The Times podcast: The big-shot lawyer, Real Housewife and vanished $23 million
He was a legendary lawyer. She’s a Real Housewife. Together, Tom and Erika Girardi made a striking couple. He funded their lavish lifestyle with multimillion-dollar settlements. She used that money to create a career as a pop singer named Erika Jayne. Did they break the law to build their dream life?
In this crossover episode with our sister podcast “The Envelope,” we get into a story straight out of a reality TV plotline. (The couple’s unraveling and legal travails are, in fact, included in this season of Bravo TV’s “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.”)
It’s way more than fluff: Tom Girardi was a big-deal attorney — one of his cases served as the basis for the Julia Roberts film “Erin Brockovich” — and he wielded substantial political clout. But a troubling side recently emerged: Clients, including widows and orphans, say they never received tens of millions of dollars his firm was supposed to pass along to them.
We speak to the Los Angeles Times investigative reporters who are covering the Girardis’ downfall. And we talk to a Los Angeles Times television reporter about why the public just can’t turn away from this story.
Host: Gustavo Arellano
Guests: L.A. Times investigative reporters Harriet Ryan and Matt Hamilton and L.A. Times television reporter Yvonne Villarreal
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