Thomas Girardi wasn’t just a well-respected attorney in his prime, he was also an apparent influencer.
Amid the attorney’s fall from grace, details about the way in which the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills cast member and estranged husband of Erika Jayne reportedly used his power and wealth to his favor are being exposed.
On March 6, the Los Angeles Times revealed that Thomas, who was once worth an alleged $250 million, along with his family and firm employees donated more than $7.3 million to political candidates sometimes in exchange for favors, which allegedly included appearances on his radio show, backroom deals to aid his firm, Girardi Keese, and influence over judicial appointments.
In her 2018 memoir, Pretty Mess, Erika told readers about her and Thomas’ many run-ins with top politicians.
“We would have drinks with a U.S. senator, and she’d confide in us the problem the senators were having with the current administration,” she wrote. “These were some great experiences.”
Although the RHOBH cast member may have appreciated the exposure she had to the country’s higher-ups, it is her soon-to-be-ex-husband’s often unethical requests that have caught the attention of many.
Years ago, after establishing a close-knit friendship with Thomas, former state Atty. Gen. Bill Lockyer, who Thomas had raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for, revealed the two of them suffered a falling out after he failed to meet Thomas’ requests.
As he explained in an interview, Thomas wanted him to allow him resolve government antitrust claims against Sempra Energy in a private settlement.
“My impression was [he thought] Sempra might be more generous on their settlement side if mine went away,” he recalled, noting that he denied Thomas’ request.
The former attorney general then claimed Thomas had asked him not to pursue charges against Hewlett-Packard chair Patricia Dunn, who was being investigated for supposedly taking part in a spying program, and wanted him to instead go after a low-level participant.
“I remember at the time saying to Tom, ‘I can’t do that. Will you think about justice?’” Bill said.
Shortly after the conversation, Thomas wrote Bill a letter, saying, “I never want to talk to you again.”
While Thomas reportedly asked for a number of favors from past and present politicians, he most frequently, and admittedly, requested says over who was being seated on the bench.
“I make no bones about influencing judicial appointments. Awful, you say? Unethical? Well, who better to recommend a man to the bench than someone who works with him every day,” Thomas wrote in a memoir, titled May It Please The Court.
In 2019, Governor Gavin Newsom revealed the advisors who help the governor select judges and on the panel was Thomas’ name.
One attorney who once faced off with Thomas in 2013, Terence Mix, later spoke about the clear hierarchy Thomas held among judges, saying that one particular judge clearly “revered him.”