After a year of relative silence in the press, Erika Jayne is officially back on the interview circuit. Eighteen months ago, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star left her husband, Tom Girardi, who was accused of embezzling money from former clients. Because of the allegations, Erika’s name was dragged through the mud both in the media and in lawsuits.
Tom, who left his mansion to live in a senior living complex, was diagnosed with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease. The former attorney is now in a conservatorship that’s overseen by his younger brother, Robert.
Speaking with Page Six, Erika opened up about the complex situation.
“Look, Tom is in a state of decline,” she said. “He’s living in a memory care facility and this is the way life goes. It’s … hard to deal with, but it’s here. Looking back, it’s hard to disconnect from someone you’ve been with for over two decades — especially when you know that they are struggling.”
The outlet asked if she ever missed him.
“Of course. I miss the Tom before he was ill,” she answered. “I miss the fun, bright, intelligent person that really liked to have a good time and was magic … But we all get old and we all come to this place in our life and he’s here.”
Although Erika is still in contact with Tom, the 82-year-old sometimes forgets who she is. “I take his call and it’s never more than 10 seconds,” she shared. “And sometimes he thinks I’m someone else … so there’s a lot of that.”
During their calls, Tom sounds different to Erika now. “His energy,” she explained, “[It] was very bright … His star has just been a little dimmed.”
Being dragged into Tom’s legal battles has affected Erika’s approach to romantic relationships.
“I can still have love for people, even though maybe they disappointed me or something like that. But I think the trust issue is probably more [important]. That’s probably the most important thing, is trust.”
She’s currently enjoying the physical side of dating and isn’t worried about getting married again.
“It’s good to be physical,” said Erika. “I am single for the first time in my adult life and it feels good. It’s like being a big teenager again. And I’m OK like this.”
The star has one important rule: no more attorneys. “A lawyer? Run!” she expressed. “A lawyer is a red flag, bye!”
Eventually, Erika hopes to meet her perfect match. “I value intelligence, a sense of humor and someone that’s really good at whatever it is that they do in life,” said the Bravolebrity. “That’s the kind of man I’m looking for.”
Her public setbacks have only made her stronger.
“I think that I really found out just how strong I was,” said Erika. “Just how much perseverance I have and just that I refuse to give up.”
Perhaps Erika needed that perseverance to face the missiles of her co-stars. Based on the season 12 premiere, Sutton and Garcelle seem happy to lead the charge. In the war of the Housewives, one must always find the easiest target.
As of now, Erika still has a giant circle painted on her back.
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