Lisa has been defending Erika at every turn amid allegations that she was complicit in her estranged husband Thomas Girardi‘s misdeeds. As Real Housewives of Beverly Hills fans well know, Thomas has been accused of embezzling millions of dollars from his former clients, including orphans, widows, and burn victims.
Nevertheless, Lisa has not only been defending her co-star, but attorney Ronald Richards recently alleged that the actress and Erika share the same business manager. And during a recent interview with Adam Newell from the Up And Adam channel on YouTube, Ronald revealed why he wants Lisa to testify in the case.
“If you combine [the business manager] with the fact that Lisa Rinna’s been defending her, and she’s been vouching for her saying that she wasn’t involved, so if you’re gonna make a statement of fact, you better have a basis of knowledge,” Ronald explained. “And so if Lisa Rinna is defending her, then we’re going to get testimony from her to see why does she have personal knowledge that Erika Girardi has no liability here.”
As for why he’s only planning to depose Lisa, and not the entire cast as of now, he said it’s because Lisa has gone to the “extreme” in her defense of Erika.
“Lisa Rinna has gone beyond just saying, ‘Hey, I’m giving her the benefit of the doubt or innocent until proven guilty.’ She’s gone to the further extreme and said, ‘She didn’t do anything. She’s basically innocent,’” he declared. “Well, is that just a lie or are you sort of grandstanding, or do you have facts?”
He added, “When I serve her a [deposition] subpoena, she may have a lawyer write me [and claim], ‘She knows nothing. She was just talking for TV.’ And I’m gonna have her sign a declaration under penalty of perjury that she was just basically talking, and she has no personal knowledge, and that would be acceptable to me.”
In addition, Ronald also explained why it’s odd that Lisa referred Erika to her business manager in the first place.
“The reason why I put that out there is we have proof that Lisa Rinna referred Erika Jayne to her business manager this year. And this particular referral is unusual because typically business managers are not referred by other talent because people like to keep their money private,” the attorney claimed. “They don’t want all their friends using their same CPA or the same person counting their money. It’s like everybody then knows everybody’s business. That’s typically not a referral that you get.”
As for the notion that Erika is “innocent until proven guilty,” which some of her co-stars have suggested, Ronald said that doesn’t apply in this case.
“This innocent until proven guilty is a misnomer in this type of investigation,” he explained. “She’s not being charged criminally. This is not a criminal investigation, so there’s no presumption of innocence in a civil case.”
He also clarified that he doesn’t care whether Erika actually “knew” whether Thomas allegedly misappropriated any of his clients’ funds as the law will force her to return the money regardless.
“For our purposes in this case, I don’t really care whether she knew,” Ronald said. “That’s like what we call a red herring. That’s like a feel-good argument. You cannot keep $25 million of other people’s money and then just take the position, ‘I didn’t know where my husband got it from.’ Okay, he got it from settlement documents and settlement payments, and you gotta return it, or a portion of it. We’re obviously not expecting to get all of it.”