Erika Girardi claims bankruptcy lawyer made ‘vicious’ false statements about her on social media
Erika Girardithe legal team responded to a previous query claiming that the Real housewives from Beverly Hills the star was refusal to hand over “key documents” in a bankruptcy case against her ex-husband, Tom girardi, and his law firm, Girardi & Keese.
According to court records obtained by PEOPLE, Erika’s lawyers say she “has been and remains ready to cooperate fully with the trustee’s investigation into this bankruptcy of debtor Girardi & Keese.”
In addition to responding to claims she has been uncooperative, the reality TV star has asked the court to reconsider its decision to appoint attorney Ronald Richards as special adviser to the trustee in the bankruptcy case, accusing him of having made “false and inflammatory remarks” about him on social networks.
Erika, says the new motion, “is not media fiction. She is a real person with rights, including the right to be treated fairly in these proceedings on the basis of real evidence and the law.”
Amy Sussman / Getty
He goes on to say that Richards has engaged in “vicious, conclusive and speculative public defamation – all without proof, which even if it existed, should and must be presented and tried by this Court.”
In a statement shared with PEOPLE, Richards called the motion a “Hollywood attempt to create a smokescreen to slow down our work” and said his social media posts were protected by free speech.
“If there had been the court’s restrictions on freedom of expression, they would have been observed, as all court orders are made by our office,” its statement said, adding that the court had previously rejected an request for a gag order from Erika’s team and had said during a recent hearing that he “has the right to express his views.”
“We represent the Trustee on a limited basis with respect to Erika Jayne,” Richards continued. “We just have to zealously pursue our client’s litigation goals of finding the money and getting it back. Attacking the choice of the trustee’s lawyer who does an efficient and hard-working job is an ill-conceived strategy. The real problem is the big debts to Erika Jayne and the money she refuses to release or return, period. “
Erika’s lawyers did not immediately respond to PEOPLE’s request for comment.
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The motion included screenshots of many of Richards’ social media posts, including one that claimed Erika’s husband, Tom, “is virtually legally dead.” (Tom was diagnosed with dementia and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease. His younger brother, Robert, was named as a guardian of his person and his property.)
In a YouTube video, Richards also said he doesn’t “think [Erika’s] personality is compatible with conformity in a judicial setting.
Steve Eichner / AP Erika Girardi and Tom Girardi
Richards “continued to publicly harass Ms Girardi through out-of-court statements, including on social media, this new evidence should be considered and the order granting Mr Richards approval to act as litigation special should be canceled, “say Erika’s lawyers in the new movement.
“Mr. Richards’ thinly veiled attempt to shield himself from the consequences of his inappropriate conduct by presenting some of his comments as his’ opinion ‘is irrelevant,” he continues. “Mr. Richards’ public statements and speculation about it on Twitter are inappropriate for any lawyer – especially a lawyer appointed as special legal counsel in this Court – and violate ethical rules, but it is considered a fact. by his 16,000+ “followers” on social media. “
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The bankruptcy case in question arose after Tom and his company were accused of embezzlement of several families who lost loved ones in a Boeing plane crash in 2018, and it was subsequently pursued by its business partners, which resulted in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy application in December – a month after Erika filed for divorce.
Amid the bankruptcy and multiple lawsuits, Erika and Tom were also charged with using their divorce to protect their money. Tom did not respond to any of the lawsuits.