go get a 20-year marriage and then come f*cking talk to me,” Erika said at the time.
As for the future, the insider said that while “Erika is upset, and the feelings she has for Tom will never disappear,” she’s “a strong woman and knows that she’s making the right decision by filing for divorce.”
“She wants 2021 to be a fresh start!” the source added.